Driving The New Rolls-Royce Wraith: A Vienna Waltz Of Luxury, Speed & Passion

2014 will be a banner year in at least one respect — it marks the 110th anniversary of the partnership formed by a certain mechanical engineer and an aristocratic car enthusiast in Manchester, England. When Henry Royce and the Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls first joined forces they no doubt knew they were destined for greatness, though even they can hardly have imagined their impact on history. 

The brand new Rolls-Royce Wraith embodies 110 years of luxury, speed and passion, emobdying the essence of the legendary partnership. The duo's first car, the Rolls-Royce 10 hp, sold for 365 pounds sterling. They built 16 of them. If you had one, now it would be worth its weight in something far more precious than gold. Over the past century the now legendary Rolls-Royce marque has gone through several incarnations; once threatened with irrelevance, it is now thriving under the aegis of BMW AG. 

Misguided grumbling about foreign ownership aside, the German manufacturer's independence and commitment to its own impressive motoring heritage make it the perfect custodian of the illustrious double-barreled name. Since the launch of the Phantom in 2003 they have been very carefully restoring its glory, building exquisite motorcars entirely by hand in Goodwood, a locale synonymous with British racing history.