“At 60 miles per hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” David Ogilvy’s rather inspired turn of phrase has come to define the prestigious brand in the minds of millions around the world. You simply do not hear anything in a Rolls-Royce. And that’s why, as I drive through some spectacular Austrian alpine countryside in the latest addition to the range, I’m feeling a bit confounded. You see, I’ve just heard a Rolls-Royce engine sounding like it means business, and it somehow doesn’t feel wrong. Will the world stop turning now?
While it will take a lot more than one perplexed motoring journalist to make the world stop turning, all it takes is one spectacular- looking, stunningly fast Rolls-Royce motorcar to make heads turn, even in one of the wealthiest parts of the world. It makes a substantial impression, this sub-five-second car named after a disembodied spirit. The most powerful Rolls ever built, the Wraith.
It’s only so often that an all-new model is conceived behind the hallowed doors at Goodwood, so before the covers came off the Rolls-Royce Wraith at Geneva earlier this year, the anticipation was immense and intense. And this car lived up to the hype. Based on the same chassis as the Ghost, the two-door luxury coupé stays true to its roots while seamlessly moving the brand into the 21st century with élan. The unmistakable Rolls-Royce grille remains proudly in place, but the Spirit of Ecstasy is now tilted forward by five degrees – a subtle reinforcement of the Wraith’s ‘coiled to spring’ stance. It’s this stance (viewed best from the rear three-quarter or in profile) that defines the Wraith, setting the tone for its performance on tarmac.
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Issue: 180 | August 2014
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