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THE SECTION COMMITTEE AT ROLLS-ROYCE MOTORS' LAUNCH OF THE NEW WRAITH
Friday 1 March 2013

Wraith is re-invented and born again.

On the Friday preceding the launch or unveiling of the new Goodwood Rolls-Royce Wraith, our section Chairman David Gray received an invitation from Rolls-Royce for members of the committee to join them at the Goodwood factory for the second launch of the day. The first was timed to coincide with the launch in Geneva, an affair typically and expectedly to be one for the media.

Accordingly, at the request of Andrew Ball of Rolls-Royce, nine club cars arrived and formed a line in the car park outside the factory. We were greeted and ushered into the reception area and taken into an annexe room for tea and cakes.

After donning some guests' cotton jackets intended, I assume, to make us distinguishable from the employees, we set off for the location of the new Wraith. It had been mentioned by some, and indeed I had seen strange looking cars zooming around the Chichester area in the past few days. These heavily disguised cars were obviously the 'new car' but the disguise cleverly altered the window line. The camouflage, white with black swirls, certainly made it impossible to truly associate it with what we were about to be shown.

This car is, without doubt, unlike any other Rolls-Royce, past or present. There is a hint of the Ghost and a hint of the Phantom but the Wraith, well the Wraith is unique. The new Wraith is unlike any Wraith from the past. I would question initially, perhaps, giving it that title. Wraith evokes the image of a luxury cruising limousine - this car is a beast. One photograph of the front is reminiscent of the head of a great white shark. If not Wraith, what could it be called? Well - no idea! So Wraith will have to do.

This is the fastest Rolls-Royce ever made. It is a coupé but one of generous proportions designed to accommodate four adults. The two 'suicide' doors are immense; consideration for oncoming traffic could be an issue if opened without due care and attention. But the opening does make for ease of access to the back seats.

Undoubtedly this car will, if it performs as well as it looks, be a challenge to Bentley Motors. Rolls-Royce have launched themselves into the performance car market with a fast, beautiful car that I simply love the look of - by far the best looking Goodwood Rolls-Royce so far.

A twin turbo V12 engine blasts this machine from a standing start to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, ably assisted by 624 bhp. The satellite assisted transmission, yes really, anticipates hills, corners, roundabouts and junctions, selecting the right gears in advance.

See all the technical details here.

Chris Tween - Section Magazine Editor


Rolls-Royce Wraith   Rolls-Royce Wraith
The new Rolls-Royce Wraith.
Committee members' Club cars
Members' Club motor cars were displayed outside the factory.
Photos: Chris Tween