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
5.26pm. Austria! 788 miles done
I buy the vignette (8.30 euros for ten days) and add petrol for the second and final time. Actually at this petrol station I don't add the fuel - an attendant does it for me. Even more suitable. 21.7mpg on this tank. Not bad as it's seen north of 140mph a couple of times and run steadily at well into three figures when possible. Which wasn't that often actually - due more to traffic than limits. No more of that behaviour now though. This is the fifth of five countries. Yay etc. Actually, not yay. I've loved every second so far, I still feel fresh, I don't have an ache, not even in my heels.
In these parts, Austria is more hilly than mountainous, allowing the motorway to sweep easily around the landscape in a manner that the Wraith laps up. It's at its best here, imperious and majestic. All I am is a guiding hand, captain of the good ship Wraith.
Isolation, I need to discuss isolation with you. A sense of separation from the outside world is surely a key facet of any luxury car, but given the Wraith is, for a Rolls, low slung, I'm at eye-level with everyone. I also have this long pillar-less slab of glass down each side, so people can see in over my shoulder. I have been peered and gawped at a lot. You can sense the stares tickling your neck. So no, you don't have the easy aloofness of a Range Rover. But what you do have is presence. The Wraith creates a bow wave that ripples out from the Spirit of Ecstacy. And she's mounted such a long way down a bonnet that gently curves off like the edge of the horizon, that you have this sense of being set back from all the regular goings on. On top of that you have this sense of this mighty car looking after you.