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Rolls-Royce's Dramatic New-Car Presentation Is Fantastic (W/Video)

We get up close with a very special Wraith

Congratulations! After months of waiting, your new Rolls-Royce is ready. But before you take delivery from the iconic British automaker's facilities in Goodwood, England, Rolls-Royce has a little presentation for you. In a special room with color and trim samples—not to mention an amusing black stiletto with a Rolls-Royce grille and tiny Spirit of Ecstasy—the presentation begins. Once you watch the factory's craftspeople at work and see the dramatic presentation of your new car, we bet this won't be your last Rolls.

It wasn't always done this way, Rolls-Royce tells us. Up until a few years ago, Rolls-Royce presented new cars to customers in its impeccably maintained courtyard. And as impressive as the Rolls-Royce Goodwood facilities are, I'm a fan of the new method's spectacle. The curtains are closed. Your heart begins to pump faster. Although you helped customize it, you've never seen the finished car in person. As the curtains part, your Rolls-Royce's imposing grille and headlights come into focus, and the show begins.

Music that sounds like it would fit in an action movie plays as spotlights turn on and off, capturing the car's sheetmetal in different light as it rotates. Elevating the new-car delivery to the level of a reveal (for those who want it) strikes us as a wonderful idea for a company that sees itself more as a builder of luxury goods (that happen to be cars) instead of a luxury-car company.

In our case, the Rolls-Royce presentation was for a Wraith Eagle VIII Collection car, a one-of-50 special-edition model with details that reward a closer look, especially inside. The Wraith Eagle VIII Collection is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight, made in a bi-plane powered by twin-20.3-liter Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines. 

After spending time with this Wraith, it's clear this is one special Rolls. The wood veneers, for example, feature silver, copper, and 24-karat gold applied in a beautiful abstract pattern. And if you're a Rolls-Royce fan, you're familiar with the company's popular starlight headliner option, which turns the headliner into a star-filled night sky. What I had never realized until seeing this special-edition Wraith (17 of 50 went to the U.S., by the way) is just how customizable it can be. In this Wraith, just behind the 1,183 starlight fibers that are said to show what the night sky looked like halfway through the historic flight 100 years ago (a flight path and constellations are also shown), there are clouds embroidered and a plaque reminding Wraith passengers that they're looking at the halfway point of the flight.

By contrast, the Wraith's two-tone exterior is comparatively subtle—too much so for my tastes, but then again, maybe prospective owners already own a few eye-catching super-luxury cars in their collection. Rolls-Royce explains that stories like this create value for owners, and we agree. Every time the owner steps inside with a friend or colleague, they can tell the story, deepening their connection.


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Autos News: Rolls-Royce's Dramatic New-Car Presentation Is Fantastic (W/Video)
Rolls-Royce's Dramatic New-Car Presentation Is Fantastic (W/Video)
We get up close with a very special Wraith
Autos News
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