The Black Arrow 12; the Rolls-Royce Wraith V12's grand finale
Rolls-Royce has unveiled the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow to mark the end of production of the iconic model.
Limited to just 12 examples, the Black Arrow is – apart from being the most sublime-looking swaggerwagon we’ve seen this side of the strawberry moon – the last V12 coupe before Rolls goes all-electric.
Launched in 2013, the Wraith is the performance-focussed sibling of the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Ghost. The Black Arrow edition sees ‘gradient paint’ – which took 18 months to formulate correctly – applied to the bodywork transitioning from ‘celebration silver’ to ‘black diamond’.
There’s also a bespoke starlight headliner featuring a record-making 2,117 fibre-optic lights, and door cards with 320 pieces of marquetry to create a textured wood veneer.
Bespoke has always been the name of the game - customers don't buy Rollers, they commission 'em - and to create that glass-like finish on the complex paint job, some poor (ahem, very dedicated) soul has to polish it for more than 12 hours. No doubt they'll be pleased there’s only 12 of them, then.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, boss of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, says: “Wraith is one of the most significant and influential cars we have ever made at Goodwood. Its extraordinary power, performance and presence opened the Rolls-Royce brand to an entirely new group of clients.”
Müller-Ötvös doesn’t mean semi-celeb Insta influencers, either. The Black Badge guise was created in 2016 as a new line of Wraith designed to appeal to more contemporary customers.
Gwen Stefani has one, the customisation of which set her back upwards of £244,000 (but rumoured to be closer to half a mill). Discerning customers include a veritable plethora of talent from the music, sports and art worlds, among others; one of the reasons for those popping yellow accents, no doubt.
Inside, the Black Arrow Wraith is as plush as ever. A unique artwork for the fascia depicts the V12 engine, a fitting homage. And like everything exquisitely R-R, it’s engraved in a single sheet of black-coated aluminium.
There’s also a stunning analogue clock with fancy hands and ‘Club Leather’ seats, looking significantly comfier than your mother's best sofa you're never permitted to use.
The land-speed record-holding Thunderbolt of the 1930s provides the inspiration for the Black Arrow. Made at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah (hence the inspo for the door marquetry), Rolls has incorporated an illuminated Thunderbolt Speedform between the front seats in tribute. It’s no surprise to learn all 12 examples of this opulent fastback have already sold out globally.
Each will have an engine-mounted plaque reading ‘Final Coupé Collection’ in black. We now know it’s possible to be sad and excited simultaneously.
STORY Cat Dow