The Greatest Car On Earth
Gulp. Is this real? FHM has just taken delivery of almost a quarter-of-a-million-pounds-worth of hyper-luxury supercar limo-thing, and to say we’re a bit nervous is an understatement. We’re used to hoofing about in hot hatches, but this is a whole different league. How do you go about driving a car that’s worth the average South Delhi house? Where do you park it? Do you need to wipe your feet before you get in?
From the moment Rolls-Royce’s new Wraith arrives, the magic starts to happen. People stop and stare into the deep lustrous blue paintwork, dumbfounded. Children scream with joy. Women faint. This is one very special car. So special, in fact, you can hardly call it a car. It’s more like some sort of alien spacecraft has landed. Needless to say, FHM does the only thing we can do under the circumstances – treat it like any other motor.
This car is insane
Indeed. It’s a Rolls-Royce, and that makes for one pretty special motor. Since BMW took over Rolls, the cars have been massive, dramatic, and arguably the finest, poshest motors on the planet. But they’ve all been big cruisers. This is something different. Rolls has made the closest thing to a sports car they’ve done in many years. Yes, it’s still massive, and yes it’s super luxurious, but this is a car more focussed on outright speed and driving pleasure.
On our test drive, we took it to the garage so we could show it off. Result. Lots of camera phone action. We then flipped the stereo, turned the bass up loud and cruised into the local rural town to go to the off and pick up some beers. Cue drunken men walking into lamp posts. The Wraith has that effect on people. Is it as mental as it looks?
Sweet Christ, yes. From the first moment, the Wraith turned up, space and time bent around it. FHM has never driven a car that’s had such an impact on everyone around it. Ever. People got their phones out and started conversations, the car cutting a swathe through even the most traditional resolves. When we stopped at a junction, cars would halt on the main road to let you out. Try doing that in a Ferrari – you’d be there until a week next Tuesday.
It’s a big bugger. How does it move?
Like a goddam dream. It’s astonishing. Starting slowly from a standstill, the Wraith pulled away like an electric car – utterly silent. You’d never know it had a 6.6-litre V12 under the bonnet. When we got going the Rolls moved majestically down the road. It was massive, like a tank, but it almost seemed to hover. The Wraith is a hover tank. Cruising was only going to get us so far, though, so we headed for an open stretch of a quiet road and dropped the right foot. It’s a big car at two-and-three-quarter tonnes, but it does 0-100 in a rapid 4.4secs and goes on to hit a limiter at 250kph.
Is this old-school motoring?
Far from it. Yes, there’s a Downton Abbey glamour to every move you make but, unlike Rolls-Royces of the past, this is a car at the cutting edge of mad tech. There are buttons in front of the rear-hinged doors that you can press and the door will close itself. The car has a system that uses the Sat Nav to read the road ahead of you and if it knows a bend is coming before you do, it’ll hold on to a gear that bit longer – it’s like having a co-driver built in. And that’s before you mention the umbrellas stowed in the doors, the main screen that looks like an X-ray, the glittering multi-function steering wheel, and the lack of a rev counter, replaced by a ‘% power in reserve’ dial. There isn’t a bit of this car that doesn’t feel like it’s being projected from the future through the lens of Edwardian England.
How crazy is it inside?
Off the scale. FHM has been in a lot of posh cars but none that take your breath away quite the way the Wraith did. It was not just beautiful for a car, it was one of the most beautiful things we’d ever seen. There’s natural-feel wood, soft leather, piano black slabs that turn into read-outs, a flick of chrome, recessed lighting and (as an extra in our car) deep lambswool floor carpets that you could lose your shoes in.
What about the ladies – it is pulling or off-putting?
Are you really asking? No human being could resist the allure of this staggeringly special car. It’s pure magic. The bigger impact will be on your mates. After the trip to the Wraith, everyone was genuinely changed. That night, FHM had texts from friends saying they couldn’t sleep.
Is it worth the monster price tag? Unbelievably, yes. Without a doubt. If you win the lottery, promise us you’ll buy one. However, being with the Wraith was like some fabulous summer love affair – you know you can never go back, you know you’ll never be the same again. For all of us, something will always be missing. But at least we felt the magic, once.