2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge review: Stealth standout

    This is really the top of luxurious SUVs.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Despite what you may suppose from its identify, there’s extra to this Rolls-Royce Cullinan than some black paint and dark-chrome end. Sure, the Black Badge remedy largely caters to people who need all of the lavishness of a six-figure SUV with a barely extra under-the-radar strategy. But I’ll really argue that the perfect factor about this SUV is not what you possibly can see, it is what you possibly can’t.

    LikeHas each luxurious function you could possibly ever wantSmooth, highly effective V12 engineGreat to drive, higher to be pushed inBlack Badge styling is refined and stylish

    Don’t LikeClunky infotainment tech with out Apple CarPlay or Android AutoI am unable to afford one

    For starters, the 6.75-liter V12 engine will get a small however noticeable enhance in energy, due to an ECU reflash. The commonplace Cullinan places out a not-insubstantial 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, however the Black Badge ups that to 592 hp and 664 lb-ft. There’s a sport drive setting, too — activated by urgent the “Low” button on the gear stalk — that improves throttle response and unlocks a extra aggressive shift logic for the eight-speed computerized transmission.
    It actually works, too; the Black Badge Cullinan has some newfound pep in its step. You can really feel the added energy underneath acceleration, and I like how the transmission is greater than prepared to instantly drop a gear or two once I lay into the throttle. The Black Badge will get a brand new exhaust system, with a type of aural playfulness you would not count on from a model that is usually so buttoned up. It’ll catch you off guard at first, however I promise, these pops and burbles are coming from the Cullinan, not another automotive.

    With nice energy comes nice accountability, and Rolls-Royce matches the Black Badge Cullinan with a bigger set of brake discs to convey every part to a cease in a rush. Decreased pedal journey and an improved chew level make stopping this 6,000-pound behemoth much less of an occasion, too. I’m unsure how I really feel concerning the red-painted calipers right here, that are apparently non-negotiable, however I’ve to imagine Rolls-Royce is prepared to bend the foundations for patrons who throw sufficient cash on the drawback.The Cullinan’s air suspension will get a stiffer default setting for Black Badge obligation, and whereas it does cut back physique motions a teensy bit whereas cornering, I’m not going to try to persuade you that this SUV is out of the blue a canyon carver. The steering is gentle and easy, and you’ll really feel each one of many aforementioned 6,000 kilos while you chuck this huge boy right into a nook.

    This is not even the perfect seat in the home.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Happily, none of this added verve comes on the expense of general experience high quality. Black Badge or not, that is nonetheless a Rolls-freaking-Royce, and whether or not you are blasting down the freeway or simply toddling alongside in site visitors by means of Beverly Hills, it is as easy and cozy and quiet and wonderful as any automotive proudly carrying a Spirit of Ecstasy on its prow. Driver-assistance options like adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help make an already serene expertise even much less irritating. Blissfully remoted from the world outdoors, the Cullinan really makes you and your passengers really feel like the rich aristocrats you might be.

    What else does the Black Badge spec get you? The Spirit of Ecstasy hood decoration, grille and a few trim items are completed in high-gloss black chrome, and people huge, pink brake calipers are set behind a singular set of 22-inch wheels. Moving inside, Rolls-Royce’s “technical fiber” trim comes commonplace — consider it as 3D-look carbon fiber — and you’ll order the SUV with a brand new Forge Yellow inside choice, which this take a look at automotive has. The wealthy, yellow hue on the leather-based seats and wool ground mats positively is not for everybody, however I type of dig it. Just you’ll want to hold these mats clear.The Black Badge additionally represents the primary time Rolls-Royce is providing its starlight headliner within the Cullinan. Also obtainable on the Ghost, Phantom and Wraith, this super-cool function makes use of 1,344 fiber-optic lights embedded within the headliner to convey the evening sky contained in the automotive. There’s a dimmer change so you possibly can increase or decrease the depth, and a “shooting star” impact works as you’d think about, sending little zips of sunshine backward and forward. If that is not sufficient, Rolls-Royce will even custom-tailor the headliner so its design represents any portion of the evening sky as it might’ve regarded on a sure date or from a particular place. Yes, actually. (For future press automotive ordering, Rolls-Royce, I’d just like the sky as seen from Detroit, Michigan on Feb. 26, 1986.)Yes, you possibly can order it in colours apart from black.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Everything else that is particular concerning the Cullinan is not distinctive to the Black Badge. The inside is beautiful to behold and all of the supplies really feel unbelievable. The switches and buttons have nice tactility, and there is a satisfying weight to the motion of the metallic air vent plungers. The heated, massaging seats coddle you want nothing else on the market. From the automated door-close buttons to the heated, massaging seats to the chilled, crystal champagne flutes within the compartment between the rear thrones, the Cullinan is 100% Rolls-Royce opulence.Easy as it’s to get wrapped up in all that luxurious, there are a few sore spots I would like to deal with. The cargo space is smaller than you’d suppose, and the nifty slide-out tailgate seats on this tester (that are very cool, I guarantee you) take up fairly a little bit of house. The Cullinan’s multimedia system presents its personal set of complications, too. It’s basically a reskinned model of BMW’s older iDrive 6 tech, which is considerably clunky to make use of, and lacks help for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For an organization so targeted on easygoing motoring, this added little bit of in-car stress is a downer.Going the Black Badge route will set you again an additional $57,000 over the usual Cullinan’s $325,000 asking worth, and by the point you get it optioned simply the best way you prefer it, put together to spend not less than $425,000 or so, all-in. That’s some huge cash for plebs such as you and I, however bear in mind, nobody is stretching their price range to place a Cullinan of their driveway. For these people, spending an additional $57Ok on the Black Badge is a no brainer. And good for them, as a result of it is a worthwhile improve that makes an already decadent SUV even higher.

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