2018 Rolls-Royce Wraith Review

Wraith

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2018 Rolls-Royce Wraith Overview

A true work of art, the Rolls-Royce Wraith midsize luxury coupe gets even more luxurious for 2018, thanks to a new limited edition. Now in its fifth year, the Wraith set a new standard for high-end luxury sport coupes when it debuted in 2014. With a smooth glass-like exterior, a cabin unequaled in its upscale ambiance, and a power punch under the hood in the form of a 624-horsepower twin-turbo 12-cylinder engine, the Wraith had a lot going for it right from the start. For 2018, Rolls-Royce ups the coupe's "wow" factor with the unveiling of the new Wraith Luminary Collection.

The Wraith Luminary Collection was designed by the automaker's Bespoke design team who pulled out all the stops. Focusing on exterior and interior upgrades, the collection's unique features start with a new exterior paint color called Sunburst Grey that projects a steely appearance at night but takes on a coppery hue in sunlight. In addition, a hand-painted Sunburst pinstripe runs along the sides of the coupe just above the door handles from front to back. The hood, trunk, and wheel centers are also embellished with hand-painted stripes in a tan/copper color, which mimics the color of the interior upholstery.

The exclusive features inside the cabin begin with Saddlery Tan upholstery for the front seats. For a contrasting look, the second-row seats are covered in Anthracite leather with Saddlery Tan contrast piping; although, owners can opt for Seashell-colored leather upholstery in the rear. Both color schemes are designed to complement those on the unique two-tone steering wheel. For the interior veneers and detailing, the design team chose Tudor Oak from the Czech Republic, selected specifically for its grain, patterns, and rich color. In a first for the automaker, the cabin's wood trim is permeated with 176 LED lights, which illuminate the trim when a door opens. The driver can activate the glowing wood trim at the touch of a button.

Above the seats, one of the Wraith Luminary Collection's signature features is its new Shooting Star headliner. An upgrade over the Wraith's available Starlight headliner, it's interwoven with 1,340 fiber-optic lights that resemble stars in a night sky. In another first, the fiber-optic lights can mimic shooting-star patterns, which appear randomly along the headliner, primarily over the front seats. For some of the flooring, door trim, and center console trim, the design team used a hand-woven stainless-steel fabric, which again complements the interior color scheme and softly reflects the glow of the interior lighting. Finally, the hand-polished stainless-steel sill plates are engraved with the name of the collection and the number of examples to reflect the coupe's limited-edition status.

Produced at Rolls-Royce's assembly works in Goodwood, England, the Wraith remains the automaker's fastest production car and among its most technologically advanced. Its Italian-inspired fastback body style has caused some controversy since its debut, but with its poised stance, low roofline, high sideline, and overall streamlined look, it has no problem standing out in a crowd. Up front, the recessed Pantheon grille features vertical chrome slats and a retractable Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament on top. To ensure an open, clean side profile when the windows are down, Rolls-Royce does away with the traditional B-pillars. Other exterior design features include a long hood, frameless rear-hinging coach doors with an automatic self-close function, and a long rear overhang. Adaptive headlights, stainless steel door handles, 20-inch wheels in a choice of three designs, and dual exhausts at the rear add visual flair. Owners can choose from a variety of exterior colors including two-tone paint combinations, or they can opt for a custom paint job to make a definitive design statement.

Under the hood, the Wraith's twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter 12-cylinder engine delivers an impressive 624 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. It propels the luxury coupe from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, despite the Wraith's hefty weight of over 5,000 pounds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph. The V12 links to an 8-speed ZF satellite-aided automatic transmission that monitors the vehicle's location using GPS and adjusts shift points according to the upcoming terrain. Fuel economy numbers check in at 12.5 mpg city, 19 highway, and 16.1 combined. The engine requires premium unleaded fuel.

The midsize Wraith rides on a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) platform with a relatively short wheelbase of 122.5 inches. That's slightly shorter than the Ghost's wheelbase of 129.7 inches, but it’s 17.3 inches shorter than the new Phantom VIII's wheelbase of 139.8 inches and nearly 30 inches shorter than the stretched Phantom Extended Wheelbase. Rolls-Royce tunes the Wraith's suspension for a smooth ride and minimal body roll, which is aided by an air suspension system and electronic variable damping at all four corners. The dampers make adjustments every 2.5 milliseconds for optimal handling. Despite its weight and dimensions, the Wraith is easy to drive and maneuver, according to owners and test drivers, with some saying it handles better than the Ghost.

Inside the four-seat cabin, passengers will find luxury in every button, surface, nook, and cranny. Second-row passengers will find themselves seated in individual spaces designed with comfort in mind. In addition to the Wraith Luminary Collection, Rolls-Royce offers the Wraith in Base and Black Badge trims for 2018. In its standard configuration, the Wraith comes equipped with natural grain leather upholstery and wood trim, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, a cashmere headliner, rear courtesy reading lights, and a rear-seat storage compartment large enough for two iPads. There's even an umbrella in its own slot that is revealed when the driver's door opens. The Black Badge goes with a darkened color scheme inside and out and mechanical improvements. Carbon-fiber interior trim, the Starlight headliner, black exterior chrome accents, carbon-fiber 21-inch wheels, an upgraded air suspension system, and a boost in torque to 624 lb-ft are among its features.

Tech features in the cabin include a 10.25-inch color display and a voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic. Also included are a Head Up Display, a 360-degree camera view with infrared, and an 18-speaker 1,300-watt bespoke audio system with a 20.5 GB hard drive. The Wraith can also create its own wireless hotspot, so passengers can access the Internet on their personal devices. To manage the vehicle's many tech features, drivers can use the Spirit of Ecstasy rotary controller and touchpad located on the wide center console.

Beyond that, buyers can customize the 2018 Wraith with a limitless combination of features. Embroidered monograms on the headrests and footplates, unique interior or exterior color schemes, and even a gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy are just a few of the possibilities. A newer option is an interior wood treatment called Canadel paneling that exposes the beauty of the wood grain by tilting it at a 55-degree angle in a chevron pattern for a unique look. Buyers also can specify upgraded seats, leather upholstery, veneers, tech features, wheels, and exterior paint.

Dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control, and dynamic brake control are all standard on the Wraith. Also standard are active cruise control and night vision technology that alerts drivers to objects, animals, or people ahead.

The Rolls-Royce Wraith promises a combination of luxury and style, as well as the ability for drivers to customize nearly every component of the vehicle. The Luminary Collection is limited to just 55 examples.

Updated

Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.

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