The Dark Side
The PEAK Hong Kong|September 2017

The new Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge and Ghost Black Badge editions are edgier than ever. We go to Japan for a ride under the cover of darkness to discover how increasing demand for driver-orientated models is updating the Rolls ‘magic carpet ride’ experience, before getting a sneak peek at the latest Phantom.

Glen Watson

Although they share plenty of similarities, there are some big differences between samurai and ninja. Samurai warriors belonged to the noble classes of ancient Japanese society, while ninjas were often mercenaries, spies and assassins. Samurai wore colourful kimonos; ninjas wore tight-fit, black clothing with only their eyes showing. Samurai engaged in honourable, noble combat, while the ninja employed stealth and deception.

Legendary entities with distinct differences: this is a good way to think of the two Rolls-Royce Black Badge editions that were driven recently in Tokyo. Yes, they are the latest Ghost and Wraith models, but the company’s designers and engineers wanted to give them a dark side, like those legendary ninjas, making them edgier and more attractive to a younger segment eager to get behind the wheel of their own Rolls.

First unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Wraith and Ghost Black Badge were presented in Hong Kong around Chinese New Year.

“Rolls-Royce Black Badge speaks to the darker, more assertive, confident and demanding aesthetic of a new breed of Rolls-Royce customer – today’s generation of young, self-empowered, self-confident rule-breakers who are uncompromising and unapologetic in their choice of living and lifestyle,” says Paul Harris, regional director for Rolls-Royce in Asia Pacific.

Where The World Comes To Stay“Rolls-Royce Black Badge is a creature of the night that fits in seamlessly alongside the spectacular nighttime cityscape … and we are seeing increasing demand for driver-orientated models,” adds Harris. “Black Badge adds a new edge to not only the aesthetic but the unique and sublime Rolls-Royce driving experience.”

FLY BY NIGHT

After landing at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, I’m taken in a Ghost to the Andaz Tokyo hotel in the Toranomon Hills skyscraper, close to the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower. Occupying the top six floors of the 52-storey building, with a scenic restaurant as well as an epic rooftop bar, this is the Hyatt hotel group’s boutique hotel brand – aimed at a more youthful audience seeking refined luxury.

Following a briefing with the other journalists, we’re soon behind the wheel of the Black Badge models.

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