2020 Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan: the world’s most luxurious SUV is now sportier

The Rolls-Royce Black Badge family is now complete. The new Cullinan is the latest to receive the Black Badge treatment and is regarded by the British carmaker as the most dynamic yet luxurious version of the Cullinan SUV.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan design walkthrough

“Black Badge reflects the desires of a distinct group of Rolls-Royce clients: men and women who take risks, break rules and build success on their own terms,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The time has come for Rolls-Royce’s boldest and darkest expression of Black Badge yet.”

The new Black Badge Cullinan is the fourth Rolls to wear the darkened theme

When Rolls-Royce launched the Black Badge versions of the Wraith and Ghost at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and the Dawn in 2017, the move was brave enough to spark some internal debate among enthusiasts and connoisseurs. The concept of creating a posh yet highly dynamic and rebellious version of a Rolls-Royce is similar to fitting Dame Judy Dench with platform sneakers.  

But as a younger demographic of well-heeled clients made their way into Rolls-Royce showrooms, the Black Badge models quickly gained traction. In fact, one in five bespoke Rolls-Royce vehicles today are ordered as Black Badge versions.

The Black Badge Cullinan is codified by the infinity symbol

More than just a feature designed to thrill the senses, there’s a bit of history behind the infinity symbol, which is affectionately known as the lemniscate in Rolls-Royce speak. This same marking was applied to the record-breaking Blue Bird K3 hydroplane of Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1935. It achieved the world water speed record using a Rolls-Royce engine, a powerplant regarded by many back then as having infinite engine power.

On that note, Black Badge Cullinan is boasting more power under the hood

As if having a monstrous 6.75-liter V12 engine under the bonnet is not enough, Rolls-Royce was kind enough to tune the Black Badge Cullinan for more power. The engine is now rated at 600-horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, which has 29 more horsepower and 50 more torques than an ordinary Cullinan.

Power is routed to all four wheels via a smooth ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox. The Black Badge Cullinan also inherits the four-wheel steering system of the original model, but minor changes to suspension components and electronic settings ensure a refined yet highly dynamic driving experience.

Obviously, black elements are found all over Black Badge Cullinan

The most obvious sign you’re staring at a Black Badge Cullinan is the silver-on-black ‘Double R’ badges on the front, flanks, and aft invert of the vehicle. Meanwhile, all previously chromed surfaces like the boot handle, boot trim, side frame finishers, front grille surround, lower air inlets, and exhaust pipes are blacked-out as well.

The vehicle receives all-new 22-inch forged alloy wheels, which are reserved purely for Black Badge Cullinan. With a gloss black and polished design, the dark-inspired wheels present the perfect canvass for those contrasting red brake calipers with a high-gloss finish. Interestingly, this is the first time Rolls-Royce is offering colored brake calipers in the history of the company.

Even the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy mascot above the grille is now presented in high-gloss black chrome along with the mounting plate. According to Rolls-Royce, this is the first time that both the Spirit of Ecstasy and the mounting plate are finished in black chrome, which makes the Cullinan the darkest Black Badge model ever made.

Typical of a Rolls-Royce, you can choose from over 44,000 paint options or choose a specific color to your liking. But according to Rolls-Royce, many buyers will opt for signature black paint.

The Black Badge treatment continues inside

Rolls-Royce infused some shooting stars that dart randomly into the Starlight Headliner of Black Badge Cullinan. But the best feature is the naked-weave carbon-fiber finish on the dashboard, center console, and door sidings.

According to Rolls-Royce, the repeated geometrical weaves and three-dimensional effect of the carbon material took 21 days to complete. Each carbon leaf is treated with six coats of lacquer before leaving to cure for a full 72 hours.

Of course, the interior color palette is configurable according to taste. Rolls-Royce is offering a near-infinite variety of contrasting colors and material choices to satisfy your every whim.

Do you like what you’re seeing so far? You don’t have to wait since Rolls-Royce is now accepting orders for Black Badge Cullinan.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan Image Gallery