The new darker side of luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is quickly being embraced by sub-50 year olds that have made a killing from the raging U.S. bull market for stocks.
"Demand has been very strong -- I always look at the S&P 500, and it's doing well, so I'm not surprised," Rolls-Royce North America President Pedro Mota told TheStreet when asked about the state of the U.S. luxury car market and demand so far for the new Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge Edition. Mota says sales have gotten off to a good start this year, too.
To be sure, that must be music to the ears of Mota and his colleagues at Rolls-Royce who have taken a big risk with the Black Badge Edition.
The over $350,000 luxury auto is Rolls-Royce's attempt to attract a younger, new money demographic. It's the 25-45 year old group -- mostly men -- that in recent years have bought Rolls-Royce's only to trick them out with lowered suspensions, tinted windows and black paint at local custom shops. The Black Badge Edition, though not as edgy as getting a full-on $100,000 custom job, is an all around stunner.
The super car has its trademark Parthenon grille and Spirit of Ecstasy mascot all blacked out. So are the lower air intakes and exhaust finishers. The black paint reportedly has 16 base coats and seven coats of clear, and each layer is hand-polished before the next one is applied.
And naturally, the engine is a beast because what 35 year old new money male living in LA doesn't want to haul ass. The Wraith has a twin-turbo 6.6 litre V12 engine that puts out a robust 624 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful Rolls-Royce models produced so far.
One final touch of new money class: the starlight headliner. Basically a series of fiber-optic lights embedded in the ceiling of the car, they look like stars in the sky when the feature is on.