Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would have the opportunity to drive a Rolls-Royce Wraith. Or be near one.
And yet, now I have photo proof.
As part of the North American launch the lovely and generous team from Rolls-Royce flew me to Phoenix, AZ for a test drive.
Pause for effect
As this was my first press-junket I wasn’t sure how to act. So I decided to play it safe and act cool. You know, be myself. Except for the parts of myself that are afraid to drive my husband’s sports car in fear of breaking it. Must. Be. Cool.
However, my coolness evaporated when my greeter said “Hi Robyn!” My eyes widened as I exclaimed “You’re amazing!” My greeter led me outside where a Rolls-Royce Phantom (with extended wheelbase of course) waited. For me.
Still pretending I was playing cool I resisted the urge to pull my camera out. So you understand how grateful I was when a fellow member of the press asked the greeter to take a couple shots of us with the car.
Still trying to be cool I took sneaky shots of my airport ride.
The event was held at The Canyon Suites at the Phonecian Resort. Everything about my day was luxurious. Well except for lunch when the person in front of me spilled ALL the beans and I was caught in the crossfire. Oh, and after when a lady helped me get the beans off my backside with napkins and club soda. But that was more about me not being fancy. Or cool.
Man, that’s a sexy car
Coming into this experience I held the same misconceptions about the Rolls empire as the next uneducated non-rich guy.
- Rolls-Royce motorcars aren’t meant to be driven—only driven around in. Not true. While some models are intended to be chauffeured the Wraith is a two-door four-seater, with a V12 engine allowing 0-100 kph in five seconds
- It’s an old-fashioned brand. Well, it’s an old brand but the car certainly didn’t look old fashioned to me. The Wraith is downright sexy
- Rolls-Royce motorcars are only for the really, really, ridiculously
good looking super rich…mmm actually that one’s true. This is not a car you save up for. It’s more of a reward you give yourself…for being you. Sure there’s a price attached to the car and each bespoke customization and unique feature adds to that price, but it doesn’t really come up
- The brand is only for old people. Nope, it’s for rich people
But let’s talk about the drive
I was seated in the Wraith with another journalist and we were given detailed instructions on our 70 mile driving route. We were to follow the built-in GPS (whose voice was Englishy and polite and calming) through the city and into the mountains where we would stop halfway to switch drivers, have a snack, and take photographs.
Seemed straightforward enough. We were also handed a paper map, should anything go wrong, and a cell phone with one number in it. Should anything go wrong.
Setting off with great enthusiasm we tested features, pressed interesting-looking buttons, and followed the directions until…
“Hey, the GPS isn’t saying the same directions as the paper map…”
“And where are the mountains?”
Oh crap we got lost.
The main tipoff was when the GPS told us we had reached our halfway point. And we were on the freeway. With nothing anywhere, just desert. Since I was being cool I didn’t panic. And since my driving buddy didn’t seem bothered it gave me even more confidence. So we pulled over in an empty lot, switched drivers, and drove back the way we came.
Did we see the mountains or the photo spots? No. Did we drive those famous winding Arizona roads? Nah, we were in city traffic the whole time. But did we DRIVE A ROLLS-ROYCE? Heck yes! And it was AWESOME!
The car is beautiful to look at, comfortable to sit in, and exciting to drive. The car is big but not too big. It’s powerful but you never feel out of control. And it is so smoooooooth.
Unveiling of the Rolls-Royce Wraith in Vancouver BC, August 2013
I fear I may be ruined for regular cars for the rest of my life. The other day I happened upon my plain-old regular car with a flat tire and my first instinct was to walk away. Until I remembered I didn’t have a chauffeured Phantom waiting for me around the corner.