“If it does not exist design it.” That straightforward mandate was the tail end of Sir Henry Royce’s business philosophy. Yet despite their coiner’s passing, the words remain a central pillar of Rolls-Royce’s ideology. And they ring no truer than in my silhouette, the brand’s latest halo car, the Wraith. Our first introduction to Rolls-Royce’s was a few months back (Pulse’s October 2013 issue) and I was painted as a somewhat wicked, indulgence-peddling mistress. After spending another 48 hours together, deep in the desert of Arizona, I’m all that and more.
Boldly bursting into the small circle of ultra-luxury sport offerings previously dominated by Bentley’s GT Speed, I’m every bit as stunning in person. For anyone suffering from chauffeur separation anxiety, relax. Opening my mile-long door hardly feels like a violation of etiquette. Leaving Scottsdale immediately validated that while I am unmistakably a Rolls-Royce from any angle, I don’t resemble anything else on the road. Rolling past the Phantoms my coupé’s sweeping angles and aggressive stance commands complete attention even devoid of any ornamentation or badging. The RR crest and Spirit of Ecstasy trophy are just icing on the proverbial cake. Be warned, people are going to stare at us. They’ll glance at you too, but don’t feel inadequate if the eye contact is fleeting.
Approaching town limits, a seemingly endless ribbon of asphalt dared to test my stamina. Go ahead, pin my aluminum-trimmed pedal firmly to the floor. Though you may not expect this shapely Englishwoman to respond with the intensity of an Italian exotic, my 624 horses and 590 lb-ft of torque from the twin-turbo V-12 delivers a solid gut-check when provoked. As cacti melted into green peripheral streaks, you remain in complete control. I won’t divulge the full extent of our fun, but if you have a chance to ride along consider packing a PBA card, an ample bank account and a great lawyer. Only have one? Then scale back to legal speed limits, even if feels like sitting still.
My Satellite Aided Transmission helps keep the ride smooth and intuitive. Rolls-Royce begun implementing a GPS-enhanced drivetrain that ‘sees’ the road ahead, making optimally-placed shifts to augment your driving dynamic. As my route becomes more serpentine in nature, pay closer attention to the gearing through each twist and turn. I’m sure all you’ll feel is confidence. And while that may come across as anti-climactic, it’s actually far from it. Make no mistake; while I’m the sportiest offering in Rolls-Royce’s lineup, I’m still a big, heavy automobile to be throwing into the curves with any sort of velocity. If you thought the computer-aided copilot would restrict you, chances are you’ll exit each apex feeling in control and connected to the tarmac.
All this should make it easier to empower you to get behind my wheel—to take control. For those of you in the position to, I fully encourage you to cheat on your driver. This time I won’t say a thing.
Engine: Twin-Turbocharged Direct-Inject V-12
0-60: 4.4 Seconds
Max Speed: 155mph (governed)
Max Power: 624hp @ 5,600 rpm
Max Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 1,500-5,500 rpm
Base Price: $284,900 USD + $2,000 destination fee