Moment of Introspection
It’s symptomatic for Rolls-Rolls to look backwards before moving forward when the time for contemplation of new model is imminent. With a storied history — after all its founder Charles Stewart Rolls was only 25-years old when he co-founded the company and, as a young pilot, became the first man to double cross the English Channel non-stop — and a reservoir of creativity at its disposal the British automaker of bespoke innovations proudly staged the world debut of its dynamic new Wraith recently at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show.
Originally conceived in 1938, the rebirth of the current fastback and its perfectly engineered features and technical contour introduces a younger demographic to the Rolls-Royce brand.
Wraith, titled after a mystical Scottish spirit, represents new potential direction for Rolls-Royce and extends its level of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but also presents unique positioning defined by power, style and drama. Originally conceived in 1938, the rebirth of the current fastback and its perfectly engineered features and technical contour introduces a younger demographic to the Rolls-Royce brand. The sleek and vigorous Wraith is purely driver oriented with its Ghost-based 6.6-liter V12 that now outputs 624-horsepower (European spec), allowing it to reach 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. With this in mind the majestic gran turismo becomes the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the history of the company.
Hallmark coach doors see their way into the Wraith to unmask its rich cabin composed of Phantom-grade leathers and Canadel Panelling wood veneers. A bespoke touch of imagination is displayed by way of the lustrous night roof lining conceived by the hand stitching of 1,340 fibre optic lamps. For enthusiastic owners who position themselves directly behind the wheel, innovative technology dubbed Satellite Aided Transmission applies GPS mapping algorithms to forecast the driver’s next move using current location-base and drive characteristics, and then magically pre-chooses the most suitable gear from the 8-speed automatic ZF transmission appropriate for the impending topography ahead. Remarkable!
Expect deliveries by the end of the year to early 2014 with a current European price of €245k. Further pricing details for additional markets such as the U.S. will be revealed at a later date. It’s currently a moment of introspection for Rolls-Royce as they position themselves for supplementary growth, heightened levels of performance, and inflated expectations from their loyalists.
Gentlemen style, Super Sports performance
It wasn’t fortuitous that Ferrari put on a spectacle at the recent Geneva International Motor Show. Upon the unveiling of its latest motorsports prodigy, the LaFerrari, crowds of spectators gathered around the Italian grandstand to witness history in the making. In fact, tension never did subside, even after two full press days because of the superior statement the Prancing Horse made to audiences globally.
With a 499-vehicle production run, the company’s attention to its passionate owners must be paramount and devoid of temerity, while also making sure that they have exclusive access. They should be Ferrari collectors and long-term devotees in order to represent the next generation of Ferrari super sports performance. “We chose to call this model LaFerrari,” declared Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo. “It is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range.”
In becoming Ferrari’s fastest road car in history, the LaFerrari is also the first to utilize the HY-KERS system which encompasses two electric motors and a battery pack located on the floor of the carbon-fiber chassis.
Led by Flavio Manzoni, the design team instilled Ferrari F1 technology into the aerodynamic sculpting of the LaFerrari’s silhouette. Designers must be apt to separate emotional factors from objective ones for the vehicle to function at the level Ferrari decrees. Ferrari must be enormously proud because this model vehicle will transcend its superior technology down to the production level.
One such merit of success is their hybrid HY-KERS system that combines the 800-horsepower Ferrari V12 engine with a 7-speed DCT transmission, and a 120 Kw electric motor. Collectively the performance combination enables a top speed of over 218 mph while 0 to 62 mph acceleration is achieved in under 3 seconds. HYKERS is amazing because it allows sustained top performance through all speeds. The electric motor kicks in at lower rpms so power is constant since electric torque is instantaneous.
In becoming Ferrari’s fastest road car in history, the LaFerrari is also the first to utilize the HY-KERS system which encompasses two electric motors and a battery pack located on the floor of the carbon-fiber chassis. The battery’s energy can be regenerated from excess torque or by way of braking from the specialized Brembo package, which includes lightweight calipers and carbon-ceramic material (CCM ) discs.
The drive position of the race-themed cockpit was designed from the experience and advice of Scuderia Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. With F1 single-seaters, a new steering wheel, more efficient shift controls, weight distribution biased 59% to the rear, a low center of gravity, a Kevlar underbody, increased rigidity (by 27%) and beam stiffness (by 22%) the LaFerrari is certainly deemed well-equipped for the circuit.
The name of this vehicle was decided upon the premise that it will become the core and future of the brand and an example of what Ferrari is ultimately capable of in design, technology and aerodynamics. Production of the LaFerrari starts this summer and by the end of 2013 the first customers will receive their 1.3 million Euro car. Bellissimo!