18 January, London 9.45am GMT - Rolls Royce Motor Cars today confirmed the launch of its new model, Rolls Royce Wraith
Rolls Royce Wraith | A Superlative Spirit of Ecstasy
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars today confirmed the launch of its next model, Rolls-Royce Wraith.
Wraith will be the most dynamic, powerful and beautiful Rolls-Royce in the company’s history. It is a breathtaking car that will set a new benchmark in the ultra-luxury segment and will reaffirm the position of Rolls-Royce at the absolute pinnacle of automotive luxury.
The launch will revive one of the most famous Rolls-Royce names first used in 1938. The ethereal name Wraith perfectly expresses the character of the new Rolls-Royce. “Wraith alludes to an almost imperceptible but powerful force, something rare, agile and potent, a spirit that will not be tethered to the earth. It is the perfect name for our new model.” added Müller-Ötvös.
When you encounter Wraith, your world stands still as it whispers by. It possesses an unmistakable presence but is difficult, if not impossible, to corral. It defies attempts to contain it.
Wraith draws inspiration from the story of the Honorable Charles Rolls, one of the company’s founding forefathers and a man who indulged a passion for innovation, engineering and, most importantly, adventure. Rolls was a passionate racing driver, balloonist and aviator winning the praise of King George V, who hailed him the ‘greatest hero of the day’ on becoming the first person to cross the English Channel and return non-stop in a flying machine.
Like Rolls, the new car embraces the very finest things in life – elegance, beauty, refinement and luxury – to be enjoyed by a new generation of confident gentlemen and women. It will boldly shape the future of Rolls-Royce, building on the success of Phantom and Ghost, bringing new customers to the marque.
The car will be presented for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March 2013, with first deliveries to customers expected in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Origins of the word
Derived from Scots dialect, wraith follows traditional Rolls-Royce nomenclature in drawing ethereal inspiration. However, it also hints at a profound sense of darkness, a name that alludes to something more menacing; a nimbler, caliginous foil to Ghost and Phantom’s stately presence.
Though the word ‘wraith’ can be broadly defined, it describes an almost imperceptible force, an otherworldly entity that imposes its presence before swiftly returning to the dark.
When Wraith is present, for that fleeting moment, the world stands still.
Fittingly, the word’s origins are something of a mystery. Scholars believe it first appeared in a Scottish 15th century translation of Virgil’s Aenid, whilst theories exist it has origins in the Gaelic word for ‘guardian angel’.
It was Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns who popularised the word in 1784 – using it in his brooding song ‘Ballad on the American War’:
An’ Chatham’s wraith, in heav’nly graith,
(Inspired Bardies saw, man)
Wi’ kindling eyes. Cry’d, ‘Willie, rise!
Would I hae fear’d them a’, man!’
2013 Rolls-Royce Wraith – the spirit of adventure
Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls one of the company’s founding forefathers, embodies many of Rolls-Royce Wraith’s characteristics.
A man of extremes, he was born an aristocrat but eschewed the path his social standing suggested, choosing instead to indulge a passion for innovation, engineering and adventure. And racing.
His desire for adventure took him to the infamous Paris to Madrid town-to-town, an event in which many of his fellow drivers failed to return. But his attentions were soon to turn to even more daring pursuits.
From 1908, Charles Rolls divided his time between his burgeoning motor concern and winning the adulation of the British public through his new passion for endeavors in the air.
He won the praise of King George V who hailed him “the greatest hero of his day” when he became the first man to cross the English channel and to return non-stop in a flying machine. Sadly this drive would lead to his untimely demise aged just 32, testing the very limit of his Wright Flyer’s capabilities in high winds at an air show in 1910.
So much of the man’s debonair character can be seen in Rolls-Royce’s latest model: enigmatic, never still, and possessing a relentless appetite for adventure. But, like our founding forefather, Rolls-Royce Wraith is also a model that embraces the very finest things in life: luxury, elegance, refinement and the trappings of exclusivity.
Were he alive, this is the car Charles Rolls would choose to drive. And, like all those who work at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars today, he would have been proud to call it Rolls-Royce Wraith.