New & Used Rolls-Royce Wraith: In Depth
2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith First Drive, Scottsdale, ArizonaEnlarge Photo
The Rolls-Royce Wraith, the newest model from the venerated British luxury marque, is the most powerful car it has ever built and its first fastback coupe in decades. Launched for 2014, its shape and price suggest a competitor for the Bentley Continental GT that really defined the ultra-luxury coupe market a decade ago. But suiting the Rolls-Royce marque, the new Wraith is far more expensive, equally as powerful, and comes with a host of features unavailable on the Bentley--which looks almost plebian in comparison to the new entry.
Rolls-Royce has moved away from its time-honored practice of specifying the power of its engines simply as "adequate," so we know that the Wraith is propelled by a twin-turbocharged V-12 engine of 6.6 liters that produces a substantial 624 horsepower. The car--despite its 5,200-pound avoirdupois--is said to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in no more than 4.4 seconds, a decent figure for a pricey sports coupe, let alone a car with the degree of luxury and reams of features provided by Britain's preeminent luxury brand.
The mechanical bits include electronically air-controlled suspension and an eight-speed automatic transmission that uses satellite data to predict the road ahead and ensure that it's always in the correct gear. For the record only, fuel efficiency is rated at 15 miles per gallon combined, and the Wraith prefers premium gasoline, thank you very much.
But it's the design--a traditional upright front combined with an elegant fastback coupe body--and the interior luxury that really sets the Wraith apart from any other road car not bearing a Spirit of Ecstasy up front. Cabin materials include the finest of soft, supple, rich leathers, carefully selected woods of various exotic species, and carefully machined metal details that add a modern edge to the traditional fixtures and fittings--including chrome knobs and switches of a heft and feel simply not found in any other car. The piece de resistance may be the available Starlight Headliner, which uses fiber optics to mimic the night sky with more than 1,000 individual stars in a recognizable pattern.
The price of the Rolls-Royce Wraith starts at $289,000, though the lavish list of optional equipment ensures that most will exit the factory with considerably higher price tags. More importantly, if there's a feature or fitting you want that's not offered on the standard list, Rolls-Royce is happy to craft, design, and fit it for you--at a price. And if you have to ask what that price may be, the Wraith is not the car for you.