Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow celebrates Wraith – the most powerful Rolls-Royce in history. Limited to just 12 examples worldwide, the collection marks the end of production of one of the most significant cars ever made at Goodwood, and includes the last V12 coupés Rolls-Royce will ever make.
To mark the end of the Wraith era, Rolls-Royce designers and engineers took inspiration for the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection from the Rolls-Royce V12 ‘R’ Series aero engine. In 1938, Captain George Eyston set a world land speed record of 357.497 mph (575.335 km/h) with Thunderbolt, a seven-tonne, eight-wheeled vehicle equipped with two Rolls-Royce V12 ‘R’ Series aero engines. Thunderbolt set a new world record mark on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. With its polished aluminium body reflecting light everywhere it was almost impossible to catch exactly when it crossed past the timing equipment. Eyston’s solution was to paint a large black arrow on the car’s sides, incorporating a yellow central circle motif that could be seen clearly even at high speed. This is what gives today’s Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection its name.
Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow’s exclusive Bespoke finish features a full color graduation between two tones – Celebration Silver and Black Diamond. A glass-infused ‘Crystal’ paint over layer has been applied to the Black Diamond paint to boost the transition between the two colors. This exclusive Bespoke technique also gives the coachwork a subtle texture inspired by the crusted surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats. 18 months of surface testing and development were needed to create this extraordinary finish. The total investment in time developing the material chemistry, application technique and surface finishing makes Gradient Paint one of the most technically complex paints that Rolls-Royce has ever created.
Contrast to the Gradient Paint is provided by Bright Yellow bumper inserts and Bespoke wheel pinstripes. Black Arrow’s V-struts, positioned behind the radiator grille and in front of the engine, are also finished in Bright Yellow. This use of Bright Yellow extends to the base of the motor car’s layered carbon fibre Spirit of Ecstasy, which incorporates a Bright Yellow ring detail.
Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow’s fascia is decorated with a unique artwork. 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 show the gleaming metal beneath. The coach doors are lined with open-pore Black Wood, in a complex design comprising over 320 multi-directional and lasered marquetry pieces that mimics the cracked, irregular surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Black Arrow’s interior features a new material type developed specifically for the Collection. The armrests, seat gussets, transmission tunnel, door detail, door panniers and lower dashboard panel are all finished in ‘Club Leather’ – its sheen and deep black coloration provide a subtle contrast to the matte Rolls-Royce natural-grain black leather. The leather’s natural markings are intentionally emphasised to give the interior more visible ‘life lines’. Bright Yellow can be seen on the front seat leather. Atop the seat, the outer headrest features an arrow embroidery motif.
Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow’s Bespoke Starlight Headliner features 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. The Headliner also shows the constellations as they would have appeared over the Salt Flats in Utah on 16 September 1938, the date of Eyston’s record.
The fascia clock bezel references the raw, technical aesthetic of Thunderbolt’s interior, enhanced by black hand-tips that mimic the originalcar’s side-arrows; the surround is inscribed with the legend ‘Bonneville’ and Thunderbolt’s everlasting record speed for a V12-engined car of 357.497 mph.
The entire Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Collection has been sold to clients around the world.
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