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Own the world

Rolls-Royce Wraith

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Captains of industry are often seen comfortably seated at the back of their large sedans. Yet for those leaders that prefer a more hands-on approach, there is the Rolls-Royce Wraith.a1

Why would one opt for the Wraith over being chauffeured in a Ghost or Phantom? Unlike the typical chauffer-driven four-door variety, the Wraith is the most sporting of the RR lineup. It’s the platinum car for the platinum card carrier and, besides privileged parking, will warrant for its owner the red carpet treatment just by rolling up to an establishment.

This land yacht in its own right is built upon the Ghost platform. By classification, it is a grand tourer coupe, yet its length can still the size and space of a BMW 7-series to shame. The Wraith boasts of distinct character lines that lend itself well to a two tone color scheme. In spite of a name that invokes royalty, the vehicle’s design is quite restrained, free of the typical trappings of most luxury cars like too much chrome, spoilers or sporty pretensions.

Designed to make a grand entrance, entering and exiting the vehicle is an affair all its own. The long doors open suicide-style, allowing passengers to swing out their legs more gracefully alight without revealing too much to paparazzi. Like the Ghost, umbrellas are hidden in the base of the A-pillar, in the event of a light shower. And once you’re ready to go, simply press the power door button by the quarter window to close.a2

Land yacht is seen as a theme rather than a mocking description with its interior inspired by vintage Italian wooden Riva speedboats. The needles, knobs, rollers and stalks are delightfully vintage, with thin stems and bulbous ends returning pleasurably tactile clicks.

The seats are, as expected, very comfortable, and ever so subtly encourage good posture while seated. The center leather-lined armrest is made of the most supple leather you will ever feel. Those seated behind will find legroom room comparable to an executive sedan, ensconced by a leather wrapped side panels.

The infotainment system may be based on BMW’s i-Drive, yet the menus bear are cleverly disguised in Rolls-Royce flair. Options are accessed by the control knob, with the top of the dial serving as a touchpad and cursor. Even the techie CEO won’t be disappointed as it easily connects to media from mobile devices and has its own built-in hard drive to save concertos or operas.

With the soundtrack selected, audio is piped through an 18-piece entertainment system. Thanks to top notch cabin isolation, the sound quality has impressive depth and dimension, simulating a real concert hall. Once the sounds are set, the entire screen can simply be hidden for a distraction-free drive.a1

Propelling the Wraith is a twin-turbo 6.6-liter V12 with 624hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Despite its 2.5 ton body, it accelerates to 100 km/h in a claimed 4.3 seconds, and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. In spite of the power, it is balanced so perfectly and isolated so well, you’ll hardly feel or hear it rev.

The drive is where the Wraith lives up to the marque’s reputation. Starting up barely causes a stir, with the engine nearly inaudible inside the cabin. Pulling out of tight spaces is trivial thanks to 360 degree cameras and multiple views to ensure not a single scratch on the exquisite paintwork

Rollers are known for their magic carpet ride and wafting power delivery and the Wraith is no exception. Its ride easily mutes all but the worst road imperfections. Purposely drive over rumble strips and there’s simply no rumble. Naturally, this provides a more boat-like ride. And while some body roll is present, it’s impressively controlled considering the vehicle’s weight. As such, it’s very easy to get the Wraith up to high speeds without knowing it. Floor the throttle and it will accelerate, yet even that surge is delivered as smoothly as possible, bereft of that neck snapping feeling.

Finally, yet another enjoyable aspect of the Wraith is the red carpet experience at every venue. Expect priority parking without even asking and an army of valets lined up at the curb. It’s apparent that heavy window tint is a must with the number of stares it will draw whether in traffic or standing still.

All of this commands a pricetag of PhP35M, which can easily balloon to far more thanks to its extensive array of options, from the Starlight Headliner, to a broad menu of paint and leather grades, or even a solid gold Spirit of Ecstacy if desired.

Call it ludicrous, but even the most harrowing traffic can do little to dampen the light mood the sheer driving the Wraith returns. Even a few short days like these, with a borrowed Rolls-Royce, truly make you feel like you own the world.