First Drive: 2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge

– Las Vegas, Nevada

Driving a Rolls-Royce usually evokes verbs like “waft” and “glide.” So why am I doing 110 miles per hour on a race track in a Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge?

The Black Badge is not your typical Rolls-Royce Wraith, as evidenced by the fact the British marque dared let journalists loose in the cars at SpeedVegas, a new 1.5-mile track just south of Sin City. This special edition Wraith is supposed to be a little sportier and edgier, the type of Rolls that will draw new-money clientele – stock traders, celebrities, athletes, etc. – to a brand sometimes seen as only for stodgy old people. But while engineers did work to improve the Wraith’s dynamic prowess, much of the Black Badge treatment (which is also available for the Ghost four-door) concerns how the car looks.

Rolls-Royce officials say they kept seeing actual buyers modifying their cars in the aftermarket with blacked-out trim, dark wheels, and tinted windows. So the Black Badge takes the same approach, eschewing shiny chrome wherever possible. The badges have silver script on a black background instead of the normal reverse color scheme. The Spirit of Ecstasy sculpture perched atop the radiator is also now black, a first for any factory Rolls. The exhaust outlets are painted black, too, and new 21-inch wheels are partially constructed of carbon fiber, continuing the black-and-silver color scheme.

2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge: First Drive
2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge: First Drive

 

The Spirit of Ecstasy sculpture perched atop the radiator is also now black, a first for any factory ...