by Michael Butler
Rolls-Royce is one of the top manufacturers of ultra-luxury vehicles catering to the ultra-rich and famous who are looking for something more exclusive than what's on offer from German contemporaries such as Mercedes-Maybach and native rival Bentley. The Wraith is the most performance-oriented Rolls-Royce vehicle on offer, and its sleek GT-style body design hints at powerful performance and dynamic capability. Unlike others who adorn their performance-focused cars within garish carbon fiber bits, big air intakes, and adaptive spoilers, the Wraith keeps things classy, by merely utilizing a powerful 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine producing 624 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque, as well as a recalibrated suspension setup. The Wraith has seen minor changes over its lifespan, including the addition of extra equipment. The Rolls-Royce Wraith goes up against the likes of the Bentley Continental GT and Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe.
The Rolls Royce Wraith has been around since 2013 and is based on the chassis of the Rolls Royce Ghost. When it was first launched, it was deemed the most powerful Rolls Royce to have ever been produced. Since its launch, the Wraith has retained the same power plant, transmission and power outputs, but has seen the addition of modernized safety systems such as night vision assist and adaptive cruise control. For 2020 Rolls Royce introduces the Wraith Eagle VIII which is inspired by the first nonstop transatlantic flight. This car gets a gray two-tone exterior, a custom headliner, and the exclusivity that comes with only 50 units being built.
With a price tag that will make Columbian drug lords' eyes water, the Rolls-Royce Wraith doesn't hold back on the bill; after all, you've got to pay to play. The Rolls-Royce Wraith will set you back an insane $320,500, and that's without even whispering a word about options, which should see the Wraith's asking price easily creep over the $400k mark. So how does this price compare with the competition? Let's just say that for the price of the Wraith, you could afford nearly two Mercedes-AMG S63s, which is arguably just as comfortable, and offers much more tech. The Bentley Continental GT is almost $120,000 cheaper. We should've invested in bitcoin at the start.
See trim levels and configurations:
6.6L Twin-Turbo V12 Gas
When Rolls-Royce announces a performance model, you can expect it to be fast, but with a tendency to build overweight cars, most will never think that handling capabilities will be razor-sharp - after all, the Wraith weighs more than some SUVs. Rolls-Royce knows full-well what they were dealing with when they set up the chassis and suspension dynamics of the Wraith. An advanced adaptive suspension system not only smoothes out the most imperceptible of road imperfections, but it also keeps this land boat reasonably flat in the corners when pushing on. When driving like gentry, the Wraith is an accomplished cruiser and, at higher speeds, transforms into a GT bombshell. If the need arises, the Wraith can do cornering, but with limited success. The best way to take corners in the Wraith is to enter corners slowly, and then use the masses of torque on offer to punch out of them like a triple-figure slingshot.
There is very little to truly compare the Wraith to. The Bentley Continental GT is one of the closer rivals, but it pales in comparison to the Wraith when you look at the overall package and the ability to stir emotion. We appreciate the fact that Rolls-Royce has stuck to its guns when designing and building the Wraith; it's unashamedly obnoxious in a way that can be universally appreciated and doesn't for one second pretend that it's something other than a six-figure six-star highway bomber. The exterior of this fastback GT cruiser is handsome, to say the least, and we think it combines modern looks and Rolls-Royce tradition very elegantly. The 6.6-liter V12 engine under the hood is an absolute brute that has a deceptive nature and loves to be pushed once the road opens up. The road comfort is second to none, and you'll be able to have some fun in the bends as well. Inside, the Wraith is something else: we are yet to experience anything else that offers the kind of refinement and sheer luxury. It's big, brash, and beautiful. Long live the Wraith.
Well, there's only one on offer, so you don't really get a choice. As we've said before, the Wraith is an extremely expensive blank canvas, and most owners spend hours upon hours with Rolls-Royce consultants planning out the exterior and interior details. If in some alternate universe, we had enough money to buy a Rolls-Royce Wraith, we would first get it painted in British Racing Green and opt for the larger 21-inch wheels in whatever design fancied us at the time. The interior would be a mix of beige and Burlwood to keep with the old-world feel of the entire package. Speaking of packages, we would definitely go for the optional Rolls-Royce Signature Package, which adds bespoke audio, a starlight headliner, and lambswool foot mats, just for the fun of it.
Most will at one point mix up Rolls-Royce and Bentley, after all, they're both British, and they both manufacture some of the most luxurious cars on planet earth. What separates Bentley from Rolls-Royce is about $100,000 and finer attention to detail, but both brands offer exquisite products. The Bentley equivalent of the Wraith is the Continental GT; a pure pred GT car that offers blistering performance and great luxury. The Continental GT is powered by either a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 542 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque, or a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 with 626 hp and 664 lb-ft. The Bentley is by far the faster car, accelerating to sixty in only 3.6 seconds with its most powerful engine in play. The Bentley is also a more agile performer in the corners, but can't match the Wraith for smooth driving. Inside, the Bentley is an oasis of style and comfort, and we prefer it's more contemporary take, but the Wraith offers a more extensive choice of customization. As with the Wraith, the Continental is very thirsty, but not to the exact same extent as the Rolls, and the rear is rather cramped. Still, at the price, we'd rather go with the Bentley.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a world-renowned piece of machinery that represents the pinnacle of German engineering to many. So how do you improve on that impressive CV? By adding the letters A, M, and G to the title. The Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe is a serious beast that not only looks the part, but offers supercar levels of performance as well. Under the hood, you'll find a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that belts out 603 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. The S63 is a much lighter car and naturally performs better than the Wraith. On the road, it feels as composed as can be, and the cabin is beautifully insulated. Speaking of, the cabin of the S63 comes close to offering the same level of refinement, but we think it looks better than that of the Wraith. Where the biggest difference comes in is in terms of features. Whereas the Rolls offers only the basics, the S63 overwhelms with tons of cutting edge tech ranging from ambient LED interior lighting and wireless phone charging, to pedestrian detection and traffic sign recognition. The S63 Coupe comes close to offering the drama and presence of the Wraith for much less money, and for that reason, we'd go with the Merc.
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