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Geneva Motor Show 2013: Rolls Royce Wraith

Spooky name, awkward rump...

Rolls Royce has unveiled the new Wraith coupe at the Geneva Motor Show. Essentially a Ghost coupe, the Wraith sports an unusual fastback coupe style and aims to be the most dynamic Rolls ever made.

Considerably shorter than the Ghost, the Wraith counters this with a 40 mm wider track and a 43 mm lower height giving a really short, squat look to the car. But bear in mind this is all relative – the Wraith is still a huge car. It’s an interesting move for Rolls, going for a driver oriented car, but company boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös emphasises that the Wraith should not be considered an outright sporting GT: "While the Wraith does push the brand in a new direction, evolving it in a way that we hope will attract new, perhaps younger customers, it is still a Rolls-Royce, and the 'bed of air' ride our customers expect is still uppermost in the car's DNA."

We think the biggest challenge to the Wraith’s sales will be the interesting rear end treatment. Rolls could have gone for a traditional three-box coupe design like the Phantom Coupe, but instead they have gone for a fastback design where the roofline extends right down to the rear with an almost horizontal rear window.  It’s going to take some getting used to, and we expect it looks much more graceful in the metal, but in these pictures it looks a little ungainly to us. At the front there is a Ghost-esque nose with extra intakes and a slimmer recessed grille, while the shoulder line curves gracefully over the front wheelarches before tapering down to the rear end. The Wraith sports ‘suicide’ doors much like the bigger Phantom coupe and there are large 22” alloy wheels. Overall the Wraith does have the most sporting stance we’ve seen on a Rolls, while we hope it looks more graceful on the road – maybe a single tone paint job will help.

Providing the Wraith with its motion is a 6.0 litre V12 engine with 624 bhp and 590 lb/ft of torque. This enables the big coupe to have sprightly performance, with 0 – 60 mph taking just 4.4 seconds.

Inside, the Wraith gets a dash much like the Ghost, but with Phantom-grade leather and wood panelling for the doors, dash and rear. The Phantom’s ‘Starlight’ headliner is available for the first time on a non-Phantom model also.

The Wraith will cost around £215,000 when it goes on sale this autumn.

Images courtesy of Rolls Royce

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more