951 miles in the new Rolls Royce Wraith
Ollie Marriage has a dinner appointment in Vienna. And the keys to the latest Rolls…
Posted: 19 Sep 2013
Sunday 3.41am. Newbury, Berkshire:
I'm driving to Vienna for dinner. This is not a lie. I have to be there by 8pm this evening. Vienna's at the far end of Austria, roughly 1,000 miles away. I know this all sounds a bit Gatsby, but right now as I stumble around my kitchen in the darkness it doesn't feel it. My alarm went off 20 minutes ago. I have to be at Folkestone by 5.50am. Sunday mornings don't usually start like this.
3.42am. Still in Newbury
I managed not to wake a single neighbour. Not bad when summoning 12 cylinders and two turbos into life. I didn't have to slam a door closed - it electrically winds itself in at the press of a button, just like the boot (it's vast, proven to swallow five eight-year olds; my suit bag looked very lonely). Even the gravel crunched quietly.
3.44am. Just outside Newbury
The Spirit of Ecstacy is nosing through the dark - it's honestly like having a guiding angel along for the ride. Better not charge her with driving duties, though. That might not end well.
3.55am. Basingstoke, 15 miles done
A quick thought strikes me: from here on it's probably all going to be multi-laners. I might have already experienced the most interesting bit of road. And I was half asleep. Actually, I did notice something about the Wraith - it coped, didn't slop or loll about, so far, so... effortless.
5.19am. Folkestone, 125 miles done
The fuel tank is smaller than I expected. Given there is less than a quarter left, I'd expected to get more than 65 litres in. You'd think this would be an issue and that I'll be stopping every 200 miles. I suspect not. The trip computer is suggesting 22mpg so far.