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Behind The Wheel: Rolls Royce Wraith

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Having a Rolls Royce for a weekend is just a damn tease. It’s like dating a Victoria’s Secret Angel for a few days until she realises you’re nowhere near as wealthy or witty as she originally thought. Regardless, we pressed on, took the keys, signed the release and put this magnificent automobile through its paces.

Over three days we drove the Wraith on Australia’s Great Ocean Road, down hundreds of kilometres of beautiful but winding roads, much to the distain of a permanently motion sick girlfriend. I reminded her that if she was going to throw up, at least it would be in a Rolls.

Rolls Royce launched the two-door Wraith just over 12 months ago, claiming it to be the most powerful and technologically-advanced automobile in the brand’s history. The name ‘Wraith’ originated from early 16th century Scottish language as a term for ‘ghost,’ adding another ghoulish but handsome name to the Rolls Royce family.

On the outside, the most obvious feature of the Rolls Royce Wraith is its size. It has a presence that says ‘Out of my way!’ but in a pleasant British accent with a ‘Thank you, chap’ at the end.

From tip to tail, the Wraith stretches 5.23 meters – that’s almost one meter bigger than your average BMW 3-series – so avoiding tight spaces and little old ladies in Toyota Yaris’ becomes more important. Getting the yips when parallel parking the car was also an issue. We found the parking sensors and 360-degree birds-eye camera onboard to be remarkably helpful.

What’s most impressive is the almost endless list of technology features offered on this car. Starting at the non-performance enhancing options, there’s the constellation starlight headliner on the car. 1,340 tiny fibre lights in the vehicle’s roof light up at the push of a button. Then there’s the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy which adorns the front of the car. Seeing the statuesque dame pop-up was a constant reminder of Rolls Royce’s stately history and attention to detail.

Add the adaptive headlights, ventilated front seats, comfort entry, head-up display, night vision with pedestrian recognition, lane departure warning and very special plate that states the car’s been commissioned for Australia, and you have a mighty (and expensive) list of options.

Everything is effortless too, from opening and closing the coach style doors (at the touch of a button) to changing the radio station. Even driving in cruise control was possibly the easiest I’ve experienced, thanks to the distance sensors. The electronic air suspension made it feel like I could have hopped in the back whilst driving and we would still have arrived safely at our destination.

Under the hood, you’re looking at a 6.6 litre twin turbo V12 that’s deceptively fast off the line. It will reach 100 km/h in just over 4 seconds, in a surprisingly smooth and almost silent motion. Road noise is almost nonexistent in the Wraith, which is perfect when you’re pumping one of the best sound systems I’ve ever heard in a car. It’s not a Bose, nor a Harman Kardon – it’s an 18-speaker DIRAC surround sound system made by Roll Royce. Let’s just say the tunes were fully hectic, bro.

Finally, there’s the almost limitless ways you can customise your Rolls Royce Wraith. From paint to leather, you have close to 40,000 options to choose from. You’re pretty much guaranteed to have the most individual car on the street. If you want to have a play around yourself, be sure to try the Wraith customiser here.

Silliness aside, the car is well thought-out, as it should be for the hefty price tag of $645,000. More importantly, there’s peace of mind knowing its been lovingly crafted by hand in Goodwood, Rolls Royce’s headquarters in England.

A Rolls Royce Wraith is not for the faint of heart. It’s a statement of success, opulence wrapped up in luxurious British refinement. Would I buy one? Fast forward to 2035. I have made my millions, have a family and grandkids, and spend my summers down the coast… It’s definitely possible.

Not this mansion, the next one please, James.

For more information about the Rolls Royce Wraith visit Trivett.




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