Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Old Values and New Technology

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Old Values and New Technology

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Hughes

THE conundrum of how to fuse tradition and modernity seems to have been mastered by Rolls-Royce in its striking Wraith model.

Undeniably a Rolls-Royce of the highest order in terms of style, luxury and presence, the car is also a mobile masterpiece of technological wizardry.

The problem for the marque has always been to move with the times, whilst maintaining the core values with which the quintessentially English brand is synonymous.

This is a car that transcends the barriers by combining a futuristic appearance and rewarding driving experience with the sort of unrivalled presence that can only be achieved through a level of attention to detail that costs an inordinate amount of time and money.

The company could have produced a car of similar size for half the cost, but that would be a BMW 7 Series, which is immensely impressive but hardly a showstopper.

The Rolls-Royce Wraith, on the other hand, is so special in a myriad of different and diverse ways that it really can justify its hefty price tag, which would take a Premiership footballer almost a month to save up for.

That gets it into some sort of context. There really are more than enough wealthy folk in the world to ensure the sort of healthy order book for this car that creates second-hand values that are higher than those when new, such is the desire to bypass showroom waiting lists.

Although referred to as the baby Rolls-Royce, it is actually the most powerful model ever produced by the company, with a 12-cylinder 6.6-litre twin-turbo engine generating a mighty 624bhp of power.

This is enough to haul the 2.5-tonne vehicle from standstill to 60mph in just over four and a half seconds, with real-world economy in the region of 20mpg, which is roughly halfway between the 27mpg cruising average and the miserable 15.5mpg figure that results from over-zealous use of the right foot.

As is always the case with a Rolls-Royce, the ride is as near to silent as it is possible to be, thanks partly to the double bulkhead that separates the occupants from the engine bay.

This contributes to the hefty weight of the vehicle, which handles surprisingly well under the circumstances. …

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