Art & Design

New Rolls-Royce Black Badge photo series celebrates darkened Cullinan, LA car culture

Cullinan, Rolls-Royce's first SUV features in the new photo series.

Photo by Mark Riccioni

Rolls-Royce Black Badge cars drive the streets under the guise of darkness. Their usual exterior bright chrome, steel, and aluminum parts replaced by darkened versions. To celebrate the arrival of Cullinan Black Badge, Rolls-Royce enlisted automotive culture photographer Mark Riccioni to create a pictorial series of Black Badge Cullinan greeting fellow automotive subcultures in Greater Los Angeles, California.

Cullian is the bespoke automaker's first SUV and completes their current model lineup.

"The things that connect us are always more powerful than the things that separate us, and this series is a wonderful demonstration of that," said Riccioni. "I selected each subculture because it shares the philosophies that inform the creation of a Black Badge Rolls-Royce. From the obsessive attention to detail lavished on a lowrider and visceral power of a hot rod to the bold execution of tuned imports and deeply personal customisations applied to 'brat'-style motorcycles."

"King of the Night" by Mark Riccioni

"King of the Night" by Mark Riccioni

Photo by Mark Riccioni


The designers, engineers, and craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, England, created a unique Recreation Module for Riccioni's shoot. The unit, codenamed "Urban Photography", was conceived to incorporate equipment specific to his photography requirements. These include a DJI Mavic Mini drone, 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro and 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro for image capture and editing on location.

Riccioni also requested additional items in the vehicle to aid in the shoot including Sennheiser PXC550 MkII noise cancelling headphones, Persol PO3225-S sunglasses, outerwear from streetwear brand Supreme and a water bottle. The automated Recreation Module was trimmed in Forge Yellow leather to match the Black Badge Cullinan's interior colourway.

This isn't the first intricate vehicle that Rolls-Royce has created. The automaker specializes in bespoke customization.

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullian LA Photo KitRolls-Royce developed this unique model just for the shoot.Photo by Mark Riccioni

The photos also aren't the first artistic celebration of Black Badge. Last year, a biopic performance artist starred in a short film featuring Rolls-Royce Black Badge.

A gallery of these images, titled 'King of the Night', will be on display at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Beverly Hills, 8833 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 from March 2020 prior to an exclusive Rolls-Royce Black Badge private event.

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VinFast will soon launch in the United States.

VinFast

The automotive business is a tough place to cut your teeth as a company. So many have tried and failed to break through with new vehicles, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. Electric vehicles seem to present a perfect opportunity for companies of all types to jump in with a new product. Such is the case with VinFast, a Vietnamese automaker. The company launched two new crossovers at the LA Auto Show yesterday, both of which are heading to the United States.

VinFast EVsTwo models will debut at first, but the company plans on expanding here.VinFast

The VinFast VF e35 features up to 301 miles of range on a charge, while the full-size three-row VF e36 can travel up to 422 miles on a charge. Both vehicles come with a ten-year/100,000-mile warranty. VinFast says that its launch strategy in the United States wraps in charging stations, as the company realizes that they are a necessary part of EV adoption. In Vietnam, VinFast is in the process of building 40,000 charging stations to bolster adoption.

VinFast EVsVinFast will eventually build a factory in the United States.VinFast

Here, the automaker will build dozens of company-branded stores to sell its vehicles, similar to the approach taken by Tesla. VinFast's plan is to position itself as an exclusive product in the EV space, and to help it expand in the U.S., the company plans to build a factory in 2024. Part of its launch will also involve several special events across the country to introduce the brand and its vehicles.

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The Solterra is Subaru's first EV.

Subaru

Months of teases and rumors are over, as Subaru has just taken wraps off of its Solterra electric SUV. The EV was developed in conjunction with Toyota, whose own electrified SUV debuted earlier this year. Subaru unveiled the SUV at an event in Japan, and while the U.S. version won't be shown until next week, this international reveal gives us a great idea of what we'll see.

Subaru SolterraThe Solterra is nearly identical to the Toyota bZ4X in several key areas.Subaru

Since Subaru worked jointly with Toyota on the EV program, the Solterra is more than a close relative of Toyota's bZ4X – it's nearly identical, down to the powertrain. Up front, the Subaru EV splits from its Toyota counterpart with fake grille panels, but the vehicle's sides and overall shape are practically interchangeable. The Solterra's interior is almost a mirror image of the bZ4X, but there's no yoke steering wheel.

The Japanese specs aren't remarkable, but they're nothing to sneeze at, either. The crossover comes with a 71.4 kWh battery that should deliver a 250-mile range by EPA standards. Two drivetrains are offered, including a front-wheel drive version with a 150-kW motor and an all-wheel drive model with two 80-kW motors.

Subaru SolterraSubaru will show the Solterra at the LA Auto Show next week.Subaru

Subaru will announce the North American version of the Solterra next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. There may be minor differences in equipment and appearance, but the Subaru EV we see here should be close to the vehicle shown off in Japan. Subaru says that Solterra deliveries will start in mid-2022.

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