5 Mar 2013

Rolls Royce Wraith - specs, images, pricing

Matt Hubbard attended the UK launch of the new Rolls Royce Wraith at Rolls Royce' Goodwood factory

Speedmonkey was invited to attend Rolls Royce' UK launch of their new fastback, the Wraith, at the UK factory in Goodwood - in parallel with the launch in Geneva.  Following a hearty English breakfast we were given a Rolls Royce coat to wear (they don't want any nasty fibres from visitor's clothes to infect the production lines) led through the factory, past the Phantom II and Ghost production lines and into the development area.  

We walked past the fleet of development Wraith's wrapped in camouflage and into a room within a room.  Within this room, behind a sliding door, was the almost production ready Wraith we were here to see.

Board member Jörg Bause, a humorous and affable German, introduced the Wraith, with the sliding doors still closed.  He talked of the Wraith being the fastest production car Rolls Royce Motor Cars have ever produced, of how Henry Royce would be proud of the car, of how 2012 was a record year for Rolls Royce (they sold 3900 units) but that they had no plans to expand or evolve into a production line manufacturer.  A Rolls Royce is an exclusive motor car, he said, it is unique.  We are proud of the Wraith, he said, even though it is the fastest ever Rolls Royce it is not a sports car, it is a Gentlemen's Grand Touring car, he said.

And then they pulled back the doors to reveal the car you see in the photographs.

The Wraith, as you can see from the photographs, was painted in silver.  The interior was cream.  It looked stunning.  Smaller than it looks in photographs, the Wraith is a true fastback, of similar dimensions to the Bentley Continental GTC, from which it will surely steal sales.

Alex Innes, designer, talked us through the car, and then we were allowed to descend on it, to touch it, to play with the controls and climb inside.  Less obviously muscular than the Bentley, the Wraith is nevertheless an exquisitely styled car.  The waistline runs from front to rear in a single crease, the Rolls Royce grille is incorporated well into the slab front, which is allowed to curve slightly at the edges.  The long bonnet houses the V12, with two distinct creases running from the edges of the grille to the A pillars.  The rear of the car is spectacular pretty in a way the two-tone Wraith at Geneva doesn't show.  In a single colour the small boot lip (not a spoiler) stands out as a distinct feature.  Indeed the rear of the Wraith looks almost like an updated version of the Aston Martin DB4.

Inside the car is a refreshingly simple dashboard with only the necessary dials, switches and knobs on show.  Whether a hidden screen is incorporated or not we do not know at this stage but the Rolls Royce Wraith feels like a car from another era, compared to it's high tech rivals.  A gentleman's Grand Tourer indeed.

The rear quarters are spacious, despite looking cramped from outside.  Plenty of head and knee room, although obviously not of Phantom, or even XJ proportions.  

The Rolls Royce Wraith is something of a triumph.  It is a superbly proportioned and presented car.  Typically Rolls Royce - well engineered and designed, using only the best materials for it's construction, hand crafted.  It will be built on the Phantom II production line from Autumn this year.  When a Wraith is ordered it's chassis and body will be constructed and painted and it will be sent down the production line, with the Phantoms, to be built by hand.

It looks better in a single colour than in two tone, and it looks better, and smaller, in the metal, than it does in photos.  It might be a large car but the Wraith looks as though it will be an extremely capable, and luxurious, tourer.  Rolls Royce won't reveal their expectations in terms of sales but I imagine it will do very well, particularly in Europe and America, maybe less so in the Middle East.

And hopefully it won't be purchased by any footballers.

Full specs can be found under the photographs.  Photos from the Geneva launch can be found on our Facebook page here.


Rolls Royce Wraith
Price - £215,000
Availability - Autumn 2013
Engine - 6.6 litre V12, twin turbo
Transmission - 8 speed ZF gearbox (that changes ratios according to GPS mapping, RWD
Power - 624bhp (slightly more than adequate)
Torque - 590lb ft
0-60mph - 4.4 seconds
Top speed - 150mph (limited)