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

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 Kit Rolls-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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been redesigned for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has sold more C-Class models than any other vehicle in the last decade. The current generation has been around since 2014 so it's time for a redesign. Enter the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The longer and wider C-Class features dynamic design that is meant to combine with the short front overhang, long wheelbase, and rear overhang to create a vehicle that looks like it's moving even when it's standing still. In this respect, the car isn't much different than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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At the front of every C-Class model is a grille with a central star. The grille and front bumper feature chrome surrounds. At the rear, two-piece taillamp divide the side wall and the trunk lid. Bumper design changes based on trim level. The car rides on either 18- or 19-inch wheels depending on the grade. Mercedes will offer the C-Class in a number of paint jobs including three new ones: Starling Blue, Cirrus Silver, Moonlight White, Graphite Grey, and Selenite Grey Magno.

The 2022 Mercedes C 300 and C 300 4MATIC are both powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with mild-hybrid (48-volt) technology that provides an electric boost on demand. The result is the delivery of 20 more horsepower and 148 pound-feet more torque when the mild-hybrid tech is employed, on top of what the engine is already capable of.

Front-wheel drive capability is standard and all-wheel drive is available for a surcharge. The system is more efficient than it was in the previous germination of the model.

Mercedes has given the model an Agility Control suspension with continuously adjustable damping. Buyers who opt for an AMG Line model get a sport suspension.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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Like in the new S-Class, the dashboard of the C-Class is divided into two sections - upper and lower. The new compact car has flattened round vents up top while the center console and lower dashboard flow together. The dashboard and central display, which is orientated portrait style, are slightly tilted toward the driver.

Directly in front of the driver is a 12.3-inch high-resolution display and the infotainment touch screen is slightly smaller- 11.9 inches. The central display is surrounded by jet black trim and finished with a chrome insert.

Minimalist design on the door panels frames the dashboard with the center panel featuring an elongated armrest that has design reflecting the aesthetic of the center console.

Mercedes has re-engineered the seats in the car to use layers of enveloping surfaces to create an impression of lightness. The head restaurants also have a new design.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan & Wagon: Exterior Details

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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The dashboard is covered with MB-Tex. AMG Line models get the buyer's choices of belt line detailing including natural grain wood in black and brown, as well as genuine aluminum.

Also like the new S-Class, the new C-Class is equipped with the second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Mercedes-Benz developed a new display aesthetic for the S-Class, which is now systematically used as the basis for other models.

Owners can customize the look fo the driver information display and infotainment screen with three distinct styles (Sporty, Classic and Understated) and three modes (Navigation, Assistance, Service). The new C-Class is equipped with 64-color ambient lighting as standard, with an optionally available enhanced version.

  • In "Classic" style, the driver is welcomed with a familiar display environment. The proven display with two tubes and changing content between them provides all the information relevant to the driver.
  • "Sporty" is dominated by the color red, with a dynamic design for the central rev counter.
  • In "Understated" style, the content is reduced to what is essential. In addition, both screens can be shown in seven color schemes with the ambient lighting. This makes for an impressive color experience in the interior.
  • In "Assistance Mode," the traffic situation is shown in real time and supplemented with important displayed information.

The full-screen navigation also was adopted from the S-Class.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan & Wagon: Interior

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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Merceds is making the latest generation of the company's Driver Assistance Package available on the C-Class. Also, the company's advanced driver assist system technology has been advanced for the latest generation and works on highways, country roads. A new lane recognition 360-degree camera is employable in these scenarios.

Improved sensors are designed ot make Park Assist more effective.

The new 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan will arrive in U.S. dealerships in early 2022. The company will produce the model in Bremen (Germany), Beijing (China) and East London (South Africa).

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The redesigned 2022 Subaru BRZ joins the company's lineup this year.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Want to buy a new refrigerator? They have a ranking for that. Consumer Reports also takes a close look at automotive brands rating them based on a combination of feedback from testing and member surveys. Each year they release a list ranking all the brands sold in the U.S.

Here's how Consumer Reports determines their rankings, straight from the horse's mouth:

Brand report cards are built on an average of the Overall Score for each model tested. A brand must have at least two models tested to be included. The Overall Score is based on four key factors: road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

• The road-test scores are for vehicles purchased by CR and run through more than 50 tests.
• Reliability predictions are based on problems reported by CR members in 17 trouble areas.
• Owner satisfaction from surveyed CR members reflects whether drivers would purchase the same car if they had it to do again.
• Safety includes crash-test results and extra points awarded for proven advanced safety features that come standard for the model.

From worst to first, check out how the brands scored below. Click here to see 2020's results.

No. 32 - Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo 4C

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Alfa Romeo scored a 59/100, 15 points lower than they did in 2020. Consumer Reports tested two of the company's vehicles and was not able to recommend either of them.

No. 31 - Land Rover

2020 Land Rover Defender

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Land Rover earned a 46/100 in the ratings, four points less than in the 2020 ratings, and drops one position. None of its products are recommended by Consumer Reports.

No. 30 - Mitsubishi

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander: Exterior Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi is up three spots from their 2020 position with a score of 46/100 - the same score as lat year. None of their vehicles are recommended by Consumer Reports.

No. 29 - Jeep

Jeep Gladiator

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Jeep earned a 48/100 score but went up two places from their 2020 position, which was up from the 2019 spot. The company has only one product Consumer Reports would recommend out of the six they tested.

No. 28 - Lincoln

Lincoln Corsair

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Lincoln fell 15 spots in this year's rankings, after falling five the year before, getting a 53/100 score despite earning a respectable 78/100 in road testing.

No. 27 - Jaguar

2021 Jaguar XF: Exterior Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Jaguar climbs one in 2021 and was up four places in 2020. The company scored a 54/100 and has one green vehicle in its lineup.

No. 26 - GMC

GMC Acadia AT4

Photo courtesy of GMC

There's some good news for GMC. Despite being in the bottom third of the ratings, Consumer Reports recommends one of their vehicles. That's one more than they did last year. Overall, the company earned a 57/100, down two points from 2020.

No. 25 - Ford

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford fell three places in 2020 and two more in 2021, earning a 57/100 score, the same as what GMC got.

No. 24 - Chevrolet

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevy is up one place in 2021, scoring 58/100. Out of the 13 Chevy vehicles Consumer Reports tested, they recommend two of of them.

No. 23 - Acura

2021 Acura TLX Advance Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura is up one spot for 202, earning a 59/100. The company had decent road test scores but Consumer Reports doesn't recommend any of their models.

No. 22 - Cadillac

2020 Cadillac XT5 Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac's brand score of 62/100 helped it jump seven places in the 2021 rankings. Consumer Reports recommends one out of the five Caddy products they tested.

No. 21 - Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

With its 62/100 score, Mercedes-Benz finds itself one spots lower on the list than where it ended up last year. Consumer Reports recommends three of their vehicles.

No. 20 - Volvo

Volvo XC60

​​Photo courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation

Volvo pops up two spots in the' rankings with its 64/100 score. Two of its five vehicles that were tested by the Consumer Reports team are recommended.

No. 19 - Kia

2021 Kia K5 Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia fell down 10 spots in the rankings earning a 64/100, a score 10 points lower than the company scored in 2020. The good news is that out of the 11 of their vehicles that were tested, Consumer Reports recommends four of them.

No. 18 - Volkswagen

2022 Volkswagen Taos Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen has better road-test scores than anyone lower than it on this list. The company scored 65/100 and Consumer Reports recommends two of its models.

No. 17 - MINI

2021 MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition Photo courtesy of MINI

Mini was up five places in the 2020 rankings compared to 2019, but fell seven places from their 2020 level in 2021. The company earned a 66/100 score for this year.

No. 16 - Tesla

Tesla Model X Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Tesla was the biggest mover in this year's rankings, gong up eight places to end up at No. 11. But, this year, they're down five spots scoring just 66/100.

No. 15 - Genesis

2020 Genesis G90 Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Genesis placed second with an 66/100 score, 18 points lower than they scored in 2020. The automaker fell 13 spots from their 2020 placement

No. 14 - Dodge

2020 Dodge Challenger Photo courtesy of Dodge

Dodge was up four places in 2020 earning a 68/100 score. For 2021, the company moves up one place but only earned 67 points.

No. 13 - Nissan

2021 Nissan Rogue Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan jumped four places to No. 17 earning 70/100. For 2021 they are up another four places, getting a 68/1000 with Consumer Reports recommending half of their 12 tested vehicles.

No. 12 - Infiniti

2021 Infiniti QX80 Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti, the premium arm of Nissan, jumps two spots for 2021 earning a score of 70/100. Like Nissan, Consumer Reports recommends half of the company's vehicles to shoppers.

No. 11 - Audi

Audi Q7

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi fell five spots in the 2021 rankings earning a 71/100 score, just one better than Infiniti. However, Audi's road test score was an 88 compared to Infiniti's 77.

No. 10 - Hyundai

2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai jumped three spots in the 2020 rankings, earning a 75/100 score. For 2021, they fell three spots with a 71/100 score.

No. 9 - Buick

Buick Envision

Photo courtesy of Buick

Buick slid down one spot with its 69/100 score in 2020, but has made up for it in 2021, jumping up 10. Out of the three Buicks Consumer Reports tested, they recommend two of them.

No. 8 - Chrysler

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Like Buick, Chrysler is up 10 places for 2021 earning 74/100. This is on top of the four places they gained in 2020 with a score of 69/100.

No. 7 - Toyota

2021 Toyota Venza Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota fell three places in 2020's rankings, but gained five in the 2020 ratings, scoring 74/100. Consumer Reports recommends 15 of the 19 Toyotas it tested - impressive!

No. 6 - Lexus

Lexus LX

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Lexus is down one position for 2021, scoring 75/100, which is two points worse than the company scored in 2020. Seven fo the eight Lexus vehicles tested by the publication are recommended.

No. 5 - Honda

Honda Accord Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Like Buick and Chrysler, Honda jumped 10 places in 2021 with a 75/100 score. In 2020, the company earned a 72/100. Eight of the 10 Hondas tested are recommended by Consumer Reports.

No. 4 - Porsche

2021 Porsche Panamera 2021 Porsche Panamera Photo courtesy of Porsche AGPhoto courtesy of Porsche AG

Porsche scored 10 less points in 2021 than they did in 2020 (76 vs. 86/100). The company has earned the same road test score as Audi: 88. Three of the four Porsches that were test driven earned recommended ratings.

No. 3 - Subaru

2022 Subaru BRZ Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru sits in the same place in 2021 as it did in 2020. The company scored worse, however, earning just 76/100 compared to the 81/100. Five out of the seven models Consumer Reports test drove they recommended.

No. 2 - BMW

BMW X7

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW is up six spots compared to their 2020 ranking, earning 78/100. Subaru and BMW scored the same in Consumer Reports road testing, getting an 87. Ten out the 12 BMWs Consumer Reports tested are recommended.

No. 1 - Mazda

Mazda CX-5

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Mazda moved up three places to claim the 2021 crown with a score of 80/100. That rating is one point higher than the company earned in 2020. Consumer Reports recommends all seven of the Mazdas they test drove this year.

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