Fast & Furious

K Shivraj
Saturday, 23 December 2017

Rolls-Royce Wraith is the fastest and most powerful car from this luxury brand

Presenting a bold new direction, the Wraith is the fastest, and the most powerful car Rolls-Royce has ever built. A fastback two-door coupe, the Wraith combines the characteristics of a sports car and a grand tourer. It also retains all the traditional luxury trappings of a Rolls-Royce, but more power and style to flaunt. 

Aimed at a new and young breed of buyers, the Wraith hasn’t lost out on the serene character of a Rolls-Royce. Matching the newfound level of performance is the visual clout of the Wraith, for instance, the stunning coach doors open backwards. They provide access to a lavish interior covered in expensive wood veneers, chrome and plush leather. If the thick handles extend into the front wing to help the car display sleeker proportions, the low-slung fastback roof and striking two-tone paint do a fine job of making this Rolls-Royce an extrovert ever more. The nicely crafted alloys and the choice of elegant colour combinations further complement the Wraith’s form and function. 

The grand tourer has plenty of space for passengers and feels cosy in the back. With 470-litres of space for luggage, the Wraith makes for good visibility ahead from behind the wheel. This is especially important when one considers the dimensions. The car is over two-metres wide and five metres long. The vast size of the car is made aware on smaller roads. It is this rather than the lack of dynamic ability that prevents the utilisation of the engine’s plenty power reserves quite often. 

The 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 engine produces 624bhp of power. Torque generated is a good 820Nm at 5500rpm. Capable of clocking 0 to 100kmph in 4.5 seconds, the Wraith weighs 2.4-tonnes. Incredibly quiet at speeds normal cars start to wear thin, the Wraith progresses effortlessly. The engine, whisper-quiet at cruising speeds turns into a distant rumble. Keep the right foot planted (the lamb’s wool carpet is thick), and the Wraith will gather speed in an utterly silent and gentlemanly manner. 

The steering feels exceedingly light at low speeds. Turn the steering to negotiate a corner on the move, and the steering suddenly seems to go light as the big and long front sweeps around swiftly. The expansive steering weighs up well, and the variation in effort or feel takes some getting used to. Add to it the vast size, and it takes some time to build up confidence. Some roll is experienced when accelerating and braking. The car, however, stays planted. Displaying stability of a high order, the Wraith generates an enormous wave of torque; it simply charges ahead. 

The eight-speed transmission cleverly swaps the ratios according to the terrain. It is satellite aided, and determines the road and conditions in real time. It works such that the data gathered by the GPS-enabled Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) is used to anticipate how and when to shift gears. The transmission thus decides on a twisty mountain road, or when approaching a turn, whether it should hold the gear rather than up-shift because the current velocity is akin to travelling in a straight direction. The Rotary controller, encrusted with Eleanor’s likeness, puts most vehicle functions at the fingertips. 

Capable of a top speed of 250kmph, the air suspension makes for a subtle ride, however, rough the surface underneath is. Available at a price of Rs 4.7 crore, exclusive of taxes, the Rolls-Royce Wraith is a ludicrously fast grand tourer. Very few cars can equal it for either luxury or pace. They will, most of all, find it difficult to match the special feeling this car conveys. It is this feeling that has the Wraith triumphing in sporting opulence.

Pros: Opulent, luxurious, powerful, elegant
Cons: Expensive enough for only a very few to seek

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