Rolls-Royce Wraith - Stunning Fastback Debuts At Geneva Show

Many cars have lain claim to the title of "best car in the world", but Rolls-Royce is one of few companies to deliver on that claim with any conviction.

Some may argue the best car in the world is one which anybody could afford, but since when has perfection been attainable?

That makes the predicted 245,000 price tag - around 210,000 at current exchange rates - reassuringly expensive, as one alcoholic drinks company might put it.

Champagne is more appropriate than beer for the Rolls-Royce Wraith though, both to suit the car's clientele and to celebrate some of the figures - the Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever, at 624 horsepower and a full 800 Nm of torque.

Rolls-Royce Wraith rear angle

Rolls-Royce owners, or perhaps more accurately their drivers, don't do anything so uncouth as race away from traffic lights, but whoever sinks their toe to the thick carpet will reach 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds - a fraction quicker than the plebs in their Jaguar XJ Supersports.

Away from the engine room, it's hard to know where to start with the Wraith.

Do we describe the flowing fasback styling, with its speedboat-like profile, two-tone coachwork, deeply recessed grille and muscular stance?

Or the interior, accessed through wide rear-hinged coach doors? In here, you'll find sumptuous leather, wooden 'Canadel' panelling and the kind of contemporary style and craftsmanship you'd usually find on a multi-million pound yacht. A Starlight Headliner also reappears following its introduction on the Phantom, with 1,340 fibre-optic lights hand-woven into the roof lining for a glittering, starry sky effect at night.

The technology is worth mentioning, too. Making its debut is a Satellite Aided Transmission. GPS data is used by the 8-speed automatic ZF transmission to determine the right gear for the terrain ahead.

Rolls-Royce Wraith interior

This mind-blowingly trick feature means the Wraith's driver will never have to wait for the car to select a gear when ascending a hill or slowing for a corner - it will already have chosen the correct ratio.

The chassis will be ready too, with minimal body roll and variable weight steering, letting the driver know when they're working the enormous coupe just a little harder.

Voice activation of some interior functions, a keyless opening boot, head-up display, adaptive headlights and more all add to the Wraith's armoury of equipment, while a Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller recognises characters drawn onto a touch pad, as well as pinches and pulls, to exercise its commands.

Priced from: 210,000 (approx.)
Available from: Final quarter 2013

Rolls-Royce Wraith cabin


If a car that reads the impending terrain and selects the appropriate gear isn't the sort of technology you'd find in the best car in the world, then we don't know what is. Not that Satellite Aided Transmission is the Wraith's only virtue, of course - from its styling, through its interior and to its engine, the car is sure to set new standards in the class.
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