► Wraith celebrates flight accolade
► Limited to 50 cars only
► Interior and details abound
Rolls-Royce will reveal another special edition of the Wraith at this weekend's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como. Limited to only 50 cars, the Wraith Eagle VIII marks 100 years since first non-stop transatlantic flight completed in June 1919, by Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown.
'Wraith Eagle VIII is at once an object of desire; an homage to heroes and a protagonist to today's visionaries. This Rolls-Royce Collection demonstrates the extraordinary skill of our Bespoke Collective at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex' said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO.
Wait, what's it for again?
The Wraith Eagle VIII celebrates the 100-year anniversary of Alcock and Brown flying non-stop from St. John's, Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber aircraft. The aircraft was powered by a twin 20.3-litre Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine – hence the name of the limited-edition model.
What's actually different?
The Wraith Eagle VIII's bespoke exterior is finished in Gunmetal with a Selby Grey upper two-tone, separated by a brass feature line, which apparently represents the night time adventure of Alcock and Brown. As a reference to the Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine found in the Vickers Vimy aircraft, the grille vanes are painted in black.
Inside, the seats are finished in Selby Grey and black leather accented by brass. The speaker covers are finished in brass and 'depict the estimated flight distance of 1,880 miles,' we're told. Look at the driver's door and you'll find a brass plaque with a quote praising the pair's outstanding achievements.
The dash has the usual excessive craftsmanship, too: It's finished in Smoked Eucalyptus wood that is vacuum metalized in gold and inlaid with silver and copper. Sounds expensive.
The clock is fabricated with an iced background effect which glows a faint green at night time. This is a nod to the green illumination that would appear on the pioneers' instrument panels. Landing location coordinates are engraved on the clock as well, obviously.
The starlight headliner found in a standard Rolls-Royce also been tweaked for the Eagle VIII. So, 1183 starlight fibres were crafted to show the celestial arrangement at the time of the flight in 1919. The headliner also features a plaque reading the half-way point of the duo's journey.
The Wraith Eagle VIII is not the only special-edition Wraith, previous ones developed include the 'Inspired by British Music' edition, 'Inspired by Film' edition, and a one-off Rugby edition. The Wraith is a super-coupe that was launched at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show and was claimed to be the most powerful model that Rolls-Royce has ever built.
Rolls-Royce Wraith: everything else you need to know
The Wraith is based on the Ghost and uses the same twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 engine. But instead of the Ghost's 563bhp there's a whopping 624bhp. And instead of 575lb ft there's now 590 lb ft of torque. This allows the Wraith to go from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds, three-tenths quicker than the Ghost saloon.
What else was changed from the Ghost?
The Wraith has a shorter wheelbase, a wider rear track, and the roofline is lower too, which helps keep a low centre of gravity. Rolls-Royce claims that together with a specifically tuned suspension and heavier steering at higher speeds, the Wraith has 'the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history'.
The Wraith comes with Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology. That means that the eight-speed ZF auto gearbox is linked to the sat-nav system, and based on the GPS position, driving style, and road layout, it selects the most appropriate gear.
Other features include Rolls-Royce's Starlight Headliner, which was previously only available in the Phantom. In normal English, that means 1340 lights are integrated into the roof lining.
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