The Rolls Royce Wraith Review
Price as tested: £247,740 (+local taxes)
The Rolls Royce Wraith is a sporting mile-eater, but more than anything it is a Rolls…and being such it is one of the most luxurious and highest quality motor cars you can get.
Whilst commonly referred to as a fastback, the Wraith is built on the same chassis as the 4 door Rolls Royce Ghost. It is a substantial car with strong road presence, weighing a hefty 2,360kg. Yet it is also fast, powerful, majestic, smooth, unbelievably quiet, and simply oozes quality.
Much of this is courtesy of one of the best current production V12 combustion engines on the planet; a twin turbo charged V12 generating a whopping 624 bhp, capable of propelling this superlative motor to 60 mph in only 4.6 seconds and a top speed ‘restricted to’ 155 mph. Its prodigious overtaking ability comes courtesy of 590llb of torque. So refined is its engine, that you could be forgiven for thinking that the Wraith is electrically powered, and at idle you’ll have to listen intently to even hear the engine ticking over at all.
It is these characteristics that make a Rolls Royce extra special. Need we say, with the Wraith, no expense is spared on the quality front. The leather feels, and is, the best quality money can buy; so is the wood veneer on the dash. Even the chromed dash switchgear is pleasurable to the touch, and the polished steel tread-plates are just so beautifully made. When it comes to in-car entertainment, the sound is equivalent to your personal indoor concert hall or nightclub – whatever you prefer, it is ultimate premium sound.
Quite frankly, this car is of a completely different world, even to those of us who are accustomed to luxury cars. The cabin seats 4 in cosseting armchair comfort. After having briefly appreciated the feel of the lambswool rugs, you might like to take a look up towards the optional star-light roof lining. Whilst the doors are opened manually, they can be closed at the touch of a button, and just in case it rains, umbrellas are conveniently located horizontally in the front wings, and accessed at the press of a button.
The technology is also fascinating. The Wraith changes gear by satellite navigation assistance, constantly monitoring the speed and position of the vehicle and ensuring you are always in the right gear at the right time. The car we drove even had night vision – an infrared on screen device that spots the presence of human beings at night well before the eye sees them. The car’s own radar system differentiates between metal and human form by a head-up display warning if it detects a pedestrian could be in danger. There is lane assistance, radar controlled cruise control, television tuning, massaging seats – the list of extras goes on and on.
On the road
With a big twin turbo charged V12 engine, there is very little compromise in performance other than fuel economy. Yet due to the efficiency of modern engines, the Wraith returned a believable and thus impressive fuel consumption figure of around 20 mpg in our varied test conditions. The bonus is power at both ends of the performance spectrum, delivered with commanding smoothness. The engine is a jewel, and a case in point for super-efficient combustion engines. You will feel the weight of course, and despite the ideal front engine/rear drive set up of the drivetrain, you will also feel the bulk and weight of the car on the bends. Yet it is controlled, precise, and safe, with plenty of steering and chassis feel, certainly making this the driver’s Rolls.
Price is not an issue here. We doubt that any Rolls Royce has ever sold at the officially quoted figures. It is more a case of ordering your specification for the car, and the company billing you. Having the best is the only thing that really counts.