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
8.58am. Approaching Jabbeke, Belgium
In the spirit of the above statement I unearth some PG Wodehouse on my iPod. The pace, content and tone of Jonathan Cecil's pitch-perfect reading is so well matched to this journey. The Wraith, it must be said, has an absolute belter of a sound system. Also, it's very accepting of different styles of music - you'd imagine that some music just wouldn't be in keeping with the car, but the Wraith has enough edge in its character to come across as more broad-minded than that. LCD Soundsystem and Depeche Mode sound amazing in here.
9.58am. Brussels, 260 miles done
Just realised I've neither heard nor felt a single gearchange in the last five hours. In fact the only way you can feel one is if you treat the throttle in an unseemly manner or select ‘low' on the gear column which makes the engine work so much harder that it's actually audible. The Wraith has no paddles as that wouldn't be in keeping with the effortlessness of the experience. What it does have is SAT - Satellite Aided Transmission. This is utter genius. It uses the GPS mapping to look at the road ahead and decide what gear it needs to be in. It combines this with information from the engine management about your driving style and does the paddle-pulling for you. It's uncanny and sublime. Only a sudden desire to kickdown on a motorway catches it out.