Whether you like the murdered-out or monochromatic look, there's plenty of choice this year.
Special edition cars, trucks, or SUVs with either blacked-out trim or that have been completely blacked out have been a regular fixture on the automotive landscape for years. It looked like we might be reaching peak blacked-out car in 2011 with the Fiat 500 Blackjack edition. However, it doesn't appear to be a fad and is here to stay, whether called a Black Edition, Midnight Edition, Dark Shadow, or, in Toyota's case, Nightshade Edition. These are our most recent favorite murdered out or monochromatic cars on the market directly from the automakers.
This is the most recent on the list, and only 600 are being made. The BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition has only one major option, and that's whether it comes as a six or a seven-seater. Under the hood is BMW's 523-horsepower turbocharged V8, and the chassis features air suspension, M Sport Brakes, differential, and a sport exhaust as standard. The color is BMW's Frozen Arctic Grey, while the majority of trims, including the grille, are finished in Shadowline gloss black. The exhaust tips are finished in black chrome, and the wheels are light-alloy 22-inch M V-spoke bicolor matte Jett Black.
Ram loves to put out special editions, and a Black Edition is a go-to. This one is for the supremely capable heavy-duty 3500 model, and gives the truck an even more intimidating look. The special edition only comes with the Limited trim and features black wheels, black highlights on the grille's exterior lettering, the headlight and taillight bezels, door handles, tow mirrors, and even the tow hooks. There's a choice between the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and two 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engines, and the dual-rear-wheel model comes with classic looking wheels with machine holes.
It's still not clear if the Audi e-Tron Black Edition will make it from Europe to America. If not, Audi will miss a trick as the e-tron looks like a car that suits black. The Black Edition is based on the S Line trim level, which comes jam-packed with Audi's latest technology and three electric motors that generate 496 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque between them. The anthracite black wheels match the black finished front and rear bumper inserts, window trims, roof rails, and door mirror surroundings. The Vorsprung package adds 22-inch alloy wheels from Audi Sport and Titanium Orange brake calipers for those seeking a little splash of color.
The Black Edition is available on the Honda Pilot and Ridgeline, but word has it that the recently refreshed CR-V will have one available soon. The new Honda CEO of North America, Dave Gardner, recently said: "Our SUVs are not perceived to be as rugged as we believe they are," and bringing the Black Edition to America should help that. It comes with black 18-inch aluminum wheels, body-colored door handles, and black-chrome accents on the window surrounds, rear bumper, and front grille bar. Inside, there's special edition badging, and because red and black are inherently cool when put together, red LED ambient interior lighting.
At the beginning of the decade, white cars with all black trim and wheels became a fad. You still see it occasionally, and when it's done right, the Star Wars stormtrooper color scheme can look great. Lexus has already given its Black Line Edition treatment to the IS and NX models, and now it's available for the 3.5-liter V6 powered Lexus GS 350 F Sport. The exterior color options are either Ultra White or Caviar paint, which is contrasted with Gloss Black F Sport wheels, a unique black rear spoiler, black mirror caps, and Gloss Black grille inserts. Inside, black is contrasted with red, and it comes with a custom Lexus Black Line Zero Halliburton luggage set.
The US is only getting the 2 Series Gran Coupe as the M235i xDrive model. That's one of the trims currently available in Europe, and we're hoping like hell the Black Shadow will come to the US. It's another car that looks like it suits the murdered-out look perfectly. The M235i xDrive Black Shadow still has 302 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque going to all four wheels, but it gets M Performance styling and Sapphire Black metallic paint. The black trim comes from the BMW Individual High-Gloss Shadow Line package grouping, and it rides on 19-inch style 552 M Sport bicolor wheels. Inside, it's all black apart from blue contrast stitching.
The new Toyota 86 Black Limited edition looks like it's a swan song for the current generation of the 86. It pays homage to the 1986 Toyota AE86 Black Limited model with its black exterior and gold wheels. There's still no engine upgrade, so the Black Limited again comes with the four-cylinder boxer engine making 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. However, along with black paint, it gets 17-inch bronze wheels over ventilated Brembo brakes, SACHS shock absorbers, new underbody enhancements to help improve airflow, and a trunk lid spoiler to help over-body aerodynamics. Toyota hasn't forgotten that the AE86 Black Limited came with a pinstripe, so the 86 can be optioned with a gold one. Inside, it's all black with bronze accents.
If you can splash out on a Rolls-Royce, you've made it financially, and we hope you're happy. However, when someone pulls up to you in a Black Badge model, they have a bigger bank account. You can tell, because, in this case, their Cullinan is going to be decked out with anything from carbon fiber to diamonds, and any other exotic material they wanted. Of course, anyone can have a black Rolls-Royce, but you'll know this one is special because it has infinity symbol badging, which references Sir Malcolm Campbell's record-breaking Rolls-Royce-powered Blue Bird K3 hydroplane. It'll also be riding on 22-inch forged alloy wheels, specially created for the Black Badge Cullinan, and be able to accelerate away from the stoplight faster, as the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 gets a new total of 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
Chevrolet uses the word "sinister" to describe the Silverado Midnight Edition, and that's the perfect word. It can be optioned on the LT Trail Boss or Custom Trail Boss trim, and it's not just an appearance package. Chevrolet adds the Z71 Off-Road Package with an extra 2-inch suspension lift, Rancho mono-tube off-road shocks, an automatic rear-locking diff, skid plates, and black 18-inch wheels wrapped in off-road rubber. Everything is then blacked out except for the red tow hooks. The LT Trail Boss Midnight Edition is only available with the 6.2L V8, while the Custom Trail Boss version has the option of a 5.3-liter V8 or the 6.2-liter V8.
Toyota is working on giving the Avalon a new image that doesn't conjure up cream-colored slacks and trips to Hometown Buffet with the grandkids. The Nightshade Edition has been applied to other Toyota vehicles, but we particularly like it on the Avalon. Blacked out parts include the unique badges, spoiler, mirror cap, door handles, window trim, and includes 19-inch black alloy wheels. It replaces the XSE trim level, which was the sportiest trim until the TRD version came along. For the full murdered-out look, you can choose the Midnight Black paint, but Wind Chill Pearl and Celestial Silver is also available.