Rolls-Royce’s murdered-out Dawn Black Badge is fit for Cruella de Vil

Traditionalists argue a Rolls-Royce should have beige leather upholstery and real wood trim on the dashboard. Customer tastes are changing, though, and the BMW-owned British company is evolving with them. The new Dawn Black Badge is a more contemporary spin on the exquisite Rolls experience designed to dazzle younger one-percenters.

The Dawn is the third member of the Rolls-Royce family to get the Black Badge treatment, after the Wraith and the Ghost. As you’d expect, the model is only available in a deep shade of black that has been painstakingly hand-polished. The convertible top, too, is only available in black, and the rear deck is upholstered with black leather. Do you notice a pattern yet?

The iconic Spirit of Ecstasy emblem is finished in dark chrome, as is much of the trim that’s usually shiny on the regular, non-dark Dawn. Turn the headlights off, and you might not see this drop-top when it’s pitch black outside.

Rolls-Royce created a brand-new material for the dashboard. Its Bespoke division wove tiny threads of aircraft-grade aluminum and bonded them in carbon fiber. Six coats of lacquer are applied before each part is left to dry for three entire days. In the world of automotive trim, that’s about as meticulous as it gets.

The trim parts show just how much attention Rolls-Royce paid to every minute detail as it was designing the Black Badge. If you’re not convinced, look at the air vents on the dashboard. They’re darker than usual, and an advanced surfacing method ensures they’ll never discolor or tarnish, which is important in a convertible destined to spend quite a bit of time tanning topless.

It’s not all about looks: Rolls-Royce tweaked the engine, too. The stock Dawn’s twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 now belts out 593 horsepower and a mighty 619 pound-feet of torque. All that power is transferred to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The list of mechanical upgrades also includes bigger brakes and a quicker steering rack.

“[Black Badge] is an alter-ego for our marque that captivates the disrupters, the innovators, and those that accept no limitations,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Otvos said in a statement.

Buyers can already order (or commission, in Rolls-Royce-speak) the Dawn Black Badge. Gerry Spahn, the head of Rolls-Royce’s communications department, told Digital Trends the package adds $50,000 to the Dawn’s base price before other options are factored in. That means pricing starts at about $370,000.

Updated by Ronan Glon: Added pricing information.

Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.