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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.