Rolls Royce, the name synonymous with effortless luxury, has unveiled its most powerful model yet.
The 624-horsepower 2013 Rolls Royce Wraith made its long-awaited debut at the Geneva Motor Show last month, wooing crowds with its blend of retro-modern styling as much as with the V12-powered muscle it packs under its bonnet. The gently sloping ‘fastback’ roof gives it a profile as elegant as the horizon in a Cezanne painting, and coupled with a two-tone paintjob in classical silver and grey, Rolls Royce is already making good on its claim that the Wraith will be the statement car of 2013. Billed as the perfect car for a stately tour of Europe, the model is based on the classic grand tourers of the fifties and sixties, of which the original Wraith, from 1938, was a precursor.
The simply-sculpted wooden interior panelling comes in open-pore rather than gloss finish, lending a modern, slightly Scandinavian feel to the British classic. Touches like a voice-activated navigation system and smart phone-based entertainment and information platform give motorists the luxury of near effortless control. In terms of actual drive, the optional eight-speed auto gearbox features futuristic handling into corners and roundabouts aided by a computer-equipped system with up-to-date roads data. Short of letting a chauffeur do the work, being behind the wheel of the Wraith is as stress-free as driving gets.
There are, of course, those who like to push a high-end car to its full ability rather than cruise along; that’s where the Wraith’s high spec kicks in. Eclipsing even the Ghost, it boasts an eye-watering 0-60 acceleration of 4.4 seconds, and produces a road-hugging 800 Nm of torque from the 6.6 litre V12 engine. Don’t be fooled by the genteel appearance – this is a powerful beast that can go from stately to superfast and lose nothing in control.
Unfortunately, anyone desperate to get their hands on a Rolls Royce Wraith will have to wait until later this year, when the first Wraiths hit showrooms with a price tag of a cool 245,000 euros. That leaves plenty of time to plan the perfect European Grand Tour route beforehand.