Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge Street Journey: 1000 Miles In A Billionaire’s $500,000 Every day Driver

Rolls-Royce Street Journey: 1000 Miles In A Billionaire’s $500,000 Every day Driver

Residing in Los Angeles can actually mess along with your notion of wealth. Spend any period of time round Beverly Hills, and also you’ll see each Rolls-Royce conceivable parked outdoors of pricy eating places and five-star resorts alike. Having solely lived in LA for a number of months, this phenomenon remains to be fairly putting. Nonetheless, after watching these six-figure ultra-luxury automobiles completely crawling across the metropolis, I couldn’t assist however really feel they have been being misused in a means.

Suppose you distill a Rolls-Royce to its essence. In that case, you get a tremendously comfy automobile with world-class suspension and sufficient noise isolation to make even police sirens sound no louder than a notification in your cellphone. Whereas these attributes make a Rolls-Royce perfect for navigating city environments in your private indifferent bubble, they need to additionally make it the perfect machine for a street journey.

To place this query to the take a look at, I reached out to the oldsters at Rolls-Royce with a easy thought: a spherical journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Contemplating that the common lease deal for one in every of these vehicles provides its drivers lower than 3,000 miles to drive per yr, I wasn’t very hopeful I’d get a constructive response. Nonetheless, to my shock, Rolls-Royce agreed and scheduled me into one in every of its newest creations, the Ghost Black Badge.

Now, this wasn’t my first encounter with the Ghost Black Badge. I attended its launch occasion in San Diego late final yr, the place I managed to attain a few hours behind the wheel. With this street journey thought brewing, that first drive made it clear that the Ghost Black Badge was the correct automotive for the job.

The Automotive:


The 2022 Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge serves because the continuation of the model’s Black Badge line, which started with the Wraith again in 2016. Briefly, the package deal will get you a darker aesthetic, a sportier drive, and the intelligent use of carbon fiber all through.

All of it begins with the chrome. Not like a normal Ghost, the Black Badge’s chrome trim has been darkened. As a substitute of portray these shiny bits, the British carmaker tweaked its chrome plating course of, delivering this automotive’s ominous darkish end. The principle advantage of this new course of is that there’s no paint to chip away via time, a should since this Ghost has black chrome seemingly on each floor.

Essentially the most important modifications are discovered within the engineering division. For starters, the 6.8-liter twin-turbocharged V12 powering this tremendous sedan now develops 591 horsepower and 664 pound-feet, marking a 28 hp and 37 lb-ft improve over the usual Ghost. To take advantage of out of this added muscle, Rolls-Royce provides its Black Badge fashions “Low” mode. Primarily, that is the model’s equal of a sport mode, providing you with quicker shifts by as much as 50 % with the throttle pressed previous 90 %, sharper throttle response, and stiffer suspension calibration.

The results of the Black Badge’s sporty pursuits is a 5,500-lb sedan that may attain 60 mph in simply 4.5 seconds earlier than persevering with to its electronically restricted high pace of 155 mph. To maintain this pace in examine, the Black Badge carries over the usual Ghost’s huge brakes whereas adopting bigger air springs that may stiffen sufficient to assist mitigate physique roll.

With all its important choices, such because the Black Badge Bundle for $43,850, Burnout Gray exterior paint for $15,900, and immersive seating for $10,775, my testers $393,500 MSRP shortly shot as much as an as-tested worth of $492,250.

The Route:

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Setting off from my residence in Pasadena, I had three routes to select from, two of which took me via the center of nowhere, CA. After about 10 seconds of inner dialogue, I picked the US-101 North as my means up, taking in loads of mountain passes and ocean views alongside the best way, the right place to check the Black Badge’s cut up persona. Nonetheless, the beautiful route comes with appreciable penalties. For starters, this fashion added an additional 54 miles and over an hour of driving, totaling simply over seven hours earlier than reaching my lodge in downtown San Francisco.

The way in which again could be a lot less complicated. Forgoing all prettiness, I selected I-5 South as my means residence. Whereas its views could be bland, an empty open freeway appeared like the perfect place to let the Ghost Black Badge stretch its legs and embrace its sportier persona.

In complete, the chosen route would take roughly 12 hours and 35 minutes with a complete distance of 818 miles. Nonetheless, with numerous stops for meals, photographs, and filming, I managed to rack up a complete of 1031.4 miles over three days. Whereas it’s secure to say I used to be the one individual placing that many miles on a Rolls-Royce over these three days, it grew to become clear that almost all house owners are lacking out by not doing so.

Day 1:


With Los Angeles’ snow-capped mountains within the rear-view mirror, I started my seven-hour drive north with the Ghost and its huge trunk stuffed to the brim with baggage, cameras, tripods, and sufficient snacks to feed a village. Since Rolls-Royce was form sufficient to drop off my tester with a full tank of gasoline, there was nothing to do besides hitting the street.

Instantly as soon as I hit the freeway, I used to be glad I had chosen a Rolls-Royce for this journey. Residing in LA, it’s simple to get used to only how dangerous the roads are. You be taught to dodge the most important potholes whereas accepting {that a} bumpy journey is inevitable. Fortunately, the Ghost was not involved with even important imperfections. Initially, I used to be nervous the Black Badge’s bigger air springs would stiffen up the suspension an excessive amount of, taking away from the comfy driving expertise. Nonetheless, I used to be shortly confirmed unsuitable because the Black Badge glides over the street such as you’d count on a $500,000 sedan would.

With 10-way adjustable heated and cooled seats upfront, it’s virtually unattainable to not really feel comfy within the Ghost’s large entrance chairs. If that’s not fancy sufficient, my tester additionally had the therapeutic massage characteristic, which options three depth ranges for a dozen or so configurations. Moreover, there are tons of leather-wrapped surfaces to relaxation your arms, elbows, and knees as you discover your perfect place.

The lengthy open highways didn’t final very lengthy as we crossed into San Luis Obispo and the Black Badge encountered some curvy mountain roads. With “Low” mode engaged, I started to select up the tempo. Whereas my spouse and her opened water bottle actually didn’t admire quickened shifts, I did. With its “sport mode” engaged, the Black Badge features a shocking quantity of urgency. Slam your foot down, and the Ghost picks up pace so shortly that the rear-end squats significantly, pointing the Spirit of Ecstasy to the sky. Moreover, whereas the bigger air springs desperately attempt to preserve physique roll in examine, there’s no stopping the lateral motion of a 5,500-lb sedan with out spoiling the journey, so I’m glad Rolls-Royce didn’t. It leans significantly, nevertheless it’s not stiff by any means.

After about 20 minutes of hustling the Ghost round, we settled into the prolonged freeway portion of the drive as we crossed what appeared like lots of of small farms. At this level, I made a decision to interact the Ghost’s adaptive cruise management characteristic, set on the closest following distance attainable. As visitors started to select up all through the day, this technique’s tuning started to shine, rushing up with restrained throttle utility whereas flippantly tapping the brakes to decelerate, preserving the automotive’s comfy driving expertise.

Whereas Rolls-Royce’s interpretation of BMW’s iDrive system is superb, I caught with the obtainable wi-fi Apple CarPlay choice. The 12.3-in display was a spotlight, delivering punchy colours by way of a really high-definition touchscreen show. Whereas I appreciated interacting with it by way of contact, the rotary dial within the middle console is best suited to navigating a number of menus.

Talking of menus, we stopped for lunch in essentially the most California place attainable, In-N-Out. As I chowed down on my double-double, I observed it was about to rain, an ideal time to bust out my tester’s $1,675 set of color-matched umbrellas. Sadly, the sky determined to carry again its tears, and we determined to do our first gasoline cease as an alternative.

For the reason that Ghost requires premium gasoline, I topped it off with 15.3 gallons at $5.29 every for a complete of $81.45. Up till this level, we had been averaging round 15 mpg, thanks largely to my earlier stint via the mountains. Nonetheless, ease up on the throttle, and 20 mpg is greater than achievable.

As San Francisco sat simply an hour away, I observed numbness in my decrease again, seemingly from sitting so lengthy. Whereas not even among the most comfy seats I’ve skilled may save me from put on and tear, the Black Badge had an ace up its sleeve. Inside its therapeutic massage menu, there’s a characteristic known as “Activation Therapeutic massage,” which, as its title suggests, applies stress to activate your numerous physique components. With it set to its most aggressive setting, the Ghost did a superb job of revitalizing my again. After about 10 minutes of the system being engaged, I felt totally refreshed for the ultimate cost into the town.

After seven hours on the street, I ran straight into a big drawback. Whereas my lodge had assured me of secured valet parking, I observed that, like most resorts, they depart their costliest vehicles upfront. Since I used to be chargeable for my close to $500,000 tester, I made a decision to not threat leaving it outdoors in a single day. As a substitute, I known as a good friend who lived close by and parked the automotive in a safe storage. The McLaren MP4-12C and Porsche 911 GT3 Touring flanking the Ghost reassured me of the storage’s security.

Day 2:


Rising simply earlier than the solar, I ran over to the storage and fired up the Ghost to snap some photographs of it. Naturally, the Golden Gate Bridge was the highest location on my checklist. A bit primary? Certain, however a traditional, nonetheless. Whereas this was the shortest driving day of the three, it was the primary time I lastly obtained have a look at the automotive and its gray, purple, and black aesthetic.

On paper, my tester’s Burnout Gray exterior end for $15,900 wouldn’t have been my first decide. Whereas it’s a chic end, it’s a bit flat, missing in depth and sparkle, particularly for the cash. Nonetheless, for us choosy people, Rolls-Royce provides over 44,000 “inventory” coloration choices, though they’ll paint your automotive in no matter coloration you may consider.

After snapping a few photographs, my tune on the colour modified dramatically. Whereas the automotive could look showroom recent, I purposely didn’t wash it after my first seven hours on the street, leaving my new assortment of bugs everywhere in the automotive’s entrance finish to showcase the drive. To my frustration, the outside end does an incredible job of hiding grime and street grime, retaining its elegant look regardless of being correctly filthy.

One factor that’s exhausting to show via photographs is simply how big the Ghost really is. At 218.3 in lengthy and 84.6 in large, this luxurious sedan has a bigger footprint than a Chevy Tahoe with a large turning radius to match, even with all-wheel steering. Regardless of its measurement, every little thing on the Ghost is proportional, from the Pantheon grille up entrance to the 21-inch wheels, large home windows, and massive trunk. All its styling parts tie in properly, leading to an immediately recognizable form that appears equal components elegant and costly.

Whereas these 21-inch wheels could appear par for the course, they’re distinctive. That’s as a result of Rolls-Royce opted to present the Black Badge carbon fiber barrels. Primarily, they took 22 carbon fiber layers and folded them to create 44 complete layers. The light-weight wheels make sense on a supercar as they cut back unsprung mass. Nonetheless, in a 5,500-lb sedan, they don’t do a lot for the driving expertise. Regardless, they reveal consideration to element and nice use of composite supplies.

My tester’s exterior had only one main flaw, and that was the set of pink brake calipers. The colour clashed significantly with the flat grey end and the black and purple inside with no different pink parts anyplace on the automotive. They’d’ve accomplished the automotive properly in the event that they featured purple paint to match.

With photographs accomplished, it was time for extra gasoline. I scored a barely cheaper gasoline station this time, taking simply $61.12 to fill this large physique sedan up from a few half tank left. From there, I went to take a look at SF’s Millennium Tower, a 58-story skyscraper that’s slowly sinking on account of shady development, earlier than finally sticking the Ghost again into the storage for the night time, this time subsequent to a Mannequin S Plaid and a Mini Cooper JCW GP.

Day 3:


Because the solar rose on the third day, my San Francisco journey was coming to an finish. Whereas I liked the town, I used to be extra excited for the six-hour drive residence. At this level, I used to be totally enamored by the automotive, actively on the lookout for get-rich-quick schemes to have the ability to purchase one. Whereas I had pushed it via the mountains, an enormous metropolis, and the coast, I hadn’t had an opportunity to open it up and see the way it performs at greater speeds. With Apple Maps set to the center of nowhere, CA, we set off in direction of Los Angeles.

As quickly as we hit I-5 South, it was a ghost city with just a few large vans hugging the sluggish lane. I re-engaged “Low” mode and determined to place my foot down. Whereas the Black Badge and its 591 hp V12 have great energy, its supply is clean, progressive, and seemingly endless. Regardless of this large quantity on the sprint, the automotive’s wonderful sound isolation and suspension imply you don’t really feel the pace. My spouse didn’t even discover we crossed triple digits when often she’d holler if I went previous 65 mph.

After my spouse caught on to my tempo, I mellowed out and began poking across the inside. My tester featured a mixture of black leather-based with purple accents all through, a pleasant praise to the flat exterior grey end. Nonetheless, the star of the present is Rolls-Royce’s bespoke carbon fiber sample featured on the dashboard, middle console, door panels, and rear tray tables. As a substitute of adopting a typical carbon fiber weave, the British carmaker makes use of a diamond sample with metallic fibers. The result’s an inside that appears much less race-ready and extra sparkly and costly.

All the pieces you work together with inside this automotive options leather-based, carbon fiber, or steel. I couldn’t discover a single cheap-feeling floor on this inside. Regardless of its shut ties to BMW, Rolls-Royce does an important job of constructing even primary switches and buttons really feel as costly as they need to.

Because the thirsty Ghost started asking for extra go-juice, I encountered one of many unfavorable points of driving such an costly automotive. After stopping in a small gasoline station in the course of nowhere, I used to be approached by a number of sketchy characters, asking concerning the automotive, and consequently, for cash. To get out of there shortly, I stuffed up $72.12 price of 91 octane gasoline and stored it transferring. Up till this level, I had by no means felt unsafe behind the wheel of this $500,000 sedan. However in a cut up second, it grew to become clear that driving such a recognizable signal of wealth has its drawbacks.

Fortunately, as we rejoined the freeway, we had an uneventful remaining drive to Los Angeles, pulling into my neighborhood simply because the solar was setting. Regardless of one more lengthy day of driving, I nonetheless felt refreshed, as if I may’ve carried on for an additional six hours.

After three days, listed below are the stats:

  • Complete Distance: 1031.4 Miles
  • Common Velocity: 62.50 MPH
  • Gasoline Consumption 13.6 MPG
  • Gasoline Stops: 3
  • Complete Gasoline Value (est): $215 

After greater than 1,000 miles behind the wheel of the 2022 Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge, it’s clear that this automotive excels at strolling a positive line between a genuinely sporty sedan and a conventional luxurious land yacht. With its ominous aesthetic, sporty drive, and well-appointed tech-filled inside, this Ghost is extra Millennial than Boomer. 

As a 26-year-old born in an space the place the common family revenue hovers across the poverty line, I’m in no way this automotive’s audience. But someway, its enchantment is difficult to withstand. Whether or not it’s the attract of driving an immediately recognizable icon or a real appreciation for this automotive’s great engineering achievements, the Ghost Black Badge tugs at my heartstrings in the identical means an unique poster automotive does.

Oddly sufficient, the stats present that I’m not alone. The typical age for Rolls-Royce prospects has been plummeting as of late, from the mid-50s to the low 40s. With the addition of the Black Badge and extra younger millionaires than ever earlier than, I wouldn’t be shocked if that common age dipped into the 30s comparatively quickly.

No matter how previous you might be or which of Rolls-Royce’s 44,000 “able to put on” colours you select, in case your pockets are deep sufficient to afford one in every of these machines, don’t be afraid to place some severe miles on it. The Black Badge is sort of faultless as a street journey machine, delivering a driving expertise solely a $500,000 tremendous sedan can.

Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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