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The Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost is elegant proof that sedans can be subversive

Like former Conservative leader Michael Howard, there’s something of the night about the latest derivative of the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Not that the patrons to whom it is addressed will have any idea who Lord Howard is. The Black Badge is aimed at the under 40-year-old clientele of the 117-year-old mega-brand. Especially those who identify as troublemakers.

If you had visited the house of a Rolls-Royce owner a decade ago and asked for directions to the toilet, he would have told you: “Down the hall, past Monet and away from Picasso,” remembers the floor plan of one of the penthouses other Tory peers. But as far as the Black Badge gang goes, at least, it’s more likely that the owner’s art collection is in the form of a digital wallet full of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They oppose streetwear suits and use blockchain, not banks.

To underline this, the launch of the Black Badge Ghost coincided with an NFT commission. Mason London (AKA Joe Prytherch), a leading artist in the genre, has created an animated work depicting the new Rolls parked on a west coast street next to Spirit Sushi and Ecstasy Records; nods to the car’s iconic winged ornament. We were told this could become the most valuable NFT yet (current record: a staggering £ 50.5 million).

Why do NFTs change hands for hundreds of thousands, sometimes tens of millions of pounds? It is a mystery to this author. But with the Black Badge Ghost, you can see where the money was spent. It’s a wonderful thing, inside, outside, even underneath. The way this big, heavy car drives and drives is nothing short of witchcraft. It is twice as heavy as a McLaren and reaches 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. The materials are beyond imagination. How much is it? Rolls-Royce won’t even tell you – not until it’s fully equipped, anyway. There is no starting price. So it’s tailor-made.

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