While our trip to China last month highlighted the next generation of British luxury in the Bentley, there is no question that the UK is now home to yet another credible scene-stealer from the House of Rolls-Royce: introducing the Wraith, the most powerful Rolls-Royce in company history.
Unveiled in March at the Geneva Motor Show,
the Wraith is classic Rolls design, with a dedicated mission to capture the
dark imagination of those who dare to get behind the wheel. Hauntingly beautiful was the initial
reaction upon seeing this vehicle up close; visceral, sensual and most
definitely a powerful presence.
Christened in the likeness of Charles Stewart Rolls, the namesake purveyor of the company’s hallmark Spirit of Ecstasy, the Wraith embodies refinement, luxury, and class while providing a dramatic injection of mysterious au noir that engages the audience with an aura of somber ancient ascendancy.
While essentially a coupe version of the Ghost—though Rolls has discreetly not promoted this fact—this gran turismo contains a massive twelve cylinder engine in ‘V’ configuration mated to an 8-speed automatic ZF transmission producing an extremely powerful 624 HP, a noticeable 60 plus addition horses than seen on the current Ghost model. Torque wise, the Ghost is sitting
Putting this into perspective, the Wraith has the ability to hit zero to 60 in about 4.4 seconds, compared to 4.7 with the Ghost. While many disagree that .3 seconds can make a difference, we—and our egos—would severely beg to differ at the finish line. The Wraith sits around 590 lb.-ft. at about 1500 rpms.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, spoke to the strength of the Wraith and the importance of this vehicle today. “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and quality, traits that remain as important to Rolls-Royce customers today as they were more than a century ago.”
We're big fans of the sweeping lines that define the fastback design, elegantly positing the coupe as a sporty GT but also as one of refinement. Naturally, the two-tone color scheme is front and center in the Wraith with a palette that complements the sheer moodiness of the vehicle, while accenting the tension of the body panels; the prominence of the hood; and the classic Rolls-Royce fascia which is an unsettling combo of harmonious design and intimidating fear.
Through the coach doors one will find the luxury of Phantom-grade leather Canadel wood paneling, and anchored by the Phantom’s Starlight Headliner an installation mimicking the night sky with 1,340 optic lights woven into the ceiling.
Technology-wise, the Wraith contains a radical new feature called Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT), which uses GPS to scope the road above and adjust performance accordingly; pretty remarkable, and something we’ll be looking for to debut in other models down the road.
All in all our first glance of the Wraith has been quite impressive, and while we won’t be running out to buy it this Independence Day weekend at a starting cost of €245, 000 euros ($319, 970USD approximately), we do hope to steal one for a ride as soon as humanly possible – a feat that might not happen if those vampires from the launch video above gets it first.
On sale now for Fall 2013, check out more at rollsroyce.com