Hubert Burda Media

Test drive: Rolls-Royce Wraith

It’s a seriously prosperous family ride – perfect for occasions such as Chinese New Year. 

For a long time, Rolls-Royces were known as cars to be driven in, not one you drive. Well, that was probably true back in those days. In comes the Wraith, a result – according to the English automaker – of constant reinvention and pushing of boundaries. The Wraith is one Roller that demands to be driven — and with much conviction at that, as I find out for myself. 

So what makes the Wraith different from the rest?

Like the other Rollers, it still is a mark of true luxury. On the inside, you get quality materials in every aspect of the car, whether it’s the dashboard, the seats, the gear shift or the steering wheel. It’s beauty at its best in a car. 

But what sets it apart from the rest in Rolls-Royce’s portfolio is the fact that it is a car that you ought to drive. It’s a ride the promises the lavishness of a chauffeur-driven car, while delivering the robust performance of a sporting grand tourer. Driving it around on the expressways and long roads, its V12 engine moves like a dream. It’s understated and doesn’t roar for attention so the cabin is in luxury and refinement, yet before I know it, the speedometer needle is climbing higher than allowed and I have to quickly tap on the brakes to keep within the speed limit. 

It’s as if I lose my sense of time and speed in the Wraith.

Sure, it’s got power because of its V12 engine. But isn’t it bulky and huge?

On the contrary. I’m not denying the size of the Wraith. It is still a four-seater car and sports the typical look of a Roller, with its recognisable front grilles and wide stance, topped with the spirit of ecstasy. But behind the wheel, I hardly noticed its sheer size. Everything under the bonnet has been tuned to make this car drive like a breeze. 

I don’t pretend to say this car is as agile as the McLaren 650S or Ferrari 488. But it certainly feels like one. But with 6.6 litres of muscle under the hood, the Wraith has set a new bar in the GT category. Top power is at 624bhp, more than that of a Lamborghini Huracán, whose V10 powers up to 610bhp. Torque is a whopping 800Nm and it goes from zero to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, the same time as an Aston Martin DB9 GT.

Does that mean this car isn’t quite for passengers?

Not quite. It’s still a Rolls-Royce after all. So passenger comfort is a given. In fact, it fits a family of four wonderfully, with much elegance to boot, which makes this a great ride to travel in for occasions including Chinese New Year, in which many of us have to commute to and from places. (And it helps that the Wraith comes in this modish shade of red that’s even sweeter for the Lunar New Year.)

While the Wraith has all the aspects of a sporting grand tourer, it also doubles as a cushy family ride, so you’ll certainly be travelling in serious style and comfort. Passengers can definitely indulge in a ritzy ride with plush cabin interiors, while petrol heads can fully bask in the car’s robust driving performance. 

There’s no doubt about it at all; you’ll surely stand out in the crowd.