Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Arrow revealed as V12 coupe finale
The limited-run Wraith Black Arrow is the last ever V12-powered Rolls-Royce coupe
As Rolls-Royce gears up for customer deliveries of its all-electric Spectre, the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow marks the end of the line for its combustion-powered coupes. Launched a decade since Wraith production began, the new model features numerous bespoke elements to reference the 357mph Rolls-Royce ‘Thunderbolt’ land speed record car of 1938. Just twelve examples will be produced.
The Thunderbolt was also powered by a V12 (albeit a Rolls-Royce 'R' Series aero engine), and the new model pays homage to its design both inside and out. With the Thunderbolt’s polished aluminium body making it near-impossible to tell when it passed timing equipment, driver George Eyston painted a black arrow down its sides, incorporating a yellow circle that could be seen even at high speed.
In reference to this, the Wraith Black Arrow is finished in a striking gradient paint finish, blending Celebration Silver and Black Diamond with a ‘glass-infused paint over layer’ to achieve a motion blur effect – this technique took 18 months to develop. In contrast to this, the lower air intakes, wheels and V-struts behind the radiator grille are finished in Bright Yellow, with its carbonfibre Spirit of Ecstasy also incorporating a yellow ring.
The black and yellow theme continues inside, with the front seats trimmed in bold yellow leather, contrasting with the black leather in the rear – also new for the Black Arrow is distressed ‘Club Leather’, designed to emphasise the material’s natural texture. Between the front seats is an illuminated, polished aluminium Thunderbolt model, encapsulated behind glass in the centre console.
Alongside the engraved aluminium dashboard design, Rolls-Royce developed unique, tactile open-pore wood inserts for the interior door and rear seat panels, designed to mimic the surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats. The dash is also home to a bespoke clock face featuring references to the Thunderbolt's technical interior, with the sill plates also unique to the model.
Of course, a Wraith wouldn’t be complete with Rolls Royce’s Starlight headliner, with the Black Arrow featuring a record-breaking 2117 light points arranged by hand to replicate the sky as it would have appeared over the Salt Flats on 16 September 1938.
Under the bonnet, its 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12 remains untouched from the ordinary Black Badge, producing the same 624bhp and 642lb ft of torque. Being the final V12 Rolls-Royce coupe, though, it does come with a bespoke plaque mounted on the engine cover.
Just twelve examples will be delivered to customers around the globe later this year, with each one already spoken for.