Turn the Lights off on Old Products like Rolls Royce did with the Final Rolls Royce V12 Coupe

It has been only a few weeks since Rolls Royce officially sent off its V12 engines in the specially-crafted Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow, and while it is not the first automaker to do this, the way it chose to go about this process, right from the creation of the last engines to their final unveiling is truly remarkable, just like the marque itself.

The anterior of the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow
The Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow is the last Rolls Royce coupe to have a V12 engine. Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

The Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow is an incredibly beautiful mixture of art and automotive engineering, and there would have to be something terribly wrong if you do not stop and stare every time you see one. But there is literally more to this vehicle than meets the eye, and, when you peel away all the layers of rich history wrapped around its existence, you will come to appreciate the depth of ingenuity Rolls Royce put into the creation of its final V12 coupé.

The Black Arrow is the last Rolls Royce Black Badge Wraith
In addition to housing the last V12, the Black Arrow will also be the last Wraith in the Black Badge series. Image courtesy Rolls Royce

So, if your business is looking to retire a product but is loathe to do it quietly – like it never existed or impacted lives – here’s a quick breakdown detailing how Rolls Royce brilliantly sent forth the V12 in a way that is reminiscent of the saying, ‘gone, but never forgotten.’

Choose the right version of the final product

To send forth a truly powerful engine that once stood as a symbol of power and engineering excellence in the automotive world, Rolls Royce decided that the Wraith in the Black Badge series would be the best model for the job.

A unique gradient colourway was used on the car's body
Every single aspect of this beautiful marque tells an intriguing story. Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

The Black Badge is Rolls Royce’s more powerful marque, designed to be bolder, sexier and more powerful than its other models. It is also arguably the marque where some of its more creative innovation comes to life.

Craft the right story

As we stated earlier, Rolls Royce is not the only luxury automaker to retire its V12 engines. Only last year, BMW announced that it would be making its final V12, months before Lamborghini would announce the retirement of its own version. Bentley has also said it would be ending production of its V12 by April 2024, and, in the following months, we may see more luxury auto manufacturers make this kind of announcement too.

Part of the car's controls
Actually, the Black Arrow tells the story of the Thunderbolt, a 1930s racing car that employed a Rolls Royce V12 engine to win one of its races. Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

But, so far, only the British auto brand has managed to weave a truly compelling and intriguing story around its last V12s that turns the Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow from a newsworthy product to a desirable and collectible item certain to become the pride of any collector and a hotly sought-after, must-have treasure for future auto collectors.

The constellation headliner in the Black Arrow
Per Rolls Royce, this is no ordinary headliner: the Constellation Headliner recalls the stars that light up the night sky above the Bonneville Salt Flats. Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

You see, the Black Arrow is more than just a car – it is a symbolic custodian of the history of the life and times of the Thunderbolt, the 1930s land speed record-breaking car designed and driven by Captain George Eyston. During its lifetime, the Thunderbolt would set three land speed records and its last victorious attempt is the major inspiration for the design of the Black Arrow.

The dashboard of the Rolls Royce Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow
This technical engraving of the Wraith’s V12 engine pays homage to the Rolls Royce double R-type V-12 aero engines which powered the Thunderbolt to its last-ever victory. Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

The details of that historic race make an appearance everywhere. For example, the vehicle’s unique colourway, celebration silver and Black diamond with yellow accents, represent the black paint and yellow circle motif that had to be painted on the Thunderbolt’s aluminium body back in 1938, when the time-measuring equipment used could not distinguish between the superfast car and the bright sunlit salt flats where the race took place. Then there is the crusty-looking design on the interior door panels which depict the crusted Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, home of the final race of the Thunderbolt’s short career.

Close up of the Black Arrow's dashboard's clock
Even the dashboard’s clock does more than tell the time. Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

Other allegorical details abound and can be found on the dashboard — which houses among other things, a clock that references the analogue instruments of the 1930s, and below it, the inscription, 357.497mph, the final record-breaking speed set by the Thunderbolt on September 16, 1938 — the headliner and the front passenger seats.

Create it for a select few but let it have mass appeal

Only 12 examples of the Rolls Royce Black Badge Wraith Black Arrow have been and will ever be produced. To further bestow upon it special status, the marque was fitted with a 6.7L twin-turbocharged V12 platform, modelling the engine design of the earliest Rolls-Royce examples. An exclusive bespoke polished metal plaque, inscribed with the V12 monogram in bright yellow, and the words ‘Final Coupé Collection’ in black, graces the engine cover to signify this as the last V12 ever to be fitted to a Rolls-Royce coupé.

The last rolls royce v12 engines in the black arrow have a special plaque on them
The plaque on the engine lets you know that this is the last Rolls Royce V12, in a coupe at least. Image courtesy of Rolls Royce

And no, not just anyone would be able to purchase this ultra-luxurious and limited auto: at the time of its announcement, the Black Arrow had been allocated to select clients worldwide.

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