Price aside, the first word that’ll come to anyone’s mind when they see a Rolls Royce would probably be “Luxurious”. And the accompanying thought would likely be “That guy must be loaded”.
I remember the very first time I saw stock images of the Rolls Royce Wraith shortly after its release and thinking to myself, “Holy Moley”. Now, I’ve never been a fan of Rolls Royce’s cars before the Wraith. No offence but truthfully, the Phantom and the Ghost weren’t all that appealing to me. Personally, I’ve always preferred more modern and sportier silhouettes.
But the Wraith opened my eyes to the world of Rolls Royce, and I grew to appreciate the brand more than I thought I would. Since then, I started indulging myself by watching video reviews of Rolls Royce cars, and I gradually fell in love with these masterful works of engineering. The craftsmanship, the opulence of it, the exclusivity.
Alright, enough grandmother stories, on to the Wraith. After gawking at the car for close to a decade, I finally had the luxury (no pun intended) of taking this car out for a shoot. My very first opportunity to see what this land yacht felt like. And yes, my friends and I referred to Rolls Royce vehicles as “Land Yachts” due to the sheer size of them. Pulling up alongside a Rolls on any given day, and I’d feel like I’m at the helm of a Sampan – a small wooden boat that is normally used as a traditional fishing boat.
That being said, it is now my turn to experience what it’s like to be the king of the roads. Now I know the Rolls Royce Wraith shares the same platform as the BMW 7-Series, but that’s where the similarities end. The Rolls Royce Wraith is huge, measuring in at a whopping 5.27 meters long, but its 3.11m wheelbase gives it a strangely comforting demeanour.
In comparison, the 7-series shares slightly smaller dimensions, but driving a coupe with luxury saloon dimensions is strange. In a good way. Even though the Wraith is almost a thousand kilograms heavier than the 7-series on which it’s based, it actually drives like a much lighter vehicle. In fact, it is a lot easier to handle this behemoth than it is to handle the Beemer saloon. I can actually see myself daily driving the Rolls Royce Wraith.
Despite the weight, the wraith is the most powerful Rolls Royce ever made, producing 624 horsepower from its turbocharged 6.6-litre V12 engine. That’s about a 10% power gain over what you get in the Phantom and the Cullinan. Pretty impressive eh?
To give you a better understanding of how fast this massive coupe can go, here are the numbers; 0-100km/h in only 4.4 seconds, top speed in excess of 250km/h without the limiter. But all these aside, what made me fall in love with the car even more was the interior comfort and space, even though it’s a coupe.
When you get into an ordinary coupe, you would often find yourself getting cramped up in the back seat with little to no space left. However, getting in the back of the Wraith feels almost as if I’m being tucked into bed. Given its long wheelbase, the back seats of the Wraith provide ample space for an average-sized human to be ferried in comfort.
As with all Rolls Royce vehicles, the one aspect that truly sets them apart from other car manufacturers is the sheer attention to detail in this car. Every function has been built and designed with comfort and luxury in mind. From the glorious piano black veneer on the dash, the chrome trimmings around the buttons and interfaces, the fantastic leather seats, even the plush suede-like carpets in the footwell.
Now comes the best part, the sheer reserves of power. I’ve driven some powerful cars in my lifetime, and I had the opportunity to drive this monster. Let me tell you, this thing drives on a whole new level of comfort and power.
Truthfully, I can’t find the words to describe what it’s like driving the Wraith. Yes, I do agree that it’s a little bit on the bigger side but hey, it’s a good problem to have, isn’t it? If this car cannot fit into any given lot in a carpark, just go ahead and park it right in the middle road. No one would touch it, not even a fly would go near it. (Just kidding)
But jokes aside, what amazed me was how ridiculously quiet it is when inside you’re sitting in the cabin. When you’re driving on the road, the Hydro-pneumatic suspension system used in this Rolls just soaks everything up. I genuinely felt like I was hovering over the road instead of riding on four wheels. To add on, despite driving a massive car like this, the steering was surprisingly light. Realistically, I could steer this car with one finger but I really wouldn’t recommend it. (Not that I tried).
My experience driving this car really showed me the depth and engineering Rolls Royce has put into the production of every one of their cars. Every step of the production process has been taken into consideration, without compromise. Being in and around the Wraith, you can tell that every inch of the vehicle has been precisely fine-tuned and well thought out, all for the driver’s advantage.
Now I truly understand the reason owners would spend lump sums of money to purchase a Rolls Royce. I mean, it is just a car and it gets you to the same destination just like any other vehicle would. But if you have the spare million or so dollars lying around, I’d say it’s definitely worth spending it on a ride like this. Trust me, you’re going to have the most amazing and unforgettable driving experience of your life.
Story and Photographs by Lawrence Loy