Ghost of Geneva Assumes Form: Rolls-Royce Wraith Debuts

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With every auto show, vehicles that had existed as figments of imaginations or as apparitions are given a tangible form. As the 2013 Geneva Motor Show commences this week in Switzerland, a wide assortment of concept and production automobiles will be coming to life. While some vehicles will be born for the first time, resurrection usually play a part in the theme of every auto show. One spirit born 75 years ago is among those being reincarnated by super luxury car company Rolls-Royce. In character, teaser shots of the Rolls-Royce Wraith were images in shadows ahead of this week. Now, as the 2013 Geneva Motor Show opens to press, the Rolls-Royce’s newest two-door is crossing over to the current automotive marketplace.

Too many times, automotive followers have witnessed moments where the attempt to extract two-door sportiness from a converted four-door has fallen flat. When Rolls-Royce announced the current Ghost underpinning (also the same as the BMW 7 Series) would be the basis of a two-door personal luxury car, concern mounted if the Wraith will receive its own personality. Made apparent in Geneva, Rolls-Royce did not simply create a two-door Ghost when they conceived the Wraith.

The type of car a well-off lawyer, doctor or business executive would pilot to the country club, the Rolls-Royce Wraith’s look wins over audiences who actually want to be seen driving instead of riding in the back of. This is the intention of Rolls-Royce who is channelling their co-founder Charles Stewart Rolls. Rolls was an active adventurer who was an early British aviator who became the first to complete a non-stop double crossing flight over the English Channel. In fact, Charles Stewart Rolls died young in his pursuit of early airplane flying. In modern sheetmetal, the Rolls-Royce Wraith tributes the company co-founder with a luxury driving machines.

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As the Rolls-Royce Wraith is brought to public light for the first time, the two-door fastback’s silhouette is the epitome of personal luxury. The Wraith is termed “…the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo,” by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös. Compared to the measurements of the Rolls-Royce Ghost sedan, the Wraith is lower and resides in a shorter wheelbase. One of the most contemporary Rolls-Royce designs exhibited in recent history, the Wraith balances elements of the four-door Ghost with a sleek, modern expression of 21st century motoring. Recessed grille, bold bodylines and the option of 20-inch and 21-inch wheels are some design touches that court the premium sport coupe market. A wide selection of two-tone exterior colour schemes allows an owner to best personalize their Rolls-Royce Wraith to individual preferences.

Entry to the Rolls-Royce Wraith’s cockpit is gained through coach doors (rearward-opening hinged access points often popularized in hot rodding by the name ‘suicide doors’). Inside the Rolls-Royce Wraith’s four-passenger cabin, the personal luxury car does not have to be an entirely intimate experience. Surrounded by high-quality materials and riding in uncompromised comfort every Rolls-Royce Wraith will have a well-appointed cabin. Along with Phantom-grade leather, Rolls-Royce tempts potential occupants with a wood they call Canadel Panelling details the Wraith’s interior. Previously available only on the Phantom, ambient illumination from the Bespoke Starlight Headliner saturates the Rolls-Royce Wraith’s interior with the beams of 1,340 fiber optic lights. A voice-activated system Rolls-Royce terms the ‘on-broad valet” will be among the Wraith’s 21st century conveniences.

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Beyond style, the substance of the Rolls-Royce Wraith is truly world luxury class. Pumping 624 horsepower from a V12 engine, the Wraith claims the crown as the most powerful Rolls-Royce to ever be produced. 59 horsepower greater than the Rolls-Royce Ghost, the Wraith’s 800 Newton meters (roughly 590 foot pounds) of torque will be delivered with the urgency from 1,500 RPMs. An 8-speed automatic transmission sourced from the reputable ZF Friedrichshafen AG guarantees the smooth transfer of 624 horsepower. What is certain to be an auto industry first, the Rolls-Royce Wraith’s 8-speed automatic gearbox is controlled through a revolutionary gadget called Satellite Aided Transmission. Incorporating GPS mapping, Satellite Aided Transmission technology assists the driver in gear selection knowing the precise nature of the terrain. The Rolls-Royce Wraith’s Satellite Aided Transmission also has the ability to adjust to upcoming roads.

Performance-wise, the Rolls-Royce Wraith could be the most thrilling super luxury coupe set in motion. Combined with a near-unprecedented level of style and interior comfort, the Wraith launches from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds. Built to Rolls-Royce standards, the Wraith’s Ride quality and handling should impress riders at any speed.

CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös declared, “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and quality, traits that remain as important to Rolls-Royce customers today as they were more than a century ago.” Scheduled for launch in late 2013, the Rolls-Royce Wraith has received a price tag in Europe at 245,000 Euros (equivalent to just under 320,000 US dollars) less possible options and Bespoke touches. The Wraith’s appearance should be seen as a direct challenge to high luxury performance machines such as the Aston Martin Vanquish and the Bentley Continental GT.

 

Information and photo source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

About The Author

Admiring automobiles ever since childhood viewership of the TV show Knight Rider, Chris Nagy grew as an enthusiast enroute to become an automotive and motorsport writer. Drawn to the rich world of motoring, Chris discovers charm everywhere in the industry from supercars like the Bugatti Veyron to a Kia Soul. Car design, engineering, performance and the passion itself fuels his daily existence.

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