I’ve driven one Rolls Royce in my short time as a car journalist and I count my lucky stars that I had the opportunity, because it was an incredible car. Just doing mundane tasks in a Rolls is an experience. And the Roller that I had the chance to drive was a Rolls Royce Wraith Black Badge, so I have a bit of a soft spot for the brand’s two-door GT car. Which is why I’m incredibly jealous that Automobile had the chance to drive a Wraith from New York, all the way down the East Coast, to Florida to catch the Pittsburh Pirates’ Spring Training.
Firstly, there’s something wonderfully American about driving down to Florida for Spring Training. I’m not even a huge Baseball fan but I would do it in a second because of how fun it is. Secondly, the irony of doing it in one of the most famous British luxury brands seems like it would make it even more fun.
Especially considering that the Rolls Royce Wraith is one of the very best grand touring cars on the planet. For starters, it’s simply massive, being more than 20-ft long. While absurd, that long wheelbase makes it a solid and stable cruiser to munch hundreds of miles in with ease. Then there’s the immense ride comfort, even if the large wheels and runflat tires allow for a bit more vibration and road noise over bumps than you’d expect from a Rolls. Still, it’s an incredibly comfortable and supple ride.
The Wraith is the more stylish, more youthful and “sporty” (if you can call any Rolls sporty) car in the Rolls Royce lineup. Yet it’s still a Rolls inside. What seems like miles of leather adorn the cabin, with gorgeous metal work throughout, making the Wraith feel like the pinnacle of luxury. It may not be as plush as the new Phantom but no one will complain about its luxury.
Once on the move, the Wraith is surprisingly adept at eating up miles. Not only is it stable and smooth at high speed but it’s not too shabby to flog around. Not that you’d tackle hairpins in a Wraith but, on some high-speed sweepers, it can be genuinely fun. The steering is light but not as light as you might expect and it’s surprisingly accurate. I distinctly remember it being much more engaging to drive than I had expected.
Automobile Mag couldn’t have picked a better car to drive down the East Coast in. Sure, it was probably a bit awkward to drive through some of the more impoverished areas of some southern states like South Carolina and Virginia, but overall it sounds like it was a fantastic experience.[Source: Automobile Mag]