Bespoke

New, custom Rolls-Royce Wraith has out-of-this-world design

The new, bespoke Wraith features design elements inspired by Mother Earth.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Ground control to Major Rolls. A new, customized Rolls-Royce Wraith has taken inspiration from the Solar System. The design was commissioned by a client through Rolls-Royce Abu Dhabi at a cost far exceeding the Wraith's $330,000 base price.

"We're used to clients bringing us grand visions for their Bespoke Commissions, but this provided a new perspective altogether." said Michael Bryden, Lead Bespoke Designer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "In our response to the brief, we've worked at both the 'macro' level, referencing the Sun and planets of the whole Solar System, and the much more personal 'micro' level, centring our view of the world on the place the customer calls home."

Rolls Royce Wraith - Inspired by Earth

Rolls Royce Wraith - Inspired by Earth

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Given the name "Wraith – Inspired By Earth", the model's design features classic Wraith elements alongside unique accents that are only found on this particular vehicle. The exterior wears a Royal Blue paint job representing the 75 percent of the Earth's surface that is covered by water.

On its hood is artwork that depicts a satellite's-eye view of the Middle East, centered on the United Arab Emerites and encompassing the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Gulf of Oman. The art was airbrushed on in a process that took 100 hours to complete.

An Emerald Green coastline extends the length of the car and incorporates the eight planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The interior of the Wraith's aesthetic focus is on the Earth's surface including the humans and natural life that inhabit it. The seats are made from Moccasin leather to mimic the sands of the Emirates' deserts; Navy and Cobalto Blue accents are reminiscent of rivers and lakes and Emerald Green piping symbolizes nature. Arctic White "RR" monograms and stitching hint at clouds and translucent running water.

The rear waterfall features a scene of atmospheric clouds rendered in detailed embroidery using Photoflash technology. On the fascia, the Piano Milori veneer is embellished with a satellite image of the Middle East. It's not a photograph but instead another airbrushed design.

The Bespoke Starlight Headliner is embroidered to illustrate all the planets of Solar System, centred on the Sun. Other Bespoke details include treadplates, a clock with metal radial background, and inlays showing the planets in silver, with planet Earth accentuated in gold.

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The majority of new car buyers paid a markup in January 2022.

VW

It's no secret that new car prices are climbing every year, as new technology and features make their way into even the most basic models. The issue is compounded by massive supply chain issues that have caused vehicle shortages for nearly every major automaker. Some dealers are taking advantage of record low inventory levels by marking up prices, and unfortunately, the problem isn't limited to a handful of bad apples. In analyzing recent sale price data, automotive publication Edmunds found that buyers paid a markup in a whopping 82.2 percent of all new vehicle purchases in January 2022, compared to just 2.8 percent a year before. Overall, the average transaction price rose to $728 above MSRP for new car purchases.


Tesla factoryTesla is looking to expand production in the U.S. beyond the confines of its Fremont factory. Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Cadillac buyers saw the largest markups, to the tune of $4,048 on average in January. Land Rover and Kia weren't much better, with average markups of $2,565 and $2,289, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, Alfa Romeo buyers got discounts that averaged $3,421, while people who bought Volvo or Lincoln vehicles got smaller discounts of $869 and $510, respectively.

Some automakers have taken a stand against dealer markups and the general lack of transparency seen in pricing across the board. Ford and General Motors have been vocal in recent months, threatening to withhold inventory from dealers found to be slapping markups on new vehicles. As Edmunds notes, both automakers have important vehicle launches on the horizon that neither can afford to flub, and inconsistent pricing or markups is a good way to alienate new customers out of the gate.


Cadillac EscaladeCadillac buyers paid the largest markups of any brand. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

If you're thinking of shopping for a new car, the best way to avoid paying a markup is to wait. The pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues have thrown kinks into every automaker's operations that will take time to iron out. That said, it's clear that some brands are committed to having no funny business when it comes to dealerships' pricing and communication. It's possible to get a vehicle at MSRP, or even below in some cases, so if you're in a position that requires you to buy a new car, shop around to get the best deal.

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Ford just announced specs for the new hardcore off-roader.

Ford

After years of speculation over the Bronco's return, Ford finally pushed the revived SUV to market last year. The rumor mill immediately kicked back into action with speculation of a higher-powered Raptor version of the Bronco to match Ford's F-150 Raptor here in the U.S. We've seen teases and a short film on the SUV, but today, The Blue Oval announced specs for what will surely be a highly desirable new vehicle in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Ford Bronco RaptorThe Bronco Raptor gets upgraded cooling and engine tuning to handle high-temperature operation.Ford

The Bronco Raptor gets an exclusive twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 400 horsepower, which is a big improvement over the standard SUV's V6 that makes an already healthy 330 horsepower. Four-wheel drive and a ten-speed automatic gearbox are standard. Ford says the Raptor also comes with a new towing mode that allows a max tow rating of 4,500 pounds - a 1,000-pound improvement over the base Bronco. Trail Control, trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal driving are also present here.

The Raptor gets seven of the standard Bronco's G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) driving modes, including a new Baja Mode that works with the engine's turbo system to reduce lag and improve performance during high-speed runs in desert temperatures. An active exhaust allows four selectable sound modes, including normal, sport, quiet, and Baja, and the Raptor's intercooler helps keep operating temperatures at reasonable levels when running in hot weather.

Using the Bronco's modular design, Ford gave the Raptor unique front and rear quarter panels, fender flares, and door appliqués. The new body components add 9.8 inches to the Raptor's width, and removable running boards help improve rock crawling abilities. Model-exclusive amber LED running lights accent the Raptor's front end, and Raptor logos set the hardcore model apart from its "lesser" counterpart.

2022 Ford Bronco RaptorAmber LEDs and special badging designate the much-upgraded Raptor model.Ford

Inside, the Bronco Raptor gets a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable view for vehicle performance and other information. Black marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized flooring are standard. Orange accents on the dash vents, door netting, and steering wheel help break up the all-black interior, and Ford offers a synthetic suede upholstery upgrade for buyers wanting a little more comfort with their capable off-roader. A 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and 360-degree camera system are also standard.

Bronco Raptor hopefuls can start placing orders in March, but be aware that there will be a wait involved for everyone. Ford says that the majority of 2022 Bronco Raptors will go to existing reservation holders based on their reservation timestamp. It's worth noting that many 2021 Bronco buyers are still waiting for the SUVs, which are being converted into 2022 orders, so the wait time for the Raptor could be severe for anyone without a standing reservation.

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