The Rolls-Royce Wraith is a car of considerable allure and significance. This, in our view, is certainly the most important new model that this blue-blooded British car maker has created since the modern Rolls-Royce Phantom in 2002.
The Phantom was a watershed, ushering the Goodwood-based firm into a new, successful era. Sure, in 2010 the Rolls-Royce Ghost brought in fresh buyers – but largely by miniaturising, de-formalising and slightly discounting the Phantom’s concept.
But the Wraith is a true ground-breaker – not only the most powerful car in Rolls’ history but also the closest thing to a sports car that it has ever attempted to produce, and its arrival led to the development of the soft-top Dawn.
‘Wraith’ was first used on a Rolls-Royce in 1938, but the company’s cars were making a name for themselves as world-beating racing machines decades earlier.
Founder Charles Rolls won the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy in 1906 in a Light Twenty, for instance, and in 1913 Don Carlos de Salamanca won the first ever Spanish Grand Prix in a Silver Ghost. The current Ghost saloon — the car from which the Wraith is effectively adapted — was launched in 2010