Rolls-Royce has another special edition for stargazing types who might not have the schedules to stay up all night stargazing. Called the Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan “Blue Shadow” Private Collection, its design honors the nebulous area where Earth’s atmosphere ends and so-called “outer space” begins. Since the edges of our planetary terrarium blend into space, there’s no useful coloring-book-like boundary. The International Aeronautics Federation uses an arbitrary height called the Karman line, which Hungarian engineer and physicist Theodore von Karman decided would be 100 kilometers above Earth because that’s around where the last traces of aerodynamic lift petered out, giving way to “astronautics.” The Cullinan Blue Shadow is a canvas for artistic representation of the Karman line and what lies beyond.
The deep blue exterior color signifies the atmosphere’s upper layers where the blackness of space suffuses the blue of our daytime skies. Contrasting satin jewelry in the front fascia suggests the silica and aluminum oxide whitewash applied to the thermal protection tiles on craft like NASA’s Space Shuttle. The Spirit of Ecstasy was produced in 3D-printed titanium coated in a blue-tinted lacquer, the base inscribed with “Blue Shadow Private Collection.” The Cullinan’s 22-inch wheels are also dressed in a lacquer layer for dark translucence.
Inside, the starlight headliner’s been decorated with an embroidered moon composed of five colors, each color sewn in with a different technique and texture. The headliner’s 799 white LEDs and 384 blue LEDs create a field of stars for Luna, Rolls-Royce engineers tweaking the twinkling effect in the LEDs “for an even more enchanting glow.” The painted instrument panel and door cards transition from black up high to dark and then light blue below. Six layers of colors combine five blues with a black, providing another kind of twinkle thanks to blue and clear glass particles in the clearcoat. The Private Collection clock comes with blue anodized details and an engraved “Blue Shadow.”
The artwork created in the seats is a first for Rolls-Royce. Each seat’s been perforated more than 75,000 times in a pattern representing the Earth as seen from space. That view matches that on the Piano Black picnic tables in the front seatbacks, the tables bearing the inscription “The Blue Shadow occurs at the outer extremes of our world, affording an extraordinary perspective, and the ability to touch the stars” under a glass sparkle finish.
You might have a better chance of approaching the Karman line than the Black Badge Cullinan Blue Shadow. Rolls-Royce is producing 62 of them, one for each mile between Earth and the line, and all are sold.