Let us issue a round of claps for Rolls, first, in honor of their weathering all sorts of conditions through the years and stubbornly clinging to their commitment to old-fashioned notions such as “hand-made” and “quality without compromise.”
Here, we have their 2016 Wraith, a jewel of an automobile, and one which Da Luxe had the pleasure of test-driving in the not-too-distant past over the rolling hills of Savannah, Georgia. Our impressions:
It is impossible, when paying attention to one’s eyes, ears, nose, touch and thoughts, not to be seduced by the car’s smooth ride, the sight of the high-end craftsmanship, the scent of materials and, in this case, stars during the daytime provided by the model’s optional “Starlight Headliner.” “Headliner,” for those not in the know, is the technical name for a car’s roof. The “Starlight Headliner” refers to the 1,340 fibre optic lamps hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.
Its heavy, magnificent doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with soft leathers and expanses of wood called Canadel Panelling. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, this contemporary and tactile finish sweeps through the interior, providing four occupants a space bathed in light and warmth.
In profile, the Wraith’s sweeping “fastback” design gives the car its character. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in its deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation. Can the average person tell instantly that it’s a Rolls-Royce? No, but only because one doesn’t expect a slope-backed sedan authored by this iconic brand.
The Wraith is the fastest model Rolls Royce has ever made, with its V12 engine married to an 8-speed automatic ZF transmission making 624 horsepower. Yet it’s quiet, which sort of defeats the purpose of so much power – in theory – but it’s also nice to get a move on when you wish. The steering wheel is skinny and the shift stalk pencil-like, further distancing the car from being a terror. But who buys a Rolls for the “terror” factor? Not you, not me, so it’s fine.
Would we buy it? That depends. How much?
Base price is $294,025; $398,359 with all the options including:
Bespoke Group charge $5,525.00
Front ventilated seats $2,550.00
Answer? We’d buy a few.