2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge review: Stealth standout

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This is genuinely the pinnacle of luxury SUVs.

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Regardless of what you might assume from its title, you will find more to this Rolls-Royce Cullinan than some black paint and dark-chrome complete. Confident, the Black Badge remedy mainly caters to individuals who want all the lavishness of a 6-figure SUV with a somewhat more less than-the-radar method. But I am going to basically argue that the ideal thing about this SUV is just not what you can see, it can be what you can’t.


  • Has every single luxury function you could ever want
  • Clean, strong V12 engine
  • Terrific to generate, far better to be driven in
  • Black Badge styling is refined and stylish

Don’t Like

  • Clunky infotainment tech with no Apple CarPlay or Android Car
  • I can’t afford one

For starters, the 6.seventy five-liter V12 engine receives a smaller but apparent improve in power, many thanks to an European reflash. The regular Cullinan places 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. There’s a sport generate location, as well — activated by pressing the “Low” button on the equipment stalk — that enhances throttle response and unlocks a more intense change logic for the 8-speed computerized transmission.

It truly works, as well the Black Badge Cullinan has some newfound pep in its stage. You can sense the additional power less than acceleration, and I like how the transmission is more than keen to quickly drop a equipment or two when I lay into the throttle. The Black Badge receives a new exhaust technique, with a kind of aural playfulness you wouldn’t hope from a model that is ordinarily so buttoned up. It’ll catch you off guard at initial, but I guarantee, those people pops and burbles are coming from the Cullinan, not some other car.

With good power arrives good accountability, and Rolls-Royce suits the Black Badge Cullinan with a much larger set of brake discs to deliver anything to a quit in a hurry. Lowered pedal vacation and an improved bite position make stopping this 6,000-pound behemoth much less of an occasion, as well. I’m not positive how I sense about the red-painted calipers in this article, which are seemingly non-negotiable, but I have to think Rolls-Royce is keen to bend the procedures for customers who toss plenty of dollars at the difficulty.

The Cullinan’s air suspension receives a stiffer default location for Black Badge obligation, and while it does lower physique motions a teensy little bit while cornering, I’m not likely to try and influence you that this SUV is abruptly a canyon carver. The steering is light-weight and effortless, and you can sense every single one of the aforementioned 6,000 pounds when you chuck this big boy into a corner.

This is just not even the ideal seat in the house.

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Fortunately, none of this additional verve arrives at the price of in general experience excellent. Black Badge or not, this is nonetheless a Rolls-freaking-Royce, and regardless of whether you’re blasting down the freeway or just toddling along in targeted traffic by Beverly Hills, it can be as smooth and cozy and peaceful and attractive as any car proudly carrying a Spirit of Ecstasy on its prow. Driver-help functions like adaptive cruise command and lane-trying to keep support make an by now serene working experience even much less stressful. Blissfully isolated from the globe outside the house, the Cullinan genuinely makes you and your travellers sense like the rich aristocrats you are.

What else does the Black Badge spec get you? The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, grille and some trim items are completed in high-gloss black chrome, and those people big, red brake calipers are set behind a unique set of 22-inch wheels. Going within, Rolls-Royce’s “specialized fiber” trim arrives regular — assume of it as 3D-glimpse carbon fiber — and you can get the SUV with a new Forge Yellow inside solution, which this test car has. The loaded, yellow hue on the leather seats and wool ground mats definitely is just not for anyone, but I sort of dig it. Just be positive to continue to keep those people mats clear.

The Black Badge also represents the initial time Rolls-Royce is giving its starlight headliner in the Cullinan. Also accessible on the Ghost, Phantom and Wraith, this super-interesting function works by using 1,344 fiber-optic lights embedded in the headliner to deliver the evening sky within the car. There’s a dimmer switch so you can increase or decrease the intensity, and a “capturing star” impact works as you’d imagine, sending minor zips of light-weight from aspect to aspect. If that is not plenty of, Rolls-Royce will even custom made-tailor the headliner so its design and style represents any part of the evening sky as it would’ve seemed on a selected day or from a unique location. Indeed, truly. (For potential push car buying, Rolls-Royce, I might like the sky as noticed from Detroit, Michigan on Feb. 26, 1986.)

Indeed, you can get it in shades other than black.

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Everything else that is distinctive about the Cullinan is just not unique to the Black Badge. The inside is exquisite to behold and all the resources sense amazing. The switches and buttons have good tactility, and you will find a gratifying pounds to the action of the metallic air vent plungers. The heated, massaging seats coddle you like practically nothing else out there. From the computerized door-shut buttons to the heated, massaging seats to the chilled, crystal champagne flutes in the compartment in between the rear thrones, the Cullinan is a hundred{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} Rolls-Royce opulence.

Easy as it is to get wrapped up in all that luxury, there are a couple of sore spots I require to handle. The cargo space is scaled-down than you’d assume, and the nifty slide-out tailgate seats on this tester (which are extremely interesting, I assure you) just take up very a little bit of room. The Cullinan’s multimedia technique provides its own set of head aches, as well. It really is in essence a reskinned variation of BMW’s older iDrive 6 tech, which is somewhat clunky to use, and lacks aid for Apple CarPlay or Android Car. For a enterprise so concentrated on easygoing motoring, this additional little bit of in-car stress is a downer.

Going the Black Badge route will set you again an additional $fifty seven,000 around the regular Cullinan’s $325,000 asking price, and by the time you get it optioned just the way you like it, put together to invest at the very least $425,000 or so, all-in. Which is a large amount of dollars for plebs like you and I, but don’t forget, no one is stretching their funds to place a Cullinan in their driveway. For these individuals, spending an additional $57K on the Black Badge is a no-brainer. And very good for them, since it can be a worthwhile improve that makes an by now decadent SUV even far better.