It lies flat. Still. Quiet. The golden reflexes of the sand all around and Doha’s skyline breaking the horizon. The desert surrounds everything here in Qatar, and if there’s a place where point A and point B are truly connected with each other by a straight line, this is it. This is a no escape land: where are the corners, the mountains and the great sceneries? Where are the pops and crackles and the skreetching of the tires on the tarmac? Instead, we’re gliding on the surface, with the silent breath of a twin turbo 6.6litre V12 in front and the gentle smell of fine leather all around you. An improbable cocoon of abundance in the vast emptiness of the desert: it is everything vs nothing, a rich Roller vs the monotony of the sand, with the silence all around and the feeling of being detached from one of the most hostile places on Earth. This place is an ensemble of contrasts which offer constant shift between two extremes.
The Wraith feels like the ghost of the desert. An intangible presence, a serene and almost impalpable entity which moves elegantly wherever you decide to point its nose. You can talk about power and here there is plenty, but the fine leathers and dark wood veneer of the Rolls do not encourage you to talk about speed at all. There are lots of power and torque, but to put it in simple Rolls terms, they’re “sufficient”: just enough to please you in every possible way without getting noticed.
The Satellite-Aided Transmission (SAT), which with the help of a satellite pre-selects the most ideal gear according to your position and driving style, will not made itself heard, as any properly trained servant would do. The Wraith wafts away easily, not giving a hint of its sheer complexity underneath its skin and not rushing you in any possible way. Corners are not an issue here and there’s no point in looking for them anyway. Enjoy the relaxation of being driven to your destination with the slightest input and the sound of silence all around you. Not that this Roller lacks poke as just a more vigorous press on the accelerator will make this most gracious behemoth jumps away with decision and discretion, like a well-dressed athlete. The fastback body style and the sweeping lines give the Wraith a refreshing sensation of sportiness, while maintaining a remarkable presence on the road.
But, what’s the point in all of this? Even Rolls Royces are anything but sporty, they’re a delight in the corners, gliding from side to side, allowing you to enjoy the scenery and the moment. It’s the magic carpet ride you all should experience at least once in your life: quiet and anything but boring.
Perhaps, in a place like Qatar, the Roller is best indicated to bring you to some serious fun machines: after all, the dunes look very tempting and since we came a long way from home, it would not make any sense not to… seek some proper fun!
The Wraith wafting away to those places in the desert where you can rent your own super quad and go have some fun in the sand: drifts, jumps and all sort of usual debauchery can go on legally, just like an ideal pressure valve.
From the emptiness of the desert to the opulence of the Rolls to the unrestricted fun of the desert buggies, Qatar never feels to be a country made for real escapes. An Escape is driving in natural race-courses and not in the desert: while the fun here is undeniable, you cannot help but observe that everything here is…artificial and not ideal for your usual escape.
Yet, you can always entertain yourself in the comfort of one of the most interesting cars on sale today.