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The Black Badge adds edge to the already edgy Rolls-Royce Wraith, but is it worth the $100k premium?

21 Sep 2018

JUST when you think luxury – ok, decadence – has hit an all-time automotive high, someone comes along and puts on another layer of icing.
Rolls-Royce is supposed to be the last word in production luxury cars. It claims to strive for the best and that no other mass-production company gets close, so when it ups the ante, second place begins to look decidedly second rate.
Enter the Wraith Black Badge, a reference to this being a Rolls-Royce model grade that leans towards the darker side of automotive life where things are a little edgier and a little less presumptuous.
To go with the name, there’s a lot of darkened chrome and trim of dusty alloy and shadowy carbon-fibre.
The reason it exists – the grade is also available on the Ghost sedan – is to entice buyers into this more unexpected side of the car-maker. But not just any buyer, as Rolls-Royce is aiming at a more affluent, but much younger audience.
Five years ago it stated that the average age of its new-car buyer was 55 years. It is now around 43 years and tumbling as the car-maker focuses on new tricks, while retaining old values.
The Wraith Black Badge is one way to capture that audience, aiming it right into the youth market that wants class, performance and individuality.
At $812,990, is the Black Badge worth the $100,000 premium to the “standard” Wraith?
Model release date: 1 July 2017

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