Cars, Rolls-Royce, Spyshots

SPYSHOTS: 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost on road trials


The next-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost has been spotted out on test again, this time with its production bodywork visible and with just the camouflage foil applied, without the concealing shrouds of before.

Where previous iterations of the Ghost development vehicle sported a row of circular holes beneath the headlamps, we can now see that in these positions are what appear to be slim, horizontal intakes above a more sculpted mid-bumper section, beneath which are the intakes. The headlamps themselves feature a different arrangement, now bearing a closer resemblance to those on BMWs.

It appears that Rolls-Royce has been careful not to depart drastically from what its customers know and like, and the forthcoming Ghost’s interior appears to be of a similar layout that of the current model.

Click to enlarge

Detail changes over the current car’s interior include a revised layout for the buttons on the multi-function steering wheel, and the air-conditioning controls appear to be in a single unit rather than the current car’s separate ‘pods’ in between dashboard trim surrounds. For the driver, instrumentation now appears to be digital, as on the Phantom.

This forthcoming Ghost is underpinned by the firm’s ‘Architecture of Luxury’ which also forms the basis of the eighth-generation Phantom and the Cullinan, and its application for the latter means that all-wheel-drive is a possibility for the Ghost. Here, a development of the 6.75 litre biturbo V12 engine will most likely be employed, along with a GPS-aided eight-speed automatic transmission.

Our sources have also indicated that the purely internal-combustion V12-powered Ghost could be joined in the line-up by an all-electric version later on, as well as a plug-in hybrid variant. In the meantime, the next-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost is expected to debut in 2021.

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Cars, International News, Rolls-Royce

Custom Rolls-Royce RED Phantom made to fight AIDS


Rolls-Royce has just unveiled the new Bespoke RED Phantom, a special one-off commissioned to benefit (RED)’s fight to end AIDS. The global charity organisation was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006, and its movement has seen many other prominent businesses such as Apple introduce the Product Red iPhone range.

The Red Phantom will be officially unveiled at a gala event in Miami on December 4, 2019, and will be exclusively available via Sotheby’s online auction which will run immediately post-launch until December 13, 2019. Proceeds from the auction, after costs, will go to (RED). The winning bidder will get to collaborate with Mickalene Thomas, one of the world’s most respected contemporary artists, to customise the new car.

Now, the car features a bespoke Crystal over Magma Red paint finish, which essentially means particles of crystal were sprayed into the final layers of clear coat to create a “luxurious luminescence.” The paint is comprised of five layers each hand-polished for over five hours.

Inside, the cabin gets a bespoke Brilliant Arctic White leather upholstery with Mugello Red contrast accents, complete with a colourful Mugello Red Shooting Starlight Headliner with 1,600 fibre optic lights. The instrument panel also gets a unique treatment, that being the Red Regatta Sails that’s housed within a single-piece glass fascia.

All wood veneers were carefully selected and hand-painted with six coats of lacquer for the perfect finish. As a finishing touch, the car gets custom tread plates to commemorate the brand’s 115th anniversary.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas president and CEO, Martin Fritsches said: “It is an honour and privilege to present this one of a kind commission created at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England. Every member of our team is deeply inspired by this world-class commission and equally by the importance of the cause that it was created to support – (RED)’s fight to end AIDS. We are proud to partner with Mickalene Thomas, Sotheby’s and RM Sotheby’s to achieve an outstanding result from this auction.”

(RED) CEO, Jennifer Lotito said: “We’re so grateful to Rolls-Royce for donating profits from the Red Phantom to help with the fight to end AIDS. We need all forces mobilised against this pandemic which is the leading cause of death among young women. We also want to thank Mickalene Thomas for her creative genius and support of this auction to help the Global Fund eradicate AIDS.”

Again, all proceeds after costs will be donated to (RED). To date, the organisation has generated over US$600 million (RM2.5 million) for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to support HIV/AIDS grants in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. No overhead is taken – 100% of the money goes to ground work. Over 140 million people have been impacted by the movement, which includes prevention, treatment, counselling, HIV testing and care services.

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Cars, International News, Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge – blackest RR yet!


In its boldest attempt to swoon the young and successful, Rolls-Royce has introduced the Cullinan Black Badge, and it’s every bit as menacing as blacked-out SUVs go. Before we go on, we think you should know that production of the Cullinan has maxed out, and the ultra-luxury automaker is seeing more female and younger buyers come on board.

Now then, onto the black elephant in the room. Discerning customers of the Cullinan Black Badge have up to a staggering 44,000 paint options to choose from, but Rolls-Royce claims that many will opt for the bespoke line’s signature Black colour. The multilayered paintwork is meticulously applied and hand-polished for approximately 10 times, a process which the company says is the most comprehensive surface finish process ever applied to a solid paint colour.

It’s pretty hard to tell from this set of photos, but by the looks of it, nearly every bit of shiny bright chrome has been purged from existence. In their place are high gloss black chrome, which adorn the radiator grille surrounds (the vertical bars remain polished), window surrounds, tailgate trim, exhaust pipes, and The Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. Also, for the first time, the black chrome extends onto the mounting plate, making this the blackest Black Badge yet.

The look is further dramatised by an all-new set of 22-inch forged alloy wheels, one that’s made exclusively for the Black Badge Cullinan. The wheels feature a gear-like graphic to emphasise power, and just for an extra touch of sportiness, Rolls-Royce slapped on its first ever coloured brake calipers, which in this case is painted in high gloss red.

For the cabin, Rolls-Royce developed a new luxury material called Technical Carbon, a naked-weave carbon-fibre “leaf” with a three-dimensional effect. Each leaf is finished with six coats of lacquer before being left to cure for 72 hours, then hand-polished to a mirror finish. Believe it or not, this process takes 21 days and is only deemed complete once every piece has been inspected by a master craftsperson. He or she ensures complete reflective uniformity across each of the 23 pieces placed within the car.

A handwoven Starlight Headliner with 1,344 fibre optic lights grace the ceiling, casting a low light over the black leather seats. What makes this a true Rolls-Royce feature is that the headliner features eight white shooting stars that apparently dart at random over the front occupants.

As with any Rolls-Royce car, the cabin is almost infinitely customisable, from colour selection to material. For the Cullinan Black Badge, designers have created a new leather colour called Forge Yellow, providing a stark contrast against the predominantly black cabin. Finally, the infinity motif is embroidered into the rear armrest, and can also be found on the illuminated tread plates and darkened steel clock case.

For performance, Rolls-Royce decided to give the Cullinan Black Badge a more dynamic edge. Its all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering features have been recalibrated for better agility while retaining the brand’s peerless ride quality. There’s also a “Low” button on the gear selection stalk which unleashes the SUV’s full suite of technological prowess, the company claims.

Its 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine now breathes better through an entirely new exhaust system, offering a deeper, more authoritative basso profundo. As a result, it makes 600 PS and 900 Nm of torque, which is 29 PS and 50 Nm more than the standard tune. The brakes have been beefed up to handle the extra grunt, and the vented discs cool better thanks to a new design.

The eight-speed ZF automatic transmission is retained, albeit tweaked with a more urgent throttle and transmission management system. Several suspension components have been uprated to offer better vehicular dynamics, and at the same time ensure an optimal balance between sportiness and refinement. Rolls-Royce says the Cullinan Black Badge is “extremely well-mannered” when driven at low speeds, and a “vivid driver’s device when pressed.”

So, what do you think of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge? The automaker says this is by far the darkest and most urban statement of the Black Badge series of cars yet. Order books are now officially open.

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