New Model News

Fresh 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge embodies the allure of the dark side

Rolls-Royce has just introduced its latest Black Badge model, the Cullinan Black Badge.

Photo by Harvey Briggs

With the recent introduction of Cullinan, their first ever SUV, Rolls-Royce took their brand to new places. Now they're pushing the boundaries even further with Cullinan Black Badge, an edgier, more daring, and more powerful version made for the streets.

The smoked chrome parthenon grille comes at you like a shadow. The Spirit of Ecstasy is also darkened and unlike Wraith or Ghost now rides on a darkened mounting plate. All the rest of the traditional brightwork surrounding the windows, along the doors, on the boot, and exhaust tips have been blacked out. Cullinan Black Badge also gets model-specific black and brushed aluminum 22-inch alloy wheels.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge Cullinan Black Badge is the darker side of the brand's first SUV.Photo by Harvey Briggs

Black Badge is more than an appearance package. In addition to upping the 6.75-liter V12 engine's output by 29 horsepower to 600, Rolls-Royce has recalibrated the satellite-aided 8-speed automatic transmission which propels the three-ton SUV from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds.

Press the "low" button on the traditional Rolls-Royce column mounted shift stalk and you'll notice something rarely heard in a Rolls, engine noise. Cullinan Black Badge has a new exhaust system which issues a satisfying low rumble at idle and actually snarls and burbles at speed.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge The 6.75-liter V12 engine now offers 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.Photo by Harvey Briggs

The ride is also more dynamic with firmer spring and damper settings. The brakes, which, for the first time ever, feature painted calipers (red, of course) are also more aggressive with a raised engagement point and shorter pedal travel. Four-wheel steering also insures nimble handling for a vehicle with an almost 130-inch wheelbase.

Photo by Harvey Briggs

The hand-made interiors can be finished in any color you can imagine.

Inside, Cullinan Black Badge offers the Rolls-Royce signature starlight headliner – now with shooting stars! You'll also find carbon technical fiber trim panels. The infinity symbol they've placed throughout the cabin is the mark of Black Badge, honoring the legacy of Sir Malcom Campbell's record-setting, Rolls-Royce powered unlimited hydroplane,

Cullinan Black Badge is available for order now and pricing starts at $382,000.

In crafting the new Roma coupe, Ferrari took design notes from its heritage.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Three weeks ago, the Ferrari Roma celebrated its world premiere. In the days since, the Italian automaker is saying all the right things about the Roma to get enthusiasts' hearts pumping, billing the mid-front-engined 2+ coupe as having, "refined proportions and timeless design combined with unparalleled performance and handling."

As Ferrari looks forward with this new design, the automaker is looking back to 1950s and 60s Rome. In an era defined by the intersection of modern amenities but with a foot strongly in tradition, mid-1900s Italy was rising from the conflict of World War II and heading toward the economic boom that would mark the 80s. Life in the 50s and 60s, for the average Roman, was filled with the joy of taking pleasure in everyday experiences.

Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn Gregory Peck Belgian-born actor Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) holds the hand of American actor Gregory Peck in a still from the film 'Roman Holiday,' directed by William Wyler, 1953. Photo by Getty Images

In the 50s and 60s, Ferrari was projecting the evolving Italian lifestyle into its designs. The company's V12 grand tourers gained prominence including the luxurious Ferrari America. The Ferrari 250 added a touch of refinement in the sports car segment with a thoroughly modern body style, slimming the design lines that the company featured in its 1950 166 Inter a few years prior.

Under the Roma's hood is 611-horsepower turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 that is specifically tuned for the new model and gets 561 pound-feet of torque. Its body is lightweight and offers generous curves to look at, similar to what famous Roman Sophia Loren did for cinema goers in the 1950s and 60s. The engine is paired with Ferrari's eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2019 Ferrari Roma 2020 The rear of the touring car has a thoroughly modern design.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Ferrari has filled the Roma with the latest technology the automaker offers including a large driver information screen, vertically-orientated centrally-located infotainment screen, and a screen in front of the passenger that gives them access to audio controls along other functionality.

The car also features a number of selectable drive modes.

2019 Ferrari Roma 2020 Three screens dominate the interior of the Roma.Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The debut model was fitted with 20-inch dual-five spoke wheels.

Experts estimate that the Ferrari Roma will cost upwards of $220,000 when it goes on sale next year.

A limited number of these high-end GT-R models will be for sale in 2020.

Photo courtesy of Italdesign

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign customer model won't be displayed in public at an auto show until March but Nissan is giving enthusiasts a look at the prototype at, 2019 NISMO Festival, Nissan Crossing in Tokyo's Ginza district in December, and at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January. Ahead of those events, the Japanese automaker has released new photography of the sports car.

"Designers dream of creating from a blank canvas, but with GT-R, it is a canvas that has been shaped by an adventurous history, a heart powered by NISMO, and a soul reflecting 50 years of dreams of engineers, designers, artisans, developers, racers and leaders," said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan. "The best of Japan and Italy combined with help from our California and London studios are painting on the best canvas any designer can possibly have!"

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Nissan is currently accepting orders for the limited edition model.

Nissan collaborated with Turin, Italy-based Italdesign to create the model, which is based on the latest Nissan GT-R NISMO. Each of the GT-R50 by Italdesign models has a NISMO-tuned, hand-built, 720-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6.

Nissan reports that customer demand for the production version of the car has been strong, with a number of deposits already taken across the globe. Just 50 reservations will be taken.

In Japan, customers can now purchase a GT-R50 by Italdesign through SCI Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of VT Holdings, which has been appointed official importer and distributor for these exclusive cars in the country.

Those interested in the GT-R50 by Italdesign can visit www.GT-R50.nissan or contact Italdesign directly at aporta.gtr50@italdesign.com.

For inquiries in Japan, contact justin.gtr50@vt-holdings.co.jp.

Deliveries of the car begin in late 2020. Subject to certification and homologation, customers can expect to get behind the wheel of their personalized Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign sometime between late 2020 and the end of 2021.