Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recently unveiled the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow, marking the end of production of one of the most transformative motor cars in the marque’s history.
This Bespoke masterpiece, limited to just 12 examples worldwide, is also the last V12 coupé Rolls-Royce will ever make, as it embarks on its bold new electric era.
Let’s explore the features that make this limited-edition car so exceptional.
Wraith: A Cultural Icon
Launched in 2013, the Wraith is one of the most significant and influential models ever designed and built at Goodwood. Its extraordinary power, performance, and presence opened the Rolls–Royce brand to an entirely new group of clients.
Wraith’s wider cultural significance is underlined by countless references to it in music, cinema, art, and fashion. It fundamentally altered perceptions of Rolls–Royce and brought new, younger customer groups to the brand for the first time.
The V12 Connection
Wraith’s dynamic ‘fastback’ silhouette signalled the motor car’s dynamic intent, which was further amplified in 2016 with the introduction of Black Badge Wraith, a potent, subversive, and even more powerful expression of this transformative motor car, offering some of the highest levels of performance ever achieved by a V12-powered Rolls–Royce.
Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow: A Fitting Finale
As the last examples of this landmark motor car get ready to leave Goodwood, Rolls–Royce designers and engineers drew inspiration from the V12-powered land speed record-holding Thunderbolt of the thirties to create the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection.
This magnificent final V12 coupé collection captures both the significance and spirit of Wraith through the marque’s hallmark and peerless Bespoke capabilities.
The Black Arrow’s exclusive Bespoke finish features a full-colour graduation between two tones, Celebration Silver, and Black Diamond. A glass-infused ‘Crystal’ paint overlayer has been applied to the Black Diamond paint to enhance the transition between the two colours, achieving a striking motion blur effect from front to rear.
This exclusive Bespoke technique also gives the coachwork a subtle texture inspired by the crusted surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats, set beneath a high gloss lacquer, which is polished for more than 12 hours to achieve a glass-like finish.
The Bright Yellow bumper inserts and Bespoke wheel pinstripes contrast with the Gradient Paint, subtly recalling the yellow circle within Thunderbolt’s black arrow.
In another Rolls–Royce first, Black Arrow’s V-struts, located behind the radiator grille and in front of the engine, are also finished in Bright Yellow, subtly drawing the eye to the V12 engine behind the Black Badge dark chrome grille surround.
V12 Legacy Fascia
To commemorate Rolls–Royce’s last-ever V12 coupé, the marque’s Bespoke Collective of designers, craftspeople, and engineers collaborated to create a unique artwork for Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow’s fascia.
The intricate, tactile design skilfully depicts the contemporary V12 engine in Wraith.
The highly complex design is engraved in a single sheet of black-coated aluminium to reveal the gleaming metal beneath, providing a bold visual link to Thunderbolt’s polished aluminium body.
Black Arrow’s coach doors are lined with open-pore Black Wood in a complex design that mimics the cracked, irregular surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats, comprising over 320 multi-directional and lasered marquetry pieces.
This extraordinary feature also extends onto the rear ‘Waterfall’ panel, which separates the two rear seats. The open-pore Black Wood is accented with Bright Yellow elements, such as the door panniers and the lower dashboard panel.
The Black Arrow’s console speed form pays homage to Thunderbolt’s analogue instruments of the 1930s.
Its final shape, in which it captured the records commemorated in Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow, is preserved forever in the illuminated, polished aluminium Speedform encapsulated behind glass on the front console.
New ‘Club’ Leather
The armrests, seat gussets, transmission tunnel, door detail, door panniers, and lower dashboard panel of the Black Arrow’s interior are finished in a new material type developed specifically for the Collection. The ‘Club Leather’ provides a subtle contrast to the matte Rolls–Royce natural-grain black leather, with its intentional greater sheen and even deeper black colouration.
The leather’s natural markings are intentionally emphasized to give the interior more visible ‘lifelines,’ resembling the ‘club-armchair type of driving seat which George Eyston prefers above all others.’
Bright Yellow is employed for the front seat leather, with the outer headrest featuring an arrow embroidery motif.
A dark marking at the twelve o’clock position aligns with a similar pattern in the seats when the steering wheel is set in a straight-ahead position.
This references the black lines Eyston’s team painted on the white Salt Flats to help him maintain direction – his sole point of reference at speeds of over 350 mph.
In recognition of the significance of this marking, this track guide flows in a deliberately asymmetric line from the steering wheel to the driver’s and rear passengers’ seats.
Black Arrow incorporates a record of its own, given Thunderbolt’s record-breaking status. Casting a dramatic night’s-sky ambience over the interior suite, Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow’s Bespoke Starlight Headliner incorporates 2,117 fibre-optic ‘stars’ – the greatest number ever seen in a Rolls–Royce motor car.
All individually arranged by hand, the ‘stars’ depict the Milky Way as seen from vast open spaces, and the constellations precisely as they would have appeared over the Salt Flats in Utah on 16 September 1938, the date of Eyston’s final, immutable record.
Black Arrow Clock and Engine Badge
The Black Arrow’s fascia clock bezel references the raw, technical aesthetic of Thunderbolt’s interior. Its surround is inscribed with the legend ‘Bonneville’ and Thunderbolt’s everlasting record speed for a V12-engined car of 357.497 mph.
An exclusive Bespoke plaque is mounted on the engine cover to signify this as the last V12 ever to be fitted to a Rolls–Royce coupé.
Machined from a single piece of polished metal, the plaque is inscribed with the V12 monogram in Bright Yellow, and the legend ‘Final Coupé Collection’ in Black.
The Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection captures the spirit and significance of the Wraith era and Thunderbolt’s land speed record.
The Bespoke masterpiece is a fitting tribute to the end of an era, representing the culmination of many long years of achievement. With its hallmark and peerless Bespoke capabilities, it embodies the Rolls–Royce brand’s commitment to excellence.
The limited edition has been allocated to clients around the world, and with only 12 examples worldwide, it is a rare and exclusive masterpiece.