The Wraith' is powered by a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine with 624 horsepower. It goes from 0-60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.
When Rolls-Royce Motor Cars came to update its Phantom family of models, the words of company co-founder Sir Henry Royce informed everything that designers, engineers and craftspeople set out to achieve: Take the best that exists and make it better.
This historic cri de coeur came to represent the significant improvements made to the marque's pinnacle cars when launched in 2012, and continues to resontate strongly from the design studios to the assembly hall at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood today.
But that was only part of Royce's famous quote. Take the best that exists and make it better: when it does not exist design it.
These words informed the development of Rolls-Royce Wraith: nothing like it existed in the Rolls-Royce portfolio, nor the wider automotive world.
The expression of when it does not exist, design it is steeped in Rolls-Royce heritage. It can be seen in the pioneering spirit and vehicles that defined the company in the early 20th century. Adventures that took place on land, sea and in the air, that once led Rolls-Royce to three consecutive world speed records.
And of course there was the company's founding forefather, the Honourable Charles Rolls, a man whose appetite for adventure drove him to success in motor racing, ballooning and aviation. He became the first man in history to cross the English Channel and return without stopping in a powered aircraft, an achievement that earned him the highest praise of King George V.
Rolls-Royce Wraith echoes the spirit of these historic endeavours, pushing the boundaries of design and engineering, challenging perceptions and delivering the most dynamic, involving driving experience in the marque's 109 year history. It didn't exist, so Rolls-Royce designed it.
Power, style, drama
In its design, Rolls-Royce Wraith presents a masterpiece of elegant simplicity, exuding poise and the promise of dynamism. There is a sense that this car is ready to move with purpose on its driver's command.
Grace and beauty define the exterior presentation. The swept lines of the fastback, a style whose origins can be found in 1930s automotive design, most clearly signal its purposeful character, one which hints gently at the noir.
Performance complements the drama of exterior styling. A shorter wheelbase, wider rear track, 624 bhp / 465kW derived from the twin turbo V12 and a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds (0-62, 4.6 seconds) give expression to the car's dynamic looks.
But Wraith is no GT bruiser; it is every inch a refined and luxurious Rolls-Royce, a car where the sense of arrival and joy of the journey are as important as the canvas upon which it is drawn.
Effortless performance, luxurious interior
Wraith debuts the most intelligent drive train ever to feature in a Rolls-Royce, including the application of ground-breaking technologies like Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT). This processes GPS data to predict the driver's next move and automatically select the right gear for the road ahead. Unnecessary gear changes are thus avoided, augmenting the famous Rolls-Royce trait of waftability and ensuring Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its dynamic promise. Following a sweeping bend, for example, the optimum gear is always pre-selected for effortless acceleration.
Complementing Satellite Aided Transmission, Rolls-Royce Wraith's further dynamic enhancements include a more direct steering response to aid precision in corners, as well as more dynamic spring and damper settings.
Step inside Wraith's coach doors and there is the feeling of going aboard a luxury yacht. It is a serene space for four occupants, who will be cocooned in a striking and contemporary interior furnished in beautiful materials, surrounded by tactile Phantom-grade leathers.
Design details like the expansive Canadel Panelling and blood orange needle tips for speedometer and power reserve gauge hint further at agility, speed and performance. Look upwards however, and Rolls-Royce presents something more traditional - at least for the 21st century. Starlight headliner - offered for the first time beyond the Phantom range - features thousands of tiny fibre optic lamps hand-woven by craftspeople into the roof lining.
It remains one of the company's most endearing and popular features.
The Honourable Charles Rolls
Wraith is a model that draws parallels with the story of founding forefather Honourable Charles Rolls. For like the pioneering Rolls, this car pushes boundaries, taking Rolls-Royce further than it has gone before, challenging then delivering on the promise of pace and adventure.
Published 6 months ago
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