2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith

Resurrecting a venerable nameplate last used in 1938, the Wraith coupe seeks to combine the traditional Rolls-Royce virtues of elegance, refinement and fine craftsmanship with a sporting spirit heretofore unseen in the brand's opulent but laid-back offerings. Along with a supremely coddling cabin, the Wraith packs the most powerful motor ever fitted to a Rolls-Royce - a 624-horsepower twin-turbo V12.

A close relative of the Ghost sedan, the Wraith sets itself apart from its more formal four-door sibling with a sweeping fastback roofline and elongated C-pillars that provide an athletic counterpoint to Rolls-Royce's stately, upright radiator grille.

Backing up the look is a specially-tuned air suspension with adaptive dampers that are designed to furnish the pillowy-smooth ride that Rolls-Royce buyers have come to expect, along with extra body compliance for precise handling that belies the big coupe's nearly 5000-lbs. weight.

Nestled under the Wraith's elongated bonnet is a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 that punches out 624 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque - enough for a zero-to-60 mph sprint time of just 4.4 seconds. Uniquely, shifting duties are handled by an eight speed "satellite aided" automatic transmission, which Rolls-Royce says can tap into GPS data to provide gearchanges that are perfectly matched to the road ahead.

Fuel economy is rated at 13 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

Hidden behind unusual rear-hinged, power-closing doors is a sumptuous and palatial cabin that's handcrafted using the finest leather upholstery, wood paneling and metal trim imaginable. Notable touches include enormous swaths of wood that adorn the lower two-thirds of each door and an optional "Starlight Headliner" that mimics the appearance of a starry night sky with 1,340 fiber optic nodes woven into the roof lining.

Modern technology abounds, including a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and a 10.2-inch navigation screen controlled by a rotary knob with an inset touchpad that lets passengers use a finger to write navigation destinations or employ pinch/pull gestures to adjust maps.

A nearly infinite amount of options are available, and the car can be further personalized with unique paint colors and interior furnishings through Rolls' Bespoke Commission program.

Standard and Optional Features
The Wraith is fitted as standard with leather upholstery, wood trim, a navigation system with a 10.2-inch display, an 18-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system, four-zone automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a proximity key, automatic xenon headlights, heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, power-closing doors, a power-operated trunk and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Options include adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a side, rear and top-view camera system, ventilated and massage front seats, high-beam assistance, a lane departure warning system and a night vision system.

Occupant Safety
All Wraiths are fitted with front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems. A lane departure warning system is optional.

Key Competitors
Those fortunate enough to be considering adding a Wraith to their collection can also consider the Bentley Continental GT, the Aston Martin Vanquish, the Maserati Gran Turismo and the Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG.