The pinnacle of automotive luxury – that’s what comes to my mind whenever I see a Rolls Royce pass by the road. It’s been a while since I’ve done a full-fledged car review for your reading pleasure and there’s no bigger way to start than the ultimate automotive statement for the rich and famous.
Looks: When comparing the two uber-luxury car brands, I’ve always preferred Bentley’s swooping lines to the Rolls’ boxy exteriors. The Wraith tries to break out of that with its stunning fastback roofline but the front end (from its four-door sibling Ghost) remains. There’s no denying that this car screams get out of my way with its chrome slat grille and it’s crossover-like proportions – if you’re looking for absolute road presence, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Interior: You will obviously expect the Wraith’s interior to be swathed in the plushest leather, fanciest wood grain and shiniest chrome and it does not disappoint – the interior does transform you to another world. The highlight has to be the optional star-spotted roof, fittingly called the Starlight Headliner, where you can adjust the light of each star to your mood. The roof is way more than just Instagram-worthy with the rich and famous such as Drake featuring it generously in their album cover shoots. Fun fact: the roof takes around 8 hours to build with 1,340 fibre optic strands – now you know why it costs over a million dirhams.
The model I drove came with a load of spy-film level tech in the car too, plucked right off their German owner BMW, including Night Vision and Lane Assist. The infotainment was quite a treat as well with the Spirit of Ecstasy embossed in the touch-sensitive knob, but came nowhere to the immersive experience that the much-cheaper S-class had to offer.
Drive: With a twin-turbo V12 churning 642 hp on disposal, there’s no denying that this car is fast, but its more cruising-down-the-boulevard fast than racing-at-the-traffic-signal fast. The V12 engine, with its distinct hum, asks to be prodded but not pushed while the ginormous body wafts through corners with grace and accuracy as well. As for the ride, it feels just as pillow-soft smooth as the Ghost it shares most of its mechanical parts with – the electronically-controlled air suspension that uses a navigation system to track the road ahead (Eagle Eye much?) is to thank for that.
The crossover-like driving position is one of the best I’ve come across too, making you feel like the King of the World. The wide leather steering wheel, however, doesn’t really do the car’s sporty stance justice, it belongs in a large limousine, not a GT car.
For a million dirhams you can get a lot of cars that are probably sportier on the road, a spritely Bentley Continental GT with some 100,000 AED to spare or a roaring Ferrari 488 – but if you’re looking for an out-and-out GT car that’s meant for swift boulevard cruises, there’s no car better than the Wraith. It’s a refreshing change in a landscape that’s filled with cars with multiple personalities.
Highs: GTs don’t get any better for this, that heavenly star roof
Lows: Not for those looking for a sports car, the interior is not as high-tech as the price suggests.
Verdict: At a million dirhams, the Wraith is the ultimate GT – sweepingly swift, supremely comfortable and uber-luxurious. If you’re looking for a sportier and cheaper option though, the Bentley Continental GT is the better bet
Details: The 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith is now available at Reem Automobiles for AED 950,000 – visit their website ( http://www.reemauto.ae/ ) for details or call 043436333.