So what does £227,000 get you these days? Well if you have that sort of cash as walking around money you might think about commissioning yourself a Rolls Royce Wraith.
Debuting last year the Wraith is Rolls sportiest model. A type of car you drive yourself, rather than one to be driven in. It opens up a new clientele, younger, hipper and naturally wealthy.
Powered by a 6.6 litre twin turbo’d V12, you get 624 BHP and a gargantuan 800 Nm of torque. Weighing in at 2.4 tons all that heft is shifted to 60 from a standing start in just 4.4 seconds.
Our test car was priced at £227,000 + local taxes.
Walking up to the Wraith for the first time you notice the sheer size of this beast. 5.2 metres in length this is no sports car. A GT car on the other hand, spot on.
With its sweeping rear C pillar and pinched in boot you can instantly see the speedboat resemblance that the Wraith’s looks are based on.
Large slab sides remain featureless apart from the prominent metal door handles by the front wing. Naturally they are rear hinged allowing for a dramatic egress when arriving at your destination of choice.
Up front you find the now symbolic squint rectangular headlights, beneath them hidden in small slits are the indicators. That iconic front grille is smaller than on the Ghost or Phantom but still unmistakably Rolls Royce.
Unlock the car and the Spirit of Ecstasy majestically appears from within the nose, if any ne’er-do-well tries to rob her she snaps back and vanishes into the bodywork – very trick.
With all that power on tap this was never going to be a slow car. Plant your right foot into the deeply piled carpet, wait for a few seconds and let that power surge. 0-60 is genuinely fast, not snap your head back acceleration as it would be in a Nissan GT-R – this is dignified speed.
When you push the ‘Go pedal’ as hard as you can you are met with a rather raucous growl, somewhat unnatural in a Rolls but then again this is THE most powerful car they have ever produced – and the sportiest by some margin – so it goes with the territory well.
If you are being less of a hooligan the Wraith pootles around in near silence. Firing up the stereo and you are surrounded with rich audio, the bespoke Rolls Royce system is divine on the ears. You feel as though you are travelling along in your front room sitting in front of some Mordaunt speakers.
All those 624 horses are transferred through a GPS controlled, 8 speed ZF auto gearbox. This unit is maintenance free and will last the entire life of the vehicle. The GPS part of this ‘box enables it to change up or down at exactly the right point – approach a roundabout or a corner and it will change down, enabling seamlessly smooth acceleration no matter where you are.
Driving around town the ride is cloud like soft. Speed bumps and potholes are barely even noticeable, occasionally a dull thud will reverberate into the cabin, but you can’t expect those huge – albeit optional – 21” alloys to glide over everything with ease.
With this being based on the Ghost platform, and thusly borrowing elements from BMW’s 7 series we wondered quite how well it would handle through the corners – we were pleasantly surprised.
Body roll isn’t really an issue at all, there is still a very slight amount but it’s by no means as wallowy as a Range Rover Vogue. This air controlled ride allows you to get on it rather well down some B roads. You feel somewhat invincible looking over that long bonnet and being surround by so much wood veneer…it’s only when you get on the brakes that you realise your speed – and that you should probably be travelling a good 30 MPH less than you are – as the nose dives a little with the weight of that incredible V12 up front.
We dread to think how long the pads would last, but the traditional steel discs bring this big beast to stop in a respectful manner time and time again.
Swing open the suicide doors and you are met with swathes of wood and leather. Smatterings of chrome detailing highlight the vents and the occasional switch.
Dark wood inlay adorned the dash of our Wraith, and on the passenger side you find an analogue clock bearing the cars name and RR moniker just beneath it. With this being a Rolls Royce the wood is completely book matched, meaning that the trim throughout the car is identical left to right.
The BMW iDrive infotainment rebrand is successful, smart icons denote each menu and the full plethora of car controls can be changed through this interface.
As you sit down you are cocooned in the finest leather and the seats are ultra comfortable. You could easily slog away a good few hundred miles and still feel completely fresh at the other end.
Moving on to the tech, our car was fitted with the rather cool night vision camera. Driving down a busy street it picks out pedestrians silhouettes and marks them in yellow as if you were playing Call Of Duty. Even if you aren’t viewing the night vision camera it will alert you of wildlife crossing your path and flash up an image of a deer in the heads up display, along with a large caution message.
Another neat feature is the electric closing doors – naturally one cant close their own door these days – simply hop in and press the button by the A pillar and the doors close silently.
Some of the interior trim we were less impressed with…for example when retrieving a bottle of water stowed in the drivers door pocket I caught my finger on the underneath of the trim, this was razor sharp and sliced into my knuckle – thanks Rolls!
Another was the centre console hatch, instead of this being a soft close affair – as you would find on a Range Rover – it simply falls shut with a loud bang.
Lastly there is a rather miss-able domed silver piece of plastic that sits underneath the rear view mirror, it looks as though its come off a cheap Chinese toy…not a £227,000 automobile.
Am I being ultra picky…possibly? But at this price point I expect perfection.
On the whole the interior is great, dials have a firm but precise click to them, the air vent controls move with well-weighted friction but to me this seems S Class standard, not double the price and then some.
Attention to detail is what really sets Rolls Royce apart in the car game; I can’t help but feel there are a few areas they could improve on inside the Wraith.
After spending a week lording it over our fellow motorists we are sold on the idea that the Wraith is the PERFECT GT car. Room for four in superb luxury, effortless pace, and attention grabbing looks. What better way to mosey on down to Monaco for the weekend?
Commissioning a Rolls Royce is all part of the brands seduction. To have such a high quality car made bespoke for you is the reason many owners have more than one Rolls. They are the epitome of wealth and luxury.
As for value for money? Performance and status win big, but some of the interior detailing needs to be stepped up. The more time you spend in the Wraith the more niggles come to your attention, that shouldn’t be the case; this is no entry level Ghost after all.
Rolls Royce Wraith – Awesome power, plutocrat good looks, interior could be better!