After debuting the Series II for both the Phantom and Phantom Coupe models, Rolls Royce engineers have started to test a new luxury coupe. Initially thought to be called Corniche, the latest creation from Rolls Royce brings back in fact a name that was initially used in 1938: Wraith.
The new Wraith, simply described as "the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history," features a fastback profile, and is wider and lower than the Ghost, making it more aerodynamic and aggressive in the same time.
For its new model, Rolls Royce has made numerous improvements to the suspension and the steering system and for the interior, it has installed the “on-board valet,” - an innovative voice-command system that sends data to the navigation and infotainment systems.
Sales will begin in the final quarter of 2013 and in Europe prices will start from €245,000 (about $320,000 at the current exchange rates).
UPDATE 03/05/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Rolls Royce Wraith.
The new Wraith is defined by "bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen" — features that offer it a unique character. The model will be immediately recognized as a Rolls Royce, thanks to its deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and, of course, the dramatic two-tone colorization offered for the exterior.
The sporty feeling offered by the exterior is combined with a luxurious and elegant interior. In here, Rolls Royce engineers have combined the softest Phantom-grade leathers with a special wood called Canadel Panelling.
For the first time in a model beyond the Phantom family, the new Wraith is offered with a feature called Starlight Headliner, meaning that a total of 1,340 fiber optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.
The model is offered with numerous standard features that provide the driver with the best experience behind the wheel. First, there is the Satellite Aided Transmission - a system that uses GPS to anticipate driver’s next move based on location and current driving style and then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead.
The most amazing feature, however, is the new "on-board valet" - it uses voice commands to send data to the navigation menu, on-screen and audio guidance. This way all the driver needs to do is to press a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel and initiate his command.
Under the hood, the new Wraith features the company’s usual V-12 engine, but the output has been considerably improved to 624 horsepower and a peak torque of 590 pound-feet.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic ZF transmission and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds - a 0.3 seconds improvement over the Ghost.
Suspensions and brakes
Rolls Royce also made a series of changes to the suspension and steering system. The suspension has been tuned to minimize body roll and offer improved handling. The steering system has also been improved to be heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds.
The new Rolls Royce Wraith will be put on sale in the final quarter of 2013 and in Europe prices will start from €245,000 (about $320,000 at the current exchange rates).
The new Rolls Royce Wraith is the most powerful and fastest model in Rolls Royce’s history, but you can still find models that are far better than it.
2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed
The GT Speed is powered by a 6-liter, 48-valve, four-cam, twin turbocharged W-12 engine that delivers a total of 616 horsepower and a peak torque of 590 pound-feet. Despite being less powerful than the Wraith, the GT Speed is faster — 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and up to a top speed of 205 mph.
Also, when it comes to appearance, we would prefer the Bentley model: it looks better and it is a little bit more aerodynamic.
2014 Aston Martin Vanquish
Not really a direct competitor for the new Wraith, the 2014 Vanquish is a proof that those looking to combine high performance with great luxury can do it for a smaller price, as the Vanquish is priced under $300k.
The Aston Martin model is powered by a 6-liter V-12 engine that delivers a total of 565 horsepower and a peak torque of 457 pound-feet. As a result, the car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and up to a top speed of 186 mph.
We have to admit, the new Wraith is one of the best models Rolls Royce has unveiled in the past few years. Still, for the money you can get more powerful and faster sports car. But then again, customers looking to buy a Rolls Royce aren’t interested in getting a sporty car, so maybe the new Wraith will turn out to be very successful.
Looks very cool
Highly equipped interior
Like with any other Rolls Royce model it is expensive
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the world debut of Wraith, the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. At its heart lie hallmark Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but the new model from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque also presents a unique character defined by power, style and drama. With just a hint of the noir.
“Today we launch the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo, a car that embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “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.”
Rolls-Royce Chairman and BMW Group board member Harald Krüger added the following: “The BMW Group today reconfirms its full commitment to the future of Rolls-Royce. Growth and a prosperous future lie ahead thanks to continued investment, careful brand stewardship and the launch of groundbreaking new models like Rolls-Royce Wraith, a magnificent addition to the product range.”
In profile, Wraith’s sweeping fastback design gives the car its unique character. Bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen evoke the image of a world class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in Wraith’s deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation.
Coach doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with softest Phantom-grade leathers and expanses of wood called Canadel Panelling. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, this contemporary and tactile finish sweeps through the interior, cosseting four occupants in a space bathed in light and warmth.
The interior ambiance is complemented by Starlight Headliner, a Bespoke feature available beyond Phantom family cars for the first time. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.
Performance delivers on the promise of Wraith’s styling. Power delivery is effortless, but dramatic, thanks to a V12 engine married to 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 624 bhp / 465kW is available to the driver while the 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds, compared with 563 bhp / 420kW and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds for Ghost.
From 1,500 rpm 800 Nm of torque is available (780 Nm for Ghost), while a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further contribute to the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history. The car’s suspension has also been tuned to minimise body roll and discreetly amplify feedback when cornering; while steering weight is heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds adding to the spirited drive.
However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to the sensation of riding on a bed of air. Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand.
Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; it anticipates his next move based on location and current driving style, then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead. Corners, motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance.
A more polished, effortless driving experience and even better response brings a new, more dynamic dimension to the famous Rolls-Royce trait, waftability.
For over a century a Rolls-Royce motor car has featured technologies designed to support occupants discreetly, delivering a peerless driving experience epitomised by the term ‘effortlessness’. In every Rolls-Royce these assist the driver when called upon, but are prepared to return without fuss to the background when no longer required.
Advances in mechanical and electrical technology deliver systems like head-up display, adaptive headlights and Wraith’s keyless opening boot. But improvements in connectivity have taken the human-machine interface to a new level of sophistication, a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet.
Voice activation commands, for example, come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command such as “navigate to Piccadilly in London.”
Additional improvements in communications come in the design and functionality of the elegant Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. This allows navigation through on-screen functions using a touch pad that features pinch and pull functionality to echo smart phone usage. Letters can also be ‘drawn’ onto the pad by hand rather than by scrolling through a series of available characters on-screen.
In Europe, Wraith will be priced at c. €245k. Confirmation and further pricing details in all markets will be revealed later in the year.
First deliveries of Wraith will be made to customers in the final quarter of 2013.