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2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith Overview
The Rolls-Royce Wraith arrives for 2014 a mammoth by every measure, threatening all who witness its sweeping lines and deep, resonant song with falling utterly in love. A full-size sport coupe after Charles Stewart Rolls's own heart, the new Wraith takes the best of Rolls's Ghost and reinvents the rest to create a modern-day yet deeply debonair adventure of a genteel caliber. No longer just a beloved innovative late-'30s icon for motoring 7 in opulent sophistication, the new Wraith carries 4 in equally inventive reverence—and gets to 60 mph in 4.4 effortless seconds.
Although the engine is the very same twin-turbo V12 in the Ghost, power output for the all-wheel-drive Wraith jumps some 80 horses and 15 lb-ft of torque for 624 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque in total. That still leaves plenty of power in reserve even with more than 5,200 pounds to tote, but that's at least partly possible due to a 300-pound drop in curb weight relative to its 4.7-second rear-wheel-drive saloon brother. Clearly the power delivery will be more noticeable in the Wraith just as it is for the Phantom Coupe versus its Phantom chariot, which is to say effortless, sneaky and yet thunderously ample, with just enough of the outside world allowed in the cabin to make sure nobody misses one memorably breathless second.
Mind you, that delivery comparison is with a 5.6-second Coupe clock time relative to the Phantom's 5.7-second sprint to 60 mph. That means the Wraith is not only the fastest Rolls-Royce available today, but also the car with the most sporting feel that's certainly most reminiscent of the maker's seaplane-racing heyday. As in the Phantom Coupe, it's safe to expect truly enjoyable enhancements to the road's song and dance.
We're not talking potholes and wind, though. No, Rolls-Royce's idea of letting in the outside world for the Wraith still starts with powered "suicide" doors leading to impeccable insulation, as in the Phantom Coupe, but continues with the option of an all-glass roof with leather shades and a comprehensive 18-speaker sound system included by default. Of course, the fiber-optic Starlight headliner is available, too. Ecstasy was not compromised, and Rolls' spirit hasn't changed; those imperfect roads and other boring things about cars in general are still but a muffled sound lost to the past and made into part of an experience worth remembering.
That said, aside from other Rolls-Royce quality hallmarks like a painstakingly woodgrain-matched interior with at least twice as many options as can possibly be produced in a single year and a basis in world-record-setting mechanical engineering, the Wraith and Phantom Coupe couldn't be more different. Henry Royce's idea of motoring was always decidedly more “old world charm,” and the Phantom line is built after that image. Charles Rolls, on the other hand, was exceptionally keen on streamlining and innovation. And 2-tone painted exteriors, but I digress.
Certainly a glass roof is nothing new, awe-inspiring as it is in such a swift minivan-size machine, but the Wraith debuts a Satellite Aided Transmission that determines for you which of its 8 gears are ideal for the road ahead and then, in true Rolls fashion, seamlessly shifts at the best possible time. Most new cars come with infotainment screens, and the Wraith does, too—but it's 10.25 inches, high definition, and without fingerprints, as it features a glass Spirit of Ecstasy iDrive-like knob and touch pad in the center console in addition to the typical touchscreen interface.
There's much, much more, of course, but your best method to find out is probably to visit the Rolls-Royce site, unless you have the green for a Ghost in the first place. The Wraith is expected to be on a bit higher price pedestal than even the Phantom Drophead Coupe as compared to its standard Phantom, with speculations as high as $70,000 over the Wraith's 4-door Ghost brother.
by Patricia Mayo
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