It may lack a certain elegance, but the Wraith is still one of the last words in luxury and performance available today
Matt Prior
27 December 2013

They’ll allow themselves to use the word ‘dynamic’. This is the most ‘dynamic’ Rolls-Royce ever. But despite it being a coupé, fitted with a 624bhp, twin-turbocharged V12, what Rolls-Royce will not use is the word ‘sporty’. 

Praise be. Because of all the things that a Rolls-Royce ought to be, even a Rolls-Royce that can reach 60mph from rest in 4.4sec, sporty is not one of them. Rolls, with its intention to introduce a new model once a year, will inevitably make cars that it has not considered building before, but its brand values don’t extend that far.

Rolling comfort, interior refinement and exquisite fit and finish remain the Rolls hallmarks. And just on those, the Wraith is a success. Like an excellent butler, a Rolls ought to help you along without you necessarily realising it. So the Wraith’s 6.6-litre engine makes ample torque, at any revs, and the eight-speed automatic makes easy work of shifting ratios. 

Better still, the satellite navigation system’s brain is hooked up to the gearbox’s, so if you’re approaching a third-gear bend, the Wraith knows that it’s coming and, when you lift off, it won’t upshift to say, fifth, instead. 

Not that you ever can tell precisely which ratio the Wraith has chosen, because there is no gear indicator or revcounter. There is just a muted thrum under acceleration, and power, always, when you want it. 

Is it all that a Rolls-Royce should be, then? As you enjoy one of the planet’s most sumptuous interiors, you’ll probably think so – until you hit a mid-corner bump or a particularly poorly surfaced road.

Then you’ll be aware of some minor compromises inevitably made on ride and steering isolation to gain that dynamism. Whether it will bother you will depend largely on your mood. If you’ve chosen a Wraith, we suspect that it won’t matter a jot.

Log on to Autocar.co.uk again tomorrow where we'll continue our rundown of the best cars of 2013.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK