It’s here: new Rolls-Royce Wraith | Top Gear
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It’s here: new Rolls-Royce Wraith

Published: 04 Mar 2013

If the Ford Mustang is the ‘fastback' GT car for the 99 per centers, may we humbly present to you the ultimate ‘fastback' GT reserved for the remaining one per cent. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the brand new Rolls-Royce Wraith: the most powerful Rolls ever built.

And judging by the pics, we're sure you'll agree it looks suitably ethereal. Rolls tells us it embodies the spirit of its founder, but with "just a hint of the noir". Nice.

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That sweeping, rakish body with a wide rear track and a wheelbase shorter than a RR Ghost is meant to reflect the ‘athlete in the starter blocks' silhouette the company is aiming for. Tellingly, it also hints at the slightly younger clientele Rolls-Royce is attempting to woo with the Wraith.

See more pics of the new Rolls-Royce Wraith

And possibly for good reason, for a youthful physique could prove advantageous when considering that drivetrain. Where the name seduces and the looks impose, the powertrain obliterates. It gets an uprated version of the Ghost's 6.6-litre twin turbo V12, here producing 624bhp and 590lb ft of torque, served through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox to the rear wheels, where you'll feast on a 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds (0.3s quicker than a Ghost) and a top speed limited by the availability of derestricted motorway.

Underneath, Rolls promises it hasn't compromised its unimpeachable principle of ‘waftability'; while the suspension has been tuned to minimise body roll and the steering weighted, we're told the Wraith still rides on a "bed of air".

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Also, it gets a ‘Satellite Aided Transmission' that uses GPS data to scan the terrain ahead, anticipate the driver's next move and thus select the "most appropriate" gear for the situation. Marvellous - a Rolls that thinks for you. Just be warned though, if it suddenly starts searching for ‘Sarah Connor' in your contacts book or via the sat nav (available via one-touch call button and voice command), best to find Kyle Reese pretty quickly...

Inside, there are 1,340 fibre optic lamps hand-woven into the headlining - mimicking a "starry night sky" - together with coach doors with proper wood and much leather. It looks stunning, and feels very non-automotive. There's space for four, and while headroom in the back is decent, access is a little difficult.

Not that ingress matters much, not when you've got 624 horses to play with and that body. Prices start in Europe at €245,000 - around £212k - settling down neatly between the Ghost and Phantom. What say ye, bold folk of the Internet? 

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