The World went crazy over a car which was unveiled at Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, Italy, the Rolls Royce Sweptail, possibly the most expensive car on the planet! To put things into perspective, it would cost around INR 83 crores or 47 million UAE Dirhams! You could buy 4 Bugatti Chirons for that price or you can fill your garage with the most exotic supercars in the world of your choice! Even the non-car guys around the world are awestruck thinking about the price tag and the features the car has on offer. As a brand, Rolls Royce never think about the price, nor do they compare price with the features they offer. It’s always about world class luxury with well refined materials, right from the lamb’s wool floor mat.
What is Black Badge?
Rolls Royce unveiled their new sub brand, the Black Badge at the Geneva Motor Show. The Black Badge transforms the characteristics of Dawn (unveiled last week), Ghost and Wraith and is expected to suit a younger audience that’s looking a badass Rolls Royce! The Black Badge is not a conventional performance sub-brand like BMW M or AMG. Combining sinister graphic novel aesthetics with fine Rolls-Royce materials and subtle performance tuning, Black Badge is the world’s first bad-ass sub-brand.
Rolls Royce. . .
For me, the best place after my mother’s lap, is inside the Rolls
Rolls Royce cars are special as we all know. I’ve driven them all: the Ghost, Dawn and now the Wraith. The Ghost and Dawn do have enough power on tap, but even when you smash on the throttle, you will experience serenity! The two and half ton mammoth will project frontwards with a pitch and by the time you blink, the speedo needle will be on triple digits! Rolls Royce cars have given a completely serene experience to the world, the sound of nothingness, majestic road presence and a lot more. For me, the best place after my mother’s lap, is inside the Rolls. Such is the smoothness, such is the kind of comfort, and such is the calmness. I think people will tend to live longer if they spend the better half of their lives travelling in a Rolls Royce! Not because of the number of airbags, but because of the calmness you feel when you are inside! Go for a drive in a Rolls Royce and the result will be a clearer and calmer you; and when you step out, you will look as though you have just finished your meditation!
Spirit of Ecstasy
On all the Black Badge models, the legendary Spirit of Ecstasy ornament comes in high gloss black which replicates sportier performance, which is the theme of the Black Badge. The darker Spirit of Ecstasy matches well with the new silver-on-black Double R badge on the front.
How black is the Wraith Black Badge?
The black definitely has to be special on the Black Badge. Isn’t it? The black paint on the Black Badge is made out of multiple layers of paint and lacquer which is repeatedly hand polished to bring out the best and most intense black ever in a production car!
How does it look?
It definitely looks solid with a square-shouldered silhouette which exudes masculinity. The strong shoulder along with the most intense black makes the Wraith Black Badge stand out of the crowd. When this ship glides through the fast lane, that masculine dark front end scares the driver of the car ahead and he immediately gives way! Yes Sir, at your disposal! It happened all the time when I was driving around Dubai.
All I can tell you is the Wraith Black Badge is gorgeous as hell!
Four years for the Wheels. . .
Yes! The juicy 21-inch rims are made up of 22 layers of carbon-fibre folded to form 44 layers on the edges which took four years to develop.
Do we have wood inside?
No! (Yes, you read it right) We don’t get wood inside a Rolls Royce for the first time! While that is what the Black Badge is all about; distinctive yet intimidating. The centrepiece of the Black Badge cabin is the aerospace-grade aluminium-threaded carbon fibre instead of your Uncle’s favourite woods.[caption id="attachment_4576" align="aligncenter" width="960"] DCIM100GOPROGOPR0130.JPG[/caption]
Those reverse hinged doors will allow ingress to the rear seats when the front seats are slightly brought forward. As in the regular Wraith, we have acres of space at the rear and obviously, let’s not forget that this is still a Rolls Royce where the best is to get chauffeured.
Headliner. Power of Bespoke.
The power of bespoke is that everything is customisable. That is how the Sweptail came into life. The starlight headliner can be built to illuminate the night sky. It is a Black Badge, after all – everything replicates the night.
Wraith Black Badge – Big Numbers
Wraith; the most powerful Rolls Royce ever! Yes the Wraith is powered by a 6.6-litre Twin Turbo V12! The Wraith has a peak power of 624bhp and 870Nm (additional 70Nm from regular Wraith) of torque. 624 horses under the hood to unleash enough power to move this two and a half ton mammoth! Well, if you calculate, it is 264bhp/ton. More power comes more responsibility; the brakes are buffed up, gaining an extra inch on the front discs.
Rolls Royce has heavily worked on the 8-speed transmission. The more aggressively you apply the throttle, the more responsive the transmission becomes, holding gears to high revs rather than shifting early. If you want to get a bit wild, press the LOW button on the delicate shift lever in order to execute a spine-chilling launch control! Hold the brakes with your left foot and stomp on the throttle and yes, the cars moves forward with smoking rear tyres.
Into the corners and the feel is quite different from what you expect from a limousine. The corner balance and overall body control is impressive. Driving it on LOW mode (RR refuse to call it SPORT) around the twisty roads of Jebel Jais will leave the driver in awe to think how sporty the car is. After all don’t forget that the Wraith Black Badge isn’t a performance car and it still weights over two and a half tons.
Wraith Black Badge. Do you love it?
The Wraith Black Badge might not be a performance car, but this is not your regular Rolls Royce. This will not be appreciated by those expecting a lavish wooden interior and for the first time, the silent V12 engine rumbles. This is more like an ‘Oh shit, look at that’ kind a car which will attract rich youngsters out there who will be wondering whether they should burn rubber in a 624bhp Wraith or the 700bhp Bentley the next day!
|Type||6.6 Litre V12 Twin Turbo Petrol|
|Power||624bhp @ 5250rpm|
|Torque||870Nm @ 1500-5000rpm|
|Layout||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Price||AED 1.6 million|
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After the F-Type Project 7 and Range Rover SVR, the XE SV Project 8 is the latest offering from the Special Vehicle Operations division in its three years of existence.
It looks outrageous, to say the least. Massive air intakes in the aggressively-styled front bumper, pumped-up wheel arches, a rear diffuser, titanium quad exhausts, a menacingly large spoiler, sideskirts, F1-like silicon-nitride ceramic wheel bearings, 20-inch wheels give this super-saloon the pedigree it needs. Most of the parts on the car have been replaced with carbon-fibre, except for the front doors and the roof that are aluminium.
Step inside, and it's bound to take your breath away. Opting for the Track Pack will have Jaguar chuck the rear seats and have a roll cage fitted, making the car lighter by 12.2kgs. Up-front, there are now bucket seats in place of the regular ones, while the goodies on the dashboard stay intact. A Meridian audio system comes as standard and a 12.3-inch TFT instrument binnacle display is all-new. Behind the steering, you will note the aluminium paddle-shifters.
Under the bonnet sits a 5.0-litre, supercharged V8 that makes 592bhp and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The fully variable all-wheel-drive setup has been altered in order to divide more torque to the rear wheels than the F-Type Project 7. And thanks to JLR's electronically-controlled differential, the power is shared across the rear axle. The suspensions at the front and rear remain the same, but have been tweaked to suit this beast. Ceramic brakes will come as standard. The 0-100 sprint is dealt with in just 3.3 seconds, with a top speed of 321kph.
At Rs 1.27 crores, the XE Project 8 is really expensive - and the biggest party-pooper? It's being sold only as a left-hand-drive across the world; yes - all 300 of which will be made.
A puzzle for you:
A chicken farmer has figured out that a hen and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half. How many hens does the farmer need to produce one dozen eggs in six days?
Hard to crack? Well. That was how the GST felt to me when it was announced!
Under the previous tax structure, different states had different taxes like Excise Duty, VAT, CST, etc, few were direct & many were indirect. So, price for the same product in different states was different and if I were to calculate the price, I’d rather solve the puzzle.
Goods & Services Tax (GST) aims to do away with this discrepancy in prices under a uniform, countrywide tax, so prices will be uniform across the country. Thousands of goods and services were listed under various GST slabs, viz., 0%, 5%, 8%, 12%, 18%, 28%, 28%+cess.
We, as car nuts, aren’t worried about idly / dosa, but the impact GST in India on automobiles!
Simply put, the impact is ‘positive’. Contrary to our expectations, the taxes have gone down in most segments and all passenger vehicles including Two Wheelers, Cars & SUVs are now uniform at 28%. There is always a debate that larger vehicles take more resources to be produced, take up more space, and pollute more; same case with Diesels also.
The Solution? CESS!
For those of you exclaiming “Another Tax?”, we have made a chart of the revised tax structure for Two Wheelers and Cars.
While two wheelers with engine capacities more than 350cc are seeing a marginal hike of taxes of 1%, Hybrid cars see a tax hike of 12.7% which contradicts the government’s objective to achieve 100% electric mobility by 2030. We think this contradiction should be reconsidered.
Before you jump with happiness that the prices will go down on your purchase, we would like to remind you that the Road Tax is not covered under GST and there is a hike in tax slab of insurance to 18%.
So, will there be any other impact to the automotive sector? One of the biggest factors influencing the automotive sector is logistics. It is estimated that almost 40% of transit time of the trucks are spent at inter-state check posts. With GST, this process will be eliminated which will result in lesser turn-around-times. This may not have a direct impact on the price of the vehicle immediately but the impact would be positive on the ease of operations front.
So, we assume, on-road prices will more or less remain the same. Expect revised price announcements from all manufacturers shortly. Also keep in mind that there will be an increase in maintenance owing to the hike in the cost of spares and services.
It isn’t about buying an elephant, it’s about feeding it daily! Happy GST!
Oh! And the answer for the Puzzle: The farmer will need 3 hens to produce 12 eggs in 6 days.