I recently had the opportunity to drive a brand-new Rolls-Royce Wraith. It was the automotive equivalent of getting into a hotel hot tub after a long day of hiking where you run out of water, lose your map and trip on a tree root at least twice.
I’m serious. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relaxed or pampered in my entire life as I did when I climbed behind the wheel of the Wraith. It was amazing. It was luxurious. It was elite. It was $350,000.
That’s right: I drove a $350,000 Rolls-Royce. And the funny thing is, this is considered Rolls’s "entry-level" 2-door model, because you can buy a 2-door Phantom Drophead Coupe (which is actually a convertible) for something like $450,000. The Wraith, instead, is based on the smaller, cheaper Rolls-Royce Ghost, and it starts around $320,000 — though options can easily push that price up. Waaaaaay up. The ventilated seats were $2,600 extra.
I’ll start with the basics, namely the styling. The Wraith came out a couple of years ago, and its styling has been rather controversial. There’s a group of people, like me, who love it, and a group of people who, well, let’s just say they haven’t been so charitable. They think it looks weird, to say the least. Inside, however, there’s no debate: The cabin is filled with only the finest materials, on every single surface. There’s no "oh, you won’t touch this much, so it doesn’t have to look that nice." It all looks "that nice." Even the lever you use to move the front seat forward so people can climb in back.
Under the hood, the Wraith is powered by a 624-horsepower twin-turbo V12, which is a slightly more powerful version of the same engine you’ll find in the BMW 760 — not surprising, due to BMW’s ownership of Rolls-Royce. It sends the Wraith from zero to 60 in something like 4.3 seconds, which is impressive, considering the thing is 206 inches long and weighs in at just under 4,000 pounds. And yet … the 0-to-60 time isn’t something you really think about when you’re piloting the Wraith.
Here’s why: The car is so insulated, so luxurious and so relaxing that you really and truly don’t think about — or care about — pressing the accelerator to the floor. I truly cannot remember ever driving any other automobile where I didn’t get inside and instantly want to see HOW FAST IS IT?! HOW QUICK DOES IT GO AROUND CORNERS?! In the Wraith, you sit there in your luxury cocoon, away from everyone else, with absolutely no noise, and you just get to relaaaaaaaax. I cannot express in words how truly enveloping this feeling is.
And so you might want to know: How does it go around corners? And how fast is it? The answers are "pretty well," and "pretty quick" — but I swear you don’t notice it, and you don’t think about it. You just think about wafting, and gliding, and possibly the Asian bond market.
The whole luxury experience also translates to the car’s features and equipment. Here are some amazing things you can do in the Wraith:
- You can retract the hood ornament, called the "Spirit of Ecstasy" in Rolls-Royce parlance. I’m serious. There’s a little menu in the infotainment system that lets you drop it if you happen to enter a "high-crime" area — the kind of place where people drive plebeian cars such as Audis and Land Rovers.
- The doors are rear-hinged, allowing you to gracefully slide into your Wraith. When you’re ready to close the door, you don’t have to bother yourself by reaching out and grabbing it. Instead, simply push a button near the A-pillar, and the door closes automatically. You can also close the passenger door this way from the driver’s seat.
- There’s an umbrella hidden inside a pouch in the front fender. If it’s raining when you open your door, simply push the umbrella button and it will deploy, allowing you to grab it and open it without ever leaving the warm, safe cocoon of your Wraith. Oh, and the pouch is heated to dry off the umbrella.
So basically, what we have here is a car that coddles you in a way that most of us have never been coddled before. It’s quiet. It’s soft. It’s relaxing. It’s luxurious. And it has features in it that most people never even knew they wanted. This is the most amazingly luxurious car on the market, and part of me wishes I never had to get out of it. But then the other part of me remembers that would require spending $350,000 to own it. Oh, well. It was fun for a day. Find a Rolls-Royce Wraith for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.