We all knew this day would come. Rolls-Royce has long announced its intentions to carry an entirely electric portfolio by 2030, with its first steps toward that future coming by way of the Spectre.
Naturally, that means its gas-powered models have to go. Say your goodbye to the Wraith, the performance-focused successor to the Phantom and Ghost.
The now-iconic car was first launched in 2013, boasting heftier performance specs like a V12 engine under the hood as a way of appealing to contemporary drivers who prefer to – well, do their own driving. And it worked, too, as the brand says the Wraith “fundamentally altered perceptions of Rolls-Royce and brought new, younger customer groups to the brand for the first time”.
So it’s only proper that the British marque send off their baby with a bang. Enter the mouthful of a special-edition send-off, the stunning Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow collection.
Related: Rolls-Royce unveils a bespoke Phantom inspired by high fashion
A throwback to Rolls-Royce’s long and storied legacy
The stark yellow-on-black hues characteristic of the special collection Wraiths are a throwback to an “equally significant V12 in Rolls-Royce’s long and storied legacy”.
The car in question is the world land speed record-setting Thunderbolt, which achieved this feat in 1938 with Captain George Eyston at the helm. The daredevil guided the Thunderbolt, equipped with two massive ‘R’ series aero engines to a shattering 575.335kmh land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah that’s yet to be topped with a similar engine configuration.
The sheer speed of the Thunderbolt, combined with its polished aluminium body, made it nigh impossible to accurately gauge when it crossed the finish line, especially with the glare of the desert sun overhead. The stunning simple solution – slap on a large black arrow and yellow circle motif that was easy to spot at high speed.
A vibrant burst of yellow on the seats
The Black Arrow coupes celebrate that stunning achievement with an exclusive gradient-like finish that took 18 months to perfect. It graduates dramatically from silver (dubbed Celebration Silver) to ochre (Black Diamond) with a special glass-infused layer to give it a motion-blur-esque pop.
As promised, contrast is provided with yellow bumper inserts, wheel pinstripes and even the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.
Within, the Rolls signature Starlight Headliner for the Black Arrow collection each incorporates 2,117 fibre-optic stars, all arranged by hand. According to the brand, this is “the greatest number ever seen in a Rolls-Royce motor car”.
Other visual details that call back to the Thunderbolt include a bespoke engraving of the Wraith’s contemporary V12 engine on a single-sheet of black-coated aluminium for the car’s fascia. Marks on the steering wheel and the dashboard clock reference other parts of the historic feat like the arrow (painted on the side of the Thunderbolt) and the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Only a dozen of these cars will ever be made – and they’ve all already been spoken for prior to launch.