First drive of Rolls-Royce Wraith

By RIZAL JOHAN | 18 March 2015


The Rolls-Royce Wraith is the “ultimate gentleman’s gran turismo” as proclaimed by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, chief operating officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

And after having the opportunity of driving the Wraith from Petaling Jaya to Putrajaya, I can only agree with the sentiment.

When it comes to the Rolls-Royce, my opinion of it had been that it is the ultimate car to be chauffeured in.

And that is still true if you’re sitting in a Phantom or Ghost Series II (I sat in the latter on the way back from Putrajaya and it is an exquisite experience in-and-of itself).

Where the Wraith is concerned however, one must take the opportunity to get behind the wheel and driving it will only make the heart grow fonder.


You have to understand that this is the most powerful Rolls-Royce in existence - under the hood is a 6.6-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine which produces 624hp at 5,600 rpm and a maximum torque of 800Nm at 1,500-5,500 rpm.

Its the type of figures that can rival Italian and German supercars.

Yet it looks, sounds and behaves nothing like a sports car although its performance is just as breathtaking.

To look at the Wraith from the front with the classic grille and Spirit of Ecstasy figurine on top, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the Phantom or the Ghost.

It’s only when you look at it from the sides and rear is where the Wraith distinguishes itself from the rest.


It has the swept line of a fastback - a body style where the roof slopes down to the rear - and this gives it all the power, mystery and elegance of the Wraith as well as its grand touring credentials.

The frameless two-door Wraith opens coach-style bearing one of many features emblematic of the pinnacle of luxury and exclusivity and all it takes is a touch of a button to shut the doors close.

The interior design is striking without screaming for attention and blends modernity and antique features like the engine start/stop button and the polished push/pull knobs to open and shut the air-conditioning vents.

The craftsmanship is nothing short of exquisite.

The wood panelling on the doors of the Wraith for example, is the first to feature a new wood treatment known as Canadel Panelling, a beautiful open grain wood with a grain orientation angled at 55° and bookmatched throughout to appear seamless and dynamic.


The cabin inside is naturally comfortable and supremely sound-proofed to give its occupants a private and serene surrounding, leaving out all the hustle-and-bustle of city life.

I was simply astonished at how silent the Wraith is.

There is no hint that you’re driving a V12 turbo engine until you floor the accelerator.

Even then, there is no evidence of turbo-lag since maximum torque already kicks-in at 1,500rpm and the exhaust note lets out a low-volume and refined growl.

There is nothing brash about the Wraith as the power delivery is buttery smooth and yet, it gives you a rush just like a sports car does when you open the throttle.


The ride is stable and graceful at low and high speeds, and the brakes require very little coaxing for it to catch.

Ironically, I felt completely detached from the car because there is no feedback through the steering wheel and even as a passenger you don’t feel like you are travelling in an automobile.

Rolls-Royce describes this as the ‘magic carpet ride’ and it is magical.

When I was driving the car and looking straight down the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, I felt like I was in a bespoke carriage being pulled by an invisible force which I simply steered and spurred.

And speaking of bespoke, Rolls-Royce has 44,000 body colour options to choose from and then some (if you can’t find a colour you like, you can bring them a sample for them to emulate).


You get an enticing bespoke option for the interior roof of the Wraith.

Sure, you can have the option of a sunroof but you can also recreate a starry, starry night or your favourite constellation through its Starlight Headliner which uses 1,340 individual fibre optic lights hand-woven into the roof-lining by the Rolls-Royce leather shop.

The Wraith represents all that is new and exciting for Rolls-Royce and the company did it by adhering to the wisdom of its co-founder, Sir Henry Royce, who said, “When it does not exist, design it.”