Chauffeur sacked!


The new Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe is being promoted as a driver’s car, making an army of Rolls-Royce chauffeurs redundant.

The car looks ‘sporty’ as opposed to the usual Rollers which are all stately sedans, with Sir in the back seat and “Home James” behind the wheel.

The New RR Wraith.The New RR Wraith.

The fastback-styled Wraith coupe has the most powerful engine ever installed under the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, with the twin-turbo V12 producing 465 kW/800 Nm to the rear wheels to give the luxury coupe a zero-100 km/h time of 4.6 seconds.  Gone are the days when Rolls-Royce specifications did not show the actual power developed.  “Enough” was the official figure.

The platform for the Wraith is a shortened and widened Ghost platform and has a teardrop silhouette transforming the Ghost’s stately sedan looks into a genuinely sporty vehicle.  Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific general manager Dan Balmer says “We believe the Wraith will be the preferred car in the range and our Australian customers also have a very high uptake of bespoke personalization.” However, personalization comes at a price.  Beespoke treatments – ranging from the expected custom interior and exterior colors to almost any whim the buyer decrees – will add to the $645,000 base price and extend the delivery time beyond early 2014.

The original pre-war Wraith.The original pre-war Wraith.

As an option you can ask for a birds-eye camera and satellite-assisted eight-speed automatic transmission.  The former is to ensure the Wraith isn’t damaged when parking, while the latter provides a predictive application of gearing: matching the transmission to the terrain and the vehicle’s velocity.

The doors are hung ‘suicide’ fashion (rear-hinged) and close with the push of a button while the interior has half a forest of open-grain wood veneer paneling, plus the “starlight” headliner that uses tiny LEDs to simulate a night sky and a multifunction screen.

The air suspension has been adapted to provide a more engaging drive when going hard without sacrificing the Rolls-Royce cruising comfort that isolates the four occupants from potential jostling on back roads – spilling one’s Veuve Clicquot vintage champagne would spoil not just the mood but leave marks on the herd of cow’s leather throughout the cabin.

This new Wraith is even more collectable than the pre-war Wraith.