Spirit of progress

Rolls sum­mons the Ghost in its su­per­nat­u­ral Wraith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

a satel­lite-linked sys­tem that pre­s­e­lects the right gear for safe cor­ner­ing.

It is priced from ($318,000) in Europe with de­liv­er­ies in the sec­ond half of the year, but that price is likely to blow out to more than $700,000 in Aus­tralia in 2014 judg­ing by the $645,000 sticker for the Ghost model used as the base for the Wraith.

The Wraith has gen­uine movie-star looks— most likely in the next Bat­man flick— and plenty of new-age tech­nol­ogy, but Rolls-Royce is clear on its clients. And it’s not be­ing re­motely po­lit­i­cally cor­rect.

‘‘ To­day we launch the ul­ti­mate gen­tle­men’s gran turismo,’’ says Torsten Muller- Otvos, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Roll­sRoyce Mo­tor Cars. ‘‘ Wraith prom­ises the sense of ad­ven­ture and speed that drove our found­ing fore­fa­ther.’’

So, not even the slight­est nod to the po­ten­tial for fe­male sales.

But the Wraith— a name plucked from the his­tory books for a 21st cen­tury come­back— is clearly aimed at the world’s ul­tra-wealthy car buy­ers, who might be shop­ping it against a new Bent­ley, or a new heli­copter or the sort of hol­i­day that would be a ridicu­lous dream in sub­ur­ban Aus­tralia. And Rolls-Royce be­lieves al­most all of them will be men.

Plenty of women drive Phan­toms, and there will be fe­males who crave a Wraith, but it’s a very mas­cu­line car. That in­cludes the chunky body and a cabin that’s pre­dictably slapped with up­scale wood and leather.

But the real fo­cus is on per­for­mance, with 800Nm of torque on tap, sporty-ish sus­pen­sion set­tings and an eight-speed au­to­matic.

Rolls-Royce clearly be­lieves it can com­pete against Bent­ley’s lat­est su­per-quick coupes, but says it has not sac­ri­ficed lux­ury. ‘‘ Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility im­prove­ments have been achieved with ab­so­lutely no com­pro­mise to the sen­sa­tion of rid­ing on a bed of air,’’ Muller-Otvos says.

Away from the en­gine room, equip­ment in the Wraith is pre­dictably sump­tu­ous and— thanks to tap­ping Ger­man tech­nol­ogy from it­sBMW own­ers— Rolls-Royce has added ev­ery­thing from a headsup in­stru­ment dis­play to adap­tive head­lights and far more user-friendly con­nec­tiv­ity.

There is a fi­nal sig­na­ture item com­mon to the Phan­tom Coupe and con­vert­ible, the sui­cide front doors that Roll­sRoyce de­scribes— in an­other old-school nod— as coach doors, a term that comes from the days when horses and not horse­power ruled the road.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.