Automotive Rolls-Royce

Published on March 21st, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow Is Their Last V12 Coupé

The Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow features a number of bespoke additions too.

Rolls-Royce is on a mission to enter the electric era in style and that means leaving its legacy of V12 motors behind. Today the company showed its final V12-powered coupé model – the Rolls-Royce Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow. Only 12 of these will be made and they’ll also mark the end of the Wraith coupé, which has been around since 2013 and will be replaced by the company’s first ever EV – the Spectre.

rolls-royce wraith black arrow front

Rolls-Royce has decided to reach into the past for inspiration for its final V12 coupé model. Back in 1938, Captain George Eyston set the land speed record at 575.335km/h with a vehicle built by Bean Cars called Thunderbolt. To make it easier to tell when the vehicle had passed the timing equipment, a large black arrow was painted on the car’s side with a yellow central motif. With the Wraith Black Arrow, the same black and yellow motif has been used.

Thunderbolt was a 7-ton, 8-wheeled vehicle powered by 2 Rolls-Royce V12 ‘R’ Series aero engines. Technically, Rolls-Royce considers this the last land speed record to be set with V12-powered motors though in reality there were two of these in the Thunderbolt so it is a bit of a stretch.

The bespoke finish features full colour graduation between Celebration Silver and Black Diamond. There’s also a glass-infused ‘crystal’ paint layer to enhance the transition between the two tones. A high gloss lacquer polished down for 12 hours sits atop all of these layers.

Rolls-Royce claims that 18 months of surface testing and development were needed to create this finish, which is one of their most technically complex paint finishes. There’s also Bright Yellow bumper inserts and wheel pinstripes and other contrast items.

Inside, the coach doors are lined with open-pore Black Wood with over 320 lasered pieces that mimic the irregular surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats where Thunderbolt set its land speed record.

There’s also a new type of ‘Club Leather’ that has been developed specifically for this vehicle. Club Leather features a greater sheen and a deeper black. The steering wheel features a dark marking at 12 o’clock which aligns with a similar pattern on the seats, also another reference to what was done on Thunderbolt. The Starlight Headliner is bespoke and precisely mimics the Milky Way as it would have appeared over the Salt Flats in Utah on 16 September 1938.

The V12 also gets a little plaque machined from a single piece of polished metal with the V12 monogram in bright yellow. As with most other Rolls-Royce limited edition vehicles, all 12 models have already been sold before they were even unveiled.


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