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Notes From A Week's Worth Of Car Testing In California

Managing Editor Steven Ewing drove some $2 million worth of new cars while out in California for Monterey Car Week. Here are his notes following an excellent week of driving.

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The third of Rolls-Royce's inspired Wraith special editions takes its cues from the rock n' roll scene, many of whose greats the British automaker has counted as its customers over the years.

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The Rolls-Royce Wraith is presented here in St. James Red. It's a unique take on the most powerful Rolls-Royce passenger car.

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The upcoming new Rolls-Royce convertible model will revive the Dawn nameplate on what is expected to be a droptop version of the Wraith fastback coupe, expanding the Ghost family to mirror that of the Phantom.

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Rolls-Royce revealed the Inspired by Fashion edition of the Wraith fastback at the Pratt Institute in New York. It's dressed in a stunning tone-on-tone white finish with a suitably exquisite interior.

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The launch film for the Wraith was admitted into the National Archive of the British Film Institute, prompting Rolls-Royce to put out this special edition at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

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Though it's sure to carry a different name, Rolls-Royce is expected to launch a convertible version of the Wraith sometime in the middle of next year, and here it is, spotted sliding around in the snow.

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Our Editors Reflect On Their Favorite Rides From 2014

As the year comes to a close, our editors are all taking time to reflect on the machinery that made 2014 so special, with one simple, open-ended question as the guide: "What's the best car you drove this year?"

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A Rolls-Royce is not what you'd typically consider to be "sporty." Luxurious. Stately. Even powerful, packed as they are with twelve-cylinder engines displacing in excess of six and a half liters. The Wraith set out to change that with a sportier package, more rakish profile and an even more potent version of the Ghost's 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 to make it the fastest and most powerful Rolls-Royce ever made. But now it seems Goodwood is working on an even more aggressive version.

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The Rolls-Royce Wraith would not be our first choice for hooning. Sure, it's god 624 horsepower channeled to the rear wheels, but it's an automatic, it costs the better part of $300,000 and it's laden with more leather, wood and carpeting than Harrod's. Leave it to Tax the Rich to toss it around then.

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Rolls-Royce is not a company that makes a lot of different vehicles, but of the ones it does, it tends to offer several versions. That's how we end up with sedan, long-wheelbase, coupe and (in the former's case) convertible versions of the Phantom and Ghost. And now Goodwood has confirmed development of another model.

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For seven years, Rolls-Royce got by on the Phantom line alone, expanding on the original saloon with a long-wheelbase version, a coupe and the convertible. But now that the Ghost is part of the family, Goodwood seems to be following a similar expansion.

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Until a few years ago, the Rolls-Royce product portfolio revolved around one model line, and that was the Phantom. But with the launch of the Ghost in 2010, the Goodwood-based automaker is expanding further. As with the Phantom line, a long-wheelbase Ghost ensued, followed by a coupe in the form of the Wraith. And now, as might have been expected, Rolls-Royce has reportedly confirmed development of a new convertible based on the same platform.

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Frankfurt Motor Show, Chevy Tahoe, Suburban and GMC Yukon

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Wafting In The Fastest And Most Powerful Vehicle RR Has Ever Made

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Rolls-Royce may be forced to expand its lineup beyond the über-luxury cars gobbled up by the ultra-wealthy jetset, as new competition in the form of the rumored, high-end Mercedes-Benz S-Class could take a slice of the luxury pie from the BMW-owned manufacturer.

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Seeing as it adheres to the exotic car template we've known for years, it should surprise no one that the next model from Rolls-Royce will reportedly be a convertible version of the Wraith. When the coupe is on its way to dealers at the end of this year, company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has told Autocar that the British luxury marque start applying itself to the convertible.

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Bentley may have rounded out the redesign of its Continental line of cars with the new Flying Spur four-door's debut at this week's Geneva Motor Show, but Rolls-Royce has shown up in Switzerland with the Wraith, a GT coupe version of the Ghost sedan that moves the brand one step closer to having an answer for everything that wears a Flying B.

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