Developed on the same BMW-derived mechanical platform as the Ghost saloon, the Wraith has an all-steel body. But use of BMW architecture doesn’t make it any less authentic as a Rolls-Royce in our book.
Labour-intensive processes and special technical solutions that you can’t see combine with the elegant fastback design that you can see to ensure – as with the Ghost – that this is every inch the uncompromising automotive aristocrat.
The car’s body panels are brazed by hand, for example, before the joins are sanded to a perfect finish for painting. There are 6394 spot welds on the car, and laser-welded seams in places, too. Rolls-Royce fits a double front bulkhead to keep the cabin extra-quiet. Such things are way beyond the realm of a BMW 7 Series.
In the broadest terms, Goodwood has taken a Ghost saloon, lopped off two doors and 183mm of wheelbase, stretched the rear axle track by 24mm and brought the roofline closer to the road by 50mm.
That, however, says nothing of the quite exquisite body that it has created for this sporting coupé, which manages to inject just enough dynamism into Rolls’ unmistakable aesthetic to quicken the heart rate – but not enough to raise an eyebrow.
The Wraith uses the same double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear as the Ghost, carrying self-levelling, roll-cancelling air suspension and adaptive dampers.
The chassis is retuned for flatter, more agile and more responsive handling but, says its maker, with reverence for the trademark wafting ride that every Rolls-Royce trades on.
Power for the car comes from an overhauled version of the Ghost’s leviathan 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12, which produces 590lb ft and 624bhp – just over 10 percent more power than the cheaper, longer four-door. Enough extra grunt? Under the circumstances, probably just about.