The cosmetic and performance ‘Black Badge’ package for the 2022 Ghost was announced this fall by Rolls-Royce. The company highlighted an interesting detail in its press release: the 100 pounds of black paint that is blasted onto the body in an hours-long and extremely technical finishing process. All that glossy midnight doesn’t come easy. And, the 2022 ‘Black Badge’ Ghost can reach 60 MPH in 4.5 seconds.
As dreamed up five years ago by the Rolls marketing folks — a most deftly imaginative group exceedingly skilled at elliptical entrancing of amenable buyer personae — the ‘Black Badge’ treatment has been a very successful methodology for getting younger folks to adopt the Rolls image, which has been viewed as stodgy by the youth set since around 1951. John Lennon’s fanciful psychedelic Phantom V, which both satirized the establishment and, in a way, legitimized the fact that he’d joined it, might be seen as the emblematic progenitor of the treatment. Lose the emphasis on individuality through iconoclasm and substitute a veneer of cool, manufactured drama, and you have the Black Badge in a nutshell.
Inside the 2022 Ghost, the show continues with the Starlight Headliner, and package-specific badging. To a lesser degree, Rolls also considers performance part of the ‘Black Badge’ image schema, and for 2022 the Ghost comes with a revised suspension for better cornering and a bit more horsepower: 591, an improvement of 29 HP, which can be seen as a token improvement given the weight of the car. The torque increase of nearly 50 pound-feet is more meaningful.