Rolls-Royce will debut its next model in the Black Badge range on October 28. While the company isn't saying anything official, the teaser image heavily hints that the Ghost is getting the stylish upgrades. Currently, 27 percent of Rolls commissions worldwide are Black Badge products.
Rolls wants to show it can be hip by working with non-fungible token (NFT) creator, artist, and illustrator Mason London on a unique animation. The company doesn't specify in the announcement, but we expect to see this art piece when the new Black Badge vehicle debuts.
Gallery: 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost: First Drive
The company is trying hard to position the Black Badge as the Rolls-Royce for disruptors, but that's a hard message to square with the fact this vehicle costs more than many homes. According to the automaker, founders Sir Henry Royce and C. S. Rolls would have been "arch-disruptors" because "they proved that a car could credibly replace the reliability and frugality of a horse and carriage."
Rolls notes that artistic people like John Lennon, Karl Lagerfeld, Sammy Davis Jr, and Sophia Loren owned its luxurious vehicles.
"Rolls-Royce has always attracted a unique breed of outliers, visionaries, and iconoclasts. We are proud to provide these men and women with a perfectly engineered canvas upon which they can express a subversive and confident projection of their success," company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said.
Referring to Rolls-Royce as "subversive" stretches the word's meaning almost to the breaking point. Even if the company wants things to change, Rolls is still a symbol of the upper-class establishment.
The company marks the introduction of the Ghost in 2009 as the beginning of the move toward offering less formal vehicles in its range. It wasn't just for appealing to royalty and titans of industry. Later, the Cullinan also brought the brand to a different group of customers.