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

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

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

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 superb 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 check, 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 certainly one of these vehicles offers its drivers lower than 3,000 miles to drive per 12 months, I wasn’t very hopeful I’d get a optimistic response. Nonetheless, to my shock, Rolls-Royce agreed and scheduled me into certainly one 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 12 months, 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 suitable automobile for the job.

The Automobile:


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 typical 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 automobile’s ominous darkish end. The primary advantage of this new course of is that there’s no paint to chip away by time, a should since this Ghost has black chrome seemingly on each floor.

Essentially the most vital 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 enhance over the usual Ghost. To take advantage of out of this added muscle, Rolls-Royce offers its Black Badge fashions “Low” mode. Basically, that is the model’s equal of a sport mode, providing you with sooner 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 prime pace of 155 mph. To maintain this pace in examine, the Black Badge carries over the usual Ghost’s monumental brakes whereas adopting bigger air springs that may stiffen sufficient to assist mitigate physique roll.

With all its vital 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 rapidly shot as much as an as-tested value of $492,250.

The Route:

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Setting off from my dwelling in Pasadena, I had three routes to select from, two of which took me by the center of nowhere, CA. After about 10 seconds of inner dialogue, I picked the US-101 North as my manner up, taking in loads of mountain passes and ocean views alongside the way in which, 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 resort in downtown San Francisco.

The best way again can be a lot easier. Forgoing all prettiness, I selected I-5 South as my manner dwelling. Whereas its views can 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 whole, the chosen route would take roughly 12 hours and 35 minutes with a complete distance of 818 miles. Nonetheless, with numerous stops for meals, pictures, and filming, I managed to rack up a complete of 1031.4 miles over three days. Whereas it’s protected to say I used to be the one individual placing that many miles on a Rolls-Royce over these three days, it turned clear that the majority 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 monumental trunk crammed 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. Dwelling in LA, it’s simple to get used to only how dangerous the roads are. You study to dodge the largest potholes whereas accepting {that a} bumpy trip is inevitable. Fortunately, the Ghost was not involved with even vital imperfections. Initially, I used to be apprehensive 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 rapidly 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 nearly unattainable to not really feel comfy within the Ghost’s huge entrance chairs. If that’s not fancy sufficient, my tester additionally had the therapeutic massage function, 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 superb 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 choose 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 beneficial properties a shocking quantity of urgency. Slam your foot down, and the Ghost picks up pace so rapidly that the rear-end squats significantly, pointing the Spirit of Ecstasy to the sky. Moreover, whereas the bigger air springs desperately try to hold physique roll in examine, there’s no stopping the lateral motion of a 5,500-lb sedan with out spoiling the trip, so I’m glad Rolls-Royce didn’t. It leans significantly, but it surely’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 tons of of small farms. At this level, I made a decision to have interaction the Ghost’s adaptive cruise management function, set on the closest following distance attainable. As visitors started to choose up all through the day, this technique’s tuning started to shine, rushing up with restrained throttle utility whereas evenly tapping the brakes to decelerate, preserving the automobile’s comfy driving expertise.

Whereas Rolls-Royce’s interpretation of BMW’s iDrive system is great, I caught with the obtainable wi-fi Apple CarPlay choice. The 12.3-in display screen was a spotlight, delivering punchy colours through a really high-definition touchscreen show. Whereas I preferred interacting with it through contact, the rotary dial within the middle console is healthier 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 a substitute.

Because the 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 by 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, probably 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 function referred to as “Activation Therapeutic massage,” which, as its title suggests, applies stress to activate your varied 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 resort had assured me of secured valet parking, I observed that, like most resorts, they go away their most costly vehicles upfront. Since I used to be liable for my close to $500,000 tester, I made a decision to not danger leaving it exterior in a single day. As a substitute, I referred to as a buddy who lived close by and parked the automobile 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 pictures of it. Naturally, the Golden Gate Bridge was the highest location on my listing. A bit primary? Certain, however a basic, nonetheless. Whereas this was the shortest driving day of the three, it was the primary time I lastly received a superb have a look at the automobile 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” colour choices, though they’ll paint your automobile in no matter colour you may consider.

After snapping a few pictures, my tune on the colour modified dramatically. Whereas the automobile 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 automobile’s entrance finish to showcase the drive. To my frustration, the outside end does an incredible job of hiding filth and street grime, retaining its elegant look regardless of being correctly filthy.

One factor that’s onerous to show by pictures is simply how large the Ghost really is. At 218.3 in lengthy and 84.6 in huge, 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 dimension, every part on the Ghost is proportional, from the Pantheon grille up entrance to the 21-inch wheels, huge home windows, and large trunk. All its styling components tie in properly, leading to an immediately recognizable form that appears equal components elegant and costly.

Whereas these 21-inch wheels could seem par for the course, they’re distinctive. That’s as a result of Rolls-Royce opted to present the Black Badge carbon fiber barrels. Basically, they took 22 carbon fiber layers and folded them to create 44 whole 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 exhibit consideration to element and nice use of composite supplies.

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

With pictures 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 because 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 dwelling. At this level, I used to be totally enamored by the automobile, actively on the lookout for get-rich-quick schemes to have the ability to purchase one. Whereas I had pushed it by the mountains, a giant metropolis, and the coast, I hadn’t had an opportunity to open it up and see the way it performs at larger speeds. With Apple Maps set to the center of nowhere, CA, we set off in the direction of Los Angeles.

As quickly as we hit I-5 South, it was a ghost city with only some 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 super energy, its supply is easy, progressive, and seemingly unending. Regardless of this large quantity on the sprint, the automobile’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 automobile options leather-based, carbon fiber, or metallic. 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 creating 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 adverse elements of driving such an costly automobile. After stopping in a small gasoline station in the course of nowhere, I used to be approached by a number of sketchy characters, asking in regards to the automobile, and consequently, for cash. To get out of there rapidly, I crammed up $72.12 value of 91 octane gasoline and stored it shifting. 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 turned 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 yet 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 here are the stats:

  • Whole Distance: 1031.4 Miles
  • Common Pace: 62.50 MPH
  • Gas Consumption 13.6 MPG
  • Gas Stops: 3
  • Whole Gas 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 automobile excels at strolling a effective 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 automobile’s audience. But someway, its attraction is tough to withstand. Whether or not or not it’s the attract of driving an immediately recognizable icon or a real appreciation for this automobile’s super engineering achievements, the Ghost Black Badge tugs at my heartstrings in the identical manner an unique poster automobile does.

Oddly sufficient, the stats present that I’m not alone. The common 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 stunned if that common age dipped into the 30s comparatively quickly.

No matter how outdated 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 certainly one 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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