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XCAR: Rolls-Royce Wraith: Silent running

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XCAR: Rolls-Royce Wraith: Silent running

9:58 /

The Wraith is the most powerful car the English firm has ever built. But it's no sports car, it's a Rolls through and through.

[MUSIC] This, for those who don't know, is the Spirit of Ecstasy. It's the figurehead that sits on the nose of every Rolls-Royce Motor Car. She was designed in 1911 by Charles Sykes who was tasked with creating Rolls a mascot. It's a symbol of luxury. Speed and effortlessness. It's a whole mark of a brand that shows not only that it's owner has got a fair bit in the bank but also that they've made it. It's a figure head for over a centuries worth of cars and today it's sat on the hood of a Royals Royce Wraith. The fastest car the company has ever made. Rolls Royce doesn't usually bang on about the fastest card we've ever made or anything like that. But, when the Wraith was launched in 2013, they made a big song and dance about its performance. Its 6.6 liter twin turbo V12 produces 624 break horsepower and 590. Pound foot. That's enough to get its near two and a half ton heft from naught to 60 in just 4.4 seconds, and on to a limited top speed of 155 miles an hour. So it's quick yeah, but, it's a Rolls. So it's gotta be a bit more than that. Rolls even went so far as to say though, that it's the kind of car that Charles Rolls himself would drive. And that's a bold claim because, Charles Rolls was, a bit of a bad ****. You see, Charles Rolls was one of the original adrenaline junkies. Admittedly one, with a Cambridge education and an impeccable upbringing. But, you get what I mean. The motorcar fascinated him so much that he traveled to France while he was studying to pick up a Peugeot Phaeton. And, allegedly became the first person in Cambridge. To own a car. After his studies he set up a car dealership to sell motor vehicles to similarly well heeled individuals. But, it was when he met Henry Royce that his life changed in a big way. Royce had a two cylinder ten horsepower car to sell and Rolls had a business plan. The two joined forces. Royce sorting the engineering, Rolls the rest, and formed Rolls Royce. As well as selling cars, Rolls drove them pretty hard. He held the land speed record for hitting 93 miles an hour in 1903. As well as cars, he was into aviation. He was a keen balloonist and pilot, he became the first person to do a double channel crossing in 1910. Sadly, he was also the first Briton to be killed in a powered flight, also in 1910. At 32, he'd achieved much, including a legacy that would carry his name onward for many years to come. [MUSIC] Fast forward to today and the Rolls really is the perfect car for someone like Charles. It's fast, it's comfortable and it's technologically brilliant. In here, well the stereo system is amazing, the entertainment system is intuitive, it's easy to use. And it even lets you write in your own letter for your post codes and what have you, though it is remarkably similar to the one you find in a lot of BMWs. Interesting that. You can also have stars in the headlining. Perfect for a night in the car. Bit odd but still, it's a nice touch. And then there's the gear box. Well, there's no paddles in here. You can't change your own gears. The box itself is linked to the GPS so the car reads the tarmac ahead and then it decides which gear is appropriate for the bit of road you're about to drive on. As is becoming increasingly common, modern cars know far more than you do. Or ever will. [INAUDIBLE] fans will probably all ready know that the [INAUDIBLE] shares a platform with a ghost, which shares it platform with the the BMW seven series, and that [INAUDIBLE] drive style information do that to boot. However, it's gotta a short to wheel base, and a lower roof to give it allegedly a sporting edge. In case you hadn't noticed, we're not on a racetrack nor are we out in the sweeping vistas of Wales or France. We're in London, at night, which is where the Wraith will probably do a lot of its driving. Okay, maybe not London, but these really are going to be driven in the city. Hong Kong has the highest proportion of Rolls Royces. For people, and that's hardly known its luscious countryside. Yeah the engine's got loads of power, but you don't necessarily have to use it. Your power reserve gauge needn't hit below 80% if you don't want it to. I know mine barely has. So, the question really is, is this really a power beast around town or is it. Well, comfort dream. In fairness, that is a really stupid question. It's a Rolls Royce. Of course it's comfortable. It is, I think, the single most comfortable car I have ever, ever sat in. You just waft over ever bump, every lump. You don't feel harshness, it never jutters or vibrates, you just, well actually it's like driving a cloud. In turn that with its steering which is so incredibly light. This car is geared exclusively for someone who doesn't want to put that much effort in. They just want to get somewhere in comfort. And then the engine, good god. All of that torque, when you put your foot down, just appears and pushes you forward in a manner that really isn't befitting of something that weighs two and a half tons. But you do notice the weight when you put your foot on the brake, because,. They're not quite as good as the power propelling the car forward so you do have to lean on it really quite heavily to get it to a stop. But, once you get used to it after a while you start driving in the, the race way. And it's all fine, it's all good, it's just a bit heavy. Cornering, well the car does wall a little bit, but that's the way it's set up. It's not supposed to corner flat and easy it's supposed to corner comfortably and elegantly, in a way that will get you around the bend and not ruffle your hair. I might be silly and not doing my job properly if I didn't talk about the size. It is absolutely massive. It's a short walk to actually see the whole thing, do a 360 on it. It's enormous. And you can't really see the end of the bonnet, so you have to use the Spirit of Ecstasy as a sort of yardstick, to make sure that you're not gonna put it in to anything, you're not gonna hit a wall. Thankfully the parking sensors and all that, they do do their job incredibly well, and there is a rea camera. Talking of visibility, though, out the front it's great. The wing mirrors are massive, but as to the rear, it has a very large rear screen but the way it's raked means that you don't see that much thorough it. Also the parcel shelf reflects quite a bit, which means I've always got a little bit of the view of whatever is. On there, being in here though, it is just stunning. The craftsmanship that has gone into making this what it is, is next level stuff. It truly, truly is. The wood feels amazing, the leather, beautifully tailored to make sure that everything feels smooth, everything feels just right. The carpet, you put your grubby shoes in. It's like that thick. And that's carpet in a car! Everything about this, everything here is geared for luxury. Is geared for making you feel good. And it's perfect for the city. Just to go about your business. Quietly, happily, and indy [MUSIC] Now, to say this is quiet is maybe doing it a disservice. In this car right now, the loudest thing other than me is a very slight waft of the air conditioning. The outside world, there could be anything going on. Hell, there could be a full scale nuclear war going on right outside the window and I wouldn't hear it. There is no noise, none at all. Usually at this point in a film, I saw oh, listen to the engine, listen to how amazing this is, and then we cut to engine noise, revving and what have you. But in this. Why don't you just listen to the silence. Listen to the sound of a Rolls Royce. I'm in my own little bubble of absolute, pure, unfettered. Luxury. And that's what a Rolls Royce is. There's something about the Rolls. Not only the fact that people know you've made it when you've got a Roller on the drive but. Something more. It's a bit of everything mixed in together. It's the attention to detail that goes into each one. These cars are hand built in the UK by trained craftsmen and women, not simply stamped out by machines. Henry Royce, unsurprisingly, was a perfectionist, and he once commented. Small make perfection but, perfection is no small thing. Whatever is rightly done however, humble is noble. [MUSIC] Summing up a car like the Wraith is pretty tricky because even though it's massively powerful,. Is not sports car and it's only got two doors, so it's certainly isn't a limo. It's interior though is exquisite. Second to none. And even though this is subjective, I do think it's something of a looker. The race is as close as Rolls Royce will come to making a sports car, but in doing so it won't compromise it's core belief. I think it's safe to say, though, that it is the type of car that Charles Rolls would drive. [MUSIC]

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