You buy a coupe to turn heads, and few coupes will get passers-by rubbernecking like the Rolls-Royce Wraith. It’s beautiful inside, too, although pretty cramped in the back.
As a concept, a sporty Rolls-Royce seems almost wrong, but that’s exactly what the Rolls-Royce Wraith is trying to be. It’s aiming to tempt you away from other lavish grand tourers such as the Bentley Continental GT and Mercedes S Class Coupe, but can cost nearly twice as much.
Despite being pitched as the most dynamic Rolls-Royce, the Wraith’s interior is its strongest selling point – the quality of the wood, the softness of the leather and the deepness of the carpets are unrivalled. The Wraith is also packed with beautiful details – whether it’s the rear-hinged doors that make getting in and out a dignified spectacle or just the impossibly smooth action of the cupholder cover – few other car interiors come as close to perfection.
Historically the passenger has been much more important for Rolls-Royce than the driver, but the Wraith does things the other way around – the seating position is low like in a sports car, yet you are still perched upright, looking over other lesser road users. There is generous space in the front, but the sloping roof reduces headroom for rear passengers. The low roof and the small rear window translate to poor rearward visibility for the driver, too, but at least standard parking sensors are there to help.
Rolls-Royce doesn’t do sports cars, but the Wraith is probably the closest thing to one. As such, it’s a little firmer than the firm’s saloons, but also more fun to drive.
The Wraith might look like a hatchback, but it has a regular saloon car boot door that opens up a relatively small opening leading to a surprisingly deep luggage area. The capacity of 470 litres should be more than enough for a long driving holiday on the continent.
Mash the Wraith’s accelerator and, after a short delay, the Wraith’s 632hp V12 propels it to a point on the horizon with all the ease and linearity of a plane taking off. However, try to corner fast and, while it certainly corners with more eagerness than a Rolls-Royce Ghost or Phantom, you’ll eventually end up fighting a losing battle against the laws of physics.
But the Wraith isn’t just fast – it’s also very comfortable. The air suspension might introduce some body roll in fast corners and the steering might be a bit too vague, but the overall ride quality is so good you’d prepared to let those two niggles slide. There isn’t a bump, pothole or expansion joint that will unsettle it.
When it comes to costs, it’ll come as no surprise that the Wraith is a hugely expensive object in every way possible. Does that matter though? Well, no, because according to Rolls-Royce eight out of 10 Wraiths sold are individually configured, taking the final cost way beyond what’s written in the brochure. Ultimately, if you want the finest luxury coupe on sale, this is it.