It’s symptomatic for Rolls-Royce to look backwards before moving forward when the time for contemplation of new model is imminent. With a storied history – after all its founder Charles Stewart Rolls was only 25-years old when he co-founded the company and, as a young pilot, became the first man to double cross the English Channel non-stop – and a reservoir of creativity at its disposal the British automaker of bespoke innovations proudly staged the world debut of its dynamic new Wraith recently at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show.
Wraith, titled after a mystical Scottish spirit, represents new potential direction for Rolls-Royce and extends its level of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but also presents unique positioning defined by power, style and drama. Originally conceived in 1938, the rebirth of the current fastback and its perfectly engineered features and technical contour introduces a younger demographic to the Rolls-Royce brand. The sleek and vigorous Wraith is purely driver oriented with its Ghost-based 6.6-liter V12 that now outputs 624-horsepower (European spec), allowing it to reach 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. With this in mind the majestic gran turismo becomes the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the history of the company.
Hallmark coach doors see their way into the Wraith to unmask its rich cabin composed of Phantom-grade leathers and Canadel Panelling wood veneers. A bespoke touch of imagination is displayed by way of the lustrous night roof lining conceived by the hand stitching of 1,340 fibre optic lamps. For enthusiastic owners who position themselves directly behind the wheel, innovative technology dubbed Satellite Aided Transmission applies GPS mapping algorithms to forecast the driver’s next move using current location-base and drive characteristics, and then magically pre-chooses the most suitable gear from the 8-speed automatic ZF transmission appropriate for the impending topography ahead. Remarkable!
Expect deliveries by the end of the year to early 2014 with a current European price of €245k. Further pricing details for additional markets such as the U.S. will be revealed at a later date. It’s currently a moment of introspection for Rolls-Royce as they position themselves for supplementary growth, heightened levels of performance, and inflated expectations from their loyalists.