2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge review: Stealth standout

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This is really the pinnacle of luxury SUVs.

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Inspite of what you could feel from its identify, there is certainly extra to this Rolls-Royce Cullinan than some black paint and darkish-chrome end. Absolutely sure, the Black Badge treatment mainly caters to people who want all the lavishness of a six-determine SUV with a a bit extra beneath-the-radar strategy. But I am going to really argue that the very best thing about this SUV is just not what you can see, it truly is what you are unable to.


  • Has each luxury element you could ever want
  • Easy, strong V12 motor
  • Terrific to drive, improved to be driven in
  • Black Badge styling is subtle and chic

Do not Like

  • Clunky infotainment tech without the need of Apple CarPlay or Android Car
  • I are unable to manage a person

For starters, the six.75-liter V12 motor receives a smaller but visible enhance in energy, many thanks to an Eu reflash. The common Cullinan puts out a not-insubstantial 563 horsepower and 627 pound-ft of torque, but the Black Badge ups that to 592 hp and 664 lb-ft. You can find a activity drive placing, too — activated by urgent the “Very low” button on the equipment stalk — that increases throttle response and unlocks a extra intense shift logic for the 8-pace automatic transmission.

It genuinely performs, too the Black Badge Cullinan has some newfound pep in its stage. You can truly feel the additional energy beneath acceleration, and I like how the transmission is extra than prepared to right away drop a equipment or two when I lay into the throttle. The Black Badge receives a new exhaust program, with a sort of aural playfulness you would not count on from a manufacturer which is usually so buttoned up. It’ll catch you off guard at to start with, but I promise, all those pops and burbles are coming from the Cullinan, not some other car.

With great energy will come great duty, and Rolls-Royce suits the Black Badge Cullinan with a much larger set of brake discs to convey every little thing to a cease in a hurry. Reduced pedal travel and an improved chunk issue make stopping this six,000-pound behemoth considerably less of an party, too. I am not guaranteed how I truly feel about the red-painted calipers listed here, which are evidently non-negotiable, but I have to think Rolls-Royce is prepared to bend the rules for potential buyers who toss ample money at the difficulty.

The Cullinan’s air suspension receives a stiffer default placing for Black Badge obligation, and when it does cut down human body motions a teensy bit when cornering, I am not going to attempt and convince you that this SUV is out of the blue a canyon carver. The steering is gentle and easy, and you can truly feel each a person of the aforementioned six,000 pounds when you chuck this large boy into a corner.

This is just not even the very best seat in the dwelling.

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Happily, none of this additional verve will come at the cost of overall journey high-quality. Black Badge or not, this is nonetheless a Rolls-freaking-Royce, and no matter if you’re blasting down the freeway or just toddling together in site visitors through Beverly Hills, it truly is as easy and snug and silent and attractive as any car proudly carrying a Spirit of Ecstasy on its prow. Driver-assistance functions like adaptive cruise management and lane-trying to keep guide make an by now serene working experience even considerably less tense. Blissfully isolated from the globe exterior, the Cullinan really helps make you and your passengers truly feel like the wealthy aristocrats you are.

What else does the Black Badge spec get you? The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, grille and some trim parts are completed in high-gloss black chrome, and all those large, red brake calipers are set driving a one of a kind set of 22-inch wheels. Relocating inside, Rolls-Royce’s “specialized fiber” trim will come common — feel of it as 3D-seem carbon fiber — and you can purchase the SUV with a new Forge Yellow inside choice, which this exam car has. The abundant, yellow hue on the leather seats and wool floor mats unquestionably is just not for every person, but I kind of dig it. Just be guaranteed to maintain all those mats cleanse.

The Black Badge also represents the to start with time Rolls-Royce is providing its starlight headliner in the Cullinan. Also offered on the Ghost, Phantom and Wraith, this super-awesome element uses 1,344 fiber-optic lights embedded in the headliner to convey the night sky inside the car. You can find a dimmer switch so you can raise or decrease the intensity, and a “shooting star” impact performs as you’d visualize, sending small zips of gentle from side to side. If which is not ample, Rolls-Royce will even custom-tailor the headliner so its style and design represents any portion of the night sky as it would’ve looked on a specific date or from a specific place. Certainly, genuinely. (For potential push car buying, Rolls-Royce, I’d like the sky as noticed from Detroit, Michigan on Feb. 26, 1986.)

Certainly, you can purchase it in colours other than black.

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Everything else which is unique about the Cullinan is just not one of a kind to the Black Badge. The inside is beautiful to behold and all the products truly feel wonderful. The switches and buttons have great tactility, and there is certainly a fulfilling bodyweight to the motion of the metallic air vent plungers. The heated, massaging seats coddle you like nothing at all else out there. From the automatic doorway-shut buttons to the heated, massaging seats to the chilled, crystal champagne flutes in the compartment concerning the rear thrones, the Cullinan is a hundred% Rolls-Royce opulence.

Quick as it is to get wrapped up in all that luxury, there are a couple of sore spots I need to deal with. The cargo spot is lesser than you’d feel, and the nifty slide-out tailgate seats on this tester (which are incredibly awesome, I assure you) acquire up pretty a bit of area. The Cullinan’s multimedia program presents its individual set of complications, too. It can be basically a reskinned version of BMW’s more mature iDrive six tech, which is considerably clunky to use, and lacks guidance for Apple CarPlay or Android Car. For a business so focused on easygoing motoring, this additional bit of in-car anxiety is a downer.

Likely the Black Badge route will set you again an further $57,000 around the common Cullinan’s $325,000 asking value, and by the time you get it optioned just the way you like it, get ready to devote at the very least $425,000 or so, all-in. That’s a great deal of money for plebs like you and I, but bear in mind, no a person is stretching their budget to place a Cullinan in their driveway. For these people, investing an further $57K on the Black Badge is a no-brainer. And excellent for them, mainly because it truly is a worthwhile upgrade that helps make an by now decadent SUV even improved.