ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS AT AUTOCHINA SHANGHAI 2013
- Asia Pacific premiere for Wraith, the most powerful, dynamic Rolls-Royce in history
- World debut of Alpine Trial Centenary Collection Ghost – the first Bespoke car to pay homage to a heritage Rolls-Royce
- Record year for Bespoke in China
- Plans to ensure continuing sustainable growth in China and Asia Pacific announced
Wraith, the most powerful, dynamic motor car in Rolls-Royce Motor Car’s 109-year history made its Asia Pacific debut at AutoChina Shanghai on Saturday 20 April 2013.
Billed as the ultimate gentleman’s gran turismo, Wraith embodies the spirit of company founding-forefather, pioneer aviator and noted adventurer Charles Stewart Rolls, whilst presenting a character defined by ‘power, style and drama’. With just a hint of the noir.
“I am proud to introduce Wraith to Asia Pacific here in China, a highly important market for the marque.” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “We have taken great pleasure in introducing a new generation of successful Asian entrepreneurs to Rolls-Royce ownership in recent years. Wraith promises to build on this success, forming a key part of our plans for sustainable growth in the region. I have every confidence the car’s marriage of dynamism; bold styling and luxury will broaden the marque’s appeal further, attracting even more successful and confident Asian men and women to Rolls-Royce in the future.”
The promise of Wraith’s inherent dynamism is expressed in the bold-sweeping lines of the car’s fastback design – echoing the image of a world-class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Muscular rear-haunches, deeply recessed grille and wide rear track further hint at the car’s dynamic intent.
Performance delivers on the promise of Wraith’s styling. Power delivery is effortless, but dramatic, thanks to a V12 engine married to an 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 624 bhp/465kW is available to the driver while the 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds, compared with 563 bhp/420kW and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds for Ghost.
From 1,500 rpm 800 Nm of torque is available (780Nm for Ghost), while a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further contribute to the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history.
However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to Rolls-Royce’s famous ‘magic carpet ride’. Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand.
Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith’s transmission is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance.
Of course, like any Rolls-Royce, Wraith is a car whose starting point is unabashed luxury. On opening the coach-doors, the beholder is invited into a warm, cosseting environment, furnished beautifully in the finest materials.
An expanse of wood called Canadel Panelling, named after the famous cover in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design team spent their winters, sweeps through the entire interior. This tactile, luxurious finish serving as testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship and attention to detail employed at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England.
The glamour is completed with Starlight Headliner, one of the most enduring and popular Bespoke features, available outside of the pinnacle Phantom family for the first time. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky, contributing to an interior ambience, unparalleled in the automotive world.
Improvements in connectivity have taken the human-machine interface to a new level of sophistication, a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet.
The Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller allows navigation through on-screen functions using a touch pad that features pinch and pull functionality to echo smart phone usage. Letters can also be ‘drawn’ onto the pad by hand rather than by scrolling through a series of available characters on-screen. This feature works for users who write Chinese Simplified, Chinese Taiwan, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Traditional Hong Kong, Korean and Japanese.
Voice activation commands come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command.
The first deliveries of Wraith to Chinese customers are expected in the fourth quarter this year.
Alpine Trial Centenary Collection
“The sight of a group of cars running up a mountain road at high speed with a superb easy gait, to which little variation in the road surface gave the semblance of a greyhound in its stride, was inspiring…” The Autocar, June 1913.
AutoChina Shanghai 2013 also plays host to the world debut of the latest Bespoke Collection from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque.
The Alpine Trial Centenary Collection celebrates an extraordinary moment in Rolls-Royce and automotive history. A century ago this June, four Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts embarked on the Austrian Alpine Trials, the most arduous test of automotive endurance of the time.
In performing without fault over 1820 gruelling miles of near impassable mountain terrain, the Rolls-Royce works team and privateer entrant James Radley helped cement the marque’s reputation for peerless reliability and mechanical excellence, a reputation the company proudly retains today. In doing so establishing the legend of Rolls-Royce as maker of the ‘Best Car in the World’.
This limited edition of Rolls-Royce Ghosts feature exquisitely crafted design cues that pay tribute to these extraordinary motor cars. The exterior paint hue, for example takes close inspiration from Radley’s Silver Ghost, a car that stands side-by-side with the 2013 model in Shanghai.
The Radley car’s distinct black grille and wheels are also replicated across the collection – the first time a painted grille has adorned a contemporary Rolls-Royce motor car.
The cabin plays host to Bespoke details that elegantly tell the story of the Alpine Trial. The clock displays the rally’s timing schedule, whilst inlays to rear picnic tables and the front fascia express the topography and distances of the Alpine route. Each element is meticulously hand-crafted and researched to ensure accuracy, epitomising hallmark Rolls-Royce attention to detail.
A hand-painted coach-line referencing the four participating Rolls-Royces and headlining, colour-matched to the hood of Radley’s car completes a beautiful homage.
This is the first time a Bespoke model has taken inspiration from a heritage Rolls-Royce.
“The 1913 Alpine Trial was an extraordinary moment in the rich history of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. China, a country with a profound appreciation of heritage is the perfect place to launch this exceptional Bespoke collection.” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The standards of engineering and pioneer spirit required to achieve such feats stands as inspiration to everyone associated with the marque. The Bespoke Alpine Trial Centenary Collection is a fitting tribute to these achievements. It is testament to the enduring quality of a Rolls-Royce motor car that this 2013 car stand side-by-side with a participant in the original trials, the 1913 Radley Silver Ghost.”
Sustainable growth plans for China and Asia Pacific
China was the second single largest market for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 2012, closely behind the USA. Building on this success the marque will continue to target sustainable growth in China.
A positive start to 2013 is underpinned by significant expansion plans. New dealerships in Nanning, Kunming and Taiyung will add to the 16 existing showrooms in China. The recently opened space in Shenyang is the largest Rolls-Royce showroom in the world. These developments demonstrate the marque’s long-term commitment to a market that has contributed significantly to successive record years.
Commitment to the wider Asia-Pacific region is expressed in plans for further expansion in established and new markets. As consumer confidence builds in Japan - the second largest market in the region behind China – a new showroom in Osaka will open, adding to existing bases in Tokyo and Yokohama. The marque’s first showroom in Western Australia will also be established.
Expansion into emerging markets also continues. The second-half of the year will see new showrooms in Ahmadabad and Chandigarh in India opened, the fourth and fifth on the sub-continent, whilst Bangkok will play host the marque’s first ‘Boutique Showroom’ in the region. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will also establish presences in Vietnam (Hanoi) and the Philippines (Manila).