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The Top Gear car review:Rolls-Royce Wraith
What is it like on the road?
For all its talk of dynamism, the Wraith seems absurdly quiet and unruffled when you first set off in it. This is sportiness on Rolls-Royce’s terms, and the car’s not given up an ounce of the luxury Rolls is known for in its pursuit of speed.
So in town and on motorways, it’s borderline silent, while its suspension soaks everything up with zero fuss. The huge steering wheel is light on weight and feel, the focus seemingly on making the Wraith effortless to move around. Target achieved, save for its size, which on first acquaintance seems unfathomably ginormous. You’ll be whirring the side mirrors down for a little bit of help in keeping it between the white lines during the first hour or so.
Its power is more than capable of disturbing the peace a little, mind. There’s an inch or so of throttle travel where not much happens – the Wraith perhaps protesting “do you really want to do this?” – but push your foot a smidge further and the rear hunkers down and it just projects forwards, the engine lightly growling away as you slingshot up the road rather dramatically.
On a damp road there’s enough power to loosen the rear tyres’ grip, with a bit of squirm before the traction control reins everything back in. Given there’s supercar levels of power sent through just two wheels, you could doubtless do very silly things with the requisite space available. But drifting a Rolls-Royce is probably tantamount to treason, so the electronics are surely best left on.
For all its effortlessness in a straight line, it’s unequivocally involving if you want to make it go moderately quickly around a corner. Unlike some big GT cars, it simply never shrinks around you, and you’ll know precisely how much it weighs every time you use the brake pedal. Far better to simmer down a bit, relax into the seat and drive with the Power Reserve meter (in lieu of a rev counter) close to 100 per cent. It may be the most dynamic Rolls, but it really is a Rolls above anything else.