The first ever Rolls-Royce Wraith media driving event was organized recently in Vienna, Austria and we were invited to drive the most dynamic and powerful Rolls-Royce in history on the Alpine roads of Austria.
Wraith is a breathtaking car that sets a new benchmark in the ultra-luxury segment and reaffirms the position of Rolls-Royce at the absolute pinnacle of automotive luxury. The new Rolls-Royce Wraith draws inspiration from the story of the Honorable Charles Rolls, one of the company’s founding forefathers and a man who indulged a passion for innovation, engineering and, most importantly, adventure. Rolls was a passionate racing driver, balloonist and aviator who won the praise of King George V, who hailed him the “greatest hero of the day” on becoming the first person to cross the English Channel and return non-stop in a flying machine.
Upon my arrival at Flughafen Wien airport, I was chauffeured in a 2013 Rolls Royce Ghost to the iconic Palais Coburg Residenz. I checked into my two-level suite, Albert Edward VII, No. 202. Palais Coburg is home of Silvio Nickol’s Michelin two-star Gourmet Restaurant, one of the finest restaurants in Austria, and Chef Nickol prepared a six-course surprise dining experience paired with some of the most unique and spectacular Austrian wines for our Rolls media group.
There is the feeling of going aboard a luxury yacht. It is a serene space for four occupants who will be cocooned in a striking and contemporary interior furnished in beautiful materials, surrounded by tactile Phantom-grade leathers. Design details like the expansive Canadel Panelling and the blood orange needle tips for the speedometer and power reserve gauge, hint further at agility, speed and performance. Look upwards, however, and Rolls-Royce presents something more traditional. Starlight headliner – offered for the first time beyond the Phantom range – features thousands of tiny fiber optic lamps hand woven by craftspeople into the roof lining.
In its design, Rolls-Royce Wraith presents a masterpiece of elegant simplicity, exuding poise and the promise of dynamism. There is a sense that this car is ready to move with purpose on its driver’s command. Grace and beauty define the exterior presentation. The swept lines of the fastback, a style whose origins can be found in 1930s automotive design, most clearly signal its purposeful character, one which hints gently at the noir.
Only ten minutes after leaving the hotel, I was already slipping silently on the Austrian freeway towards the first stop of the day located in Mariazell. This picturesque village is known for its famous church erected in 1644. It’s a site of pilgrimage for Catholics from Austria. The object of veneration is an image of the Virgin Mary, carved in lime tree wood, and reputed to work miracles. Then it was time to do some breathtaking scenic road driving to get to our lunch stop at Steirereck am Pogusch.
Right after lunch, we had to start our fast, sweeping route back to Vienna. Performance complements the drama of the Wraith’s exterior styling. A shorter wheelbase, wider rear track, 624 bhp derived from the 6.6 litre twin turbo V12 and a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds and on to an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph give expression to the car’s dynamic looks. But Wraith is no GT bruiser; it is every inch a refined and luxurious Rolls-Royce, a car where the sense of arrival and joy of the journey are as important as the canvas upon which it is drawn.
Wraith debuted the most intelligent drive train ever to be featured in a Rolls-Royce, including the application of ground-breaking technologies like Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT). This processes GPS data to predict the driver’s next move and automatically select the right gear for the road ahead. Unnecessary gear changes are thus avoided, augmenting the famous Rolls-Royce trait of waftability and ensuring the Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its dynamic promise. The new Wraith embraces the very finest things in life – elegance, beauty, refinement and luxury – to be enjoyed by a new generation of confident gentlemen and women. It will boldly shape the future of Rolls-Royce, building on the success of Phantom and Ghost, bringing new and younger customers to the marque. This was an exceptional trip and the drive was unexpectedly smooth and dynamic. The new Wraith is a game changer for Rolls.