After a couple of months of drip feeding silhouette images of its new model Wraith, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has finally turned the lighting up on the new fastback at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Powered by a V12 engine married to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Wraith produces a refined 624 hp (465 kW) and 800 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm, which outdoes the Ghost's 563 hp (420 kW) and 780 Nm of torque, making the new coupe the most powerful Rolls ever.
Based on the Ghost, the new Wraith accelerates from 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.4 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds quicker than its saloon stablemate and would leave the original Wraith, which was built from 1938 to 1939 and managed a 0-50 mph (80.4 km/h) time of 16.4 seconds, eating dust.
Described by Rolls Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös as “the ultimate gentleman’s gran turismo, the Wraith debuts Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology that uses GPS mapping data to get the lay of the road ahead – including corners, junctions and roundabouts – and selects the appropriate gear based on the current location and driving style and the upcoming terrain.
The Wraith also features a one-touch call button on the steering wheel to activate the voice control system so Jeeves can inform the navigation system of the desired destination. The on-screen functions can also be navigated using the “Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller” or touch pad with pinch and pull functionality and handwriting character recognition.
With Rolls Royce Motor Cars a subsidiary of BMW, don’t be surprised if similar technology starts appearing in Bimmers before too long.
With a two-tone finish, the Wraith also sports a raked rear screen, recessed front grille, wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height and benefits from suspension that has been tuned to minimize body roll. To enhance the feel of the car, the steering weight is heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds.
Stepping inside through the suicide doors (which Rolls Royce prefers to call “coach doors” as they were originally used on horse-drawn carriages – and it sounds a bit classier), reveals copious amounts of “Phantom-grade” leather and open pore wood called “Canadel Panelling.”
Making it out of the Phantom family for the first time is a Starlight Headliner, which sees 1,340 fiber optic lamps hand-woven into the roof lining that are meant to give the impression of a starry sky – think of more expensive, hi-tech version of those glow in the dark stickers you might have had as a kid.
Due to be available in Q4 2013, the Wraith will be priced at €245,000 (US$319,260) in Europe, with pricing details for other markets to be announced later this year.
Darren Quick's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.