2015 Rolls Royce Wraith

2015 Rolls Royce Wraith

Episode 3513 , Episode 3528
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

MotorWeek wasn’t around in 1938 to drive the last rolls-royce wraith, but the advanced nature of that chassis; adjustable shocks, welded rather than riveted frame; made wraith cars highly distintive. now, rolls is reviving the wraith name in hopes of bringing new prospects to their brand, with a design that is one again different, and way ahead of the curve.

Even in the stratosphere of ultra-exclusive vehicles, the two-door 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith stands out as a very unique vehicle. Oh, and it’s the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever. Either one of these would be a great reason for purchasing this rolling piece of prominence, but our reasoning would be the Wraith’s actual behind the wheel experience. Yes this Rolls is intended to actually be driven by the owner.

Based on the Ghost sedan, it offers extreme isolation from the outside, and less fortunate world, but where it differs is it is relatively more fun to drive, at least as far as we’re concerned, when it comes to a Rolls-Royce. 

The experience is a bit of a throwback, to a time when high-end cars were made to ride smooth, and be mechanical wonders; not the sensor-intensive, computer controlled, luxury standards of today. 

So it’s not as sporting as a Continental GT, but rolling on a wheelbase that’s more than a foot longer, stretching over 10-feet, it rides like a whole other class up of vehicle. 

The power it delivers, all 624-horsepower, and 590 lb-ft. of torque may also seem extreme. But it’s the effortless delivery that is truly remarkable. As is its very striking fastback design, which surely would look more at home on the French Riviera than around our offices in Owings Mills, Maryland.   

But whether on the move or standing still, it is quite a presence; and that’s before you swing the huge doors open to the rear. And since they open so wide, don’t worry about reaching out to close them, just summon the invisible butler with the push of a button and stay put. 

The majority of the behind the dash technology comes from BMW, but there are a few special elements such as GPS based shift logic for the 8-speed automatic transmission. And the 10-inch infotainment display can stay hidden for a more traditional look. Plus the amazingly extravagant StarLight headliner is Roll’s alone.

Even under those fiber optic stars, there’s plenty of other aspects to fall in love with in the back seat. And you might want to stay put as long as possible, not only because of the sheer luxury and amenities you’re wrapped in, but because it’s not the easiest space to climb out of. 

Climbing out of the hole at our test track took some restraint to keep from luxuriously melting the rear tires, so we were only able to achieve a 0-60 time of 6.8-seconds in less than ideal track conditions. Disappointing, since it should easily be under 5.0-seconds. 

Its great road presence doesn’t quite translate to track work, as muscling the Wraiths 5,200-plus pounds of bulk through tight turns also calls for some restraint, and if you don’t, better try a “Hail Mary” or two.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are not as out-of-whack as you’d expect, 13-City, a most respectable 21-Highway, and 15-Combined. But that still earns a Gas Guzzler tax and a very poor Energy Impact Score, burning through 22.0-barrels of oil per year with annual CO2 emissions of 9.5-tons.

Rolls thinks the U.S. will be the biggest market for the Wraith, so I guess there will be more than a few 1-percenters shelling out the close to $300,000 required. Plan on spending much more to make yours unique however, as ours had almost $100,000 in options.

So unless you plan on living in it, which one of our staffers briefly contemplated, it’s probably not the most practical of purchases. And compared to a Continental GT, it’s a much pricier one. But you do get amazing exclusivity, which is what this price bracket is all about. As this apparition will indeed be rare to catch a glimpse of, and we’re most glad we did. 

Specifications

  • Engine: 6.6 liter
  • Horsepower: 624
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.8 seconds
  • EPA: 13 mpg city/ 21 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 22.0 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 9.5 tons/yr
2024 Mercedes AMG GLA35

2024 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35

Baby AMG SUV Brings The Performance

Episode 4336
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Back in 2015, buying an AMG-tuned utility vehicle was not unheard of, but finding one as affordable as the then-new AMG GLA 45 was an entirely new phenomenon. Since then, they’ve only enhanced their AMG profile, so let’s check in with the latest Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 and see if we can keep up.

A quick look at the Mercedes-Benz lineup reveals they currently have more than a dozen SUVs for sale, most of which can get some level of high-performance AMG treatment. This 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is the least expensive one you can buy, but it certainly doesn’t feel, look, or behave like a budget ride.

Styling updates are mostly limited to a new front fascia, though both head and taillights get freshened up, and there are some new wheel designs, plus a unique AMG crest on the hood for the first time. The base Mercedes-Benz GLA also gets updated, just with a much milder theme for those that are looking more for the luxurious experience instead of the AMG’s sporty theme.

Inside, drivers can take in all the carbon fiber accents, as well as put their hands on a new AMG Performance steering wheel. Mercedes has gotten rid of the touchpad controller on the center console and put a much more practical phone charger in its place, as well as added an additional USB-C port with faster charging speed. The touchscreen shares its housing with the 10-inch digital instrument cluster.

The GLA 35’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 has been retuned by AMG for 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance. It’s the same setup found in the CLA 35 four-door Coupe we recently tested. The base GLA 250 makes do with 221 horsepower from its 2.0-liter turbo-4. The GLA 35 comes strictly with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AMG-tuned 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

At our test track, with AMG Race Start engaged, we hooked and booked to 60 in just 4.9-seconds despite a slight hesitation in full power delivery off the line. It launched hard even without Race Start, and the engine strongly pulled all the way down the track. Shifts were plenty quick, yet still very smooth, as while we could barely feel when they were happening, the bassy bark from the exhaust gave us a much-appreciated audible cue. Our best quarter-mile run was a 13.5 at 102 miles-per-hour.

As for handling, it was easy-peasy for this AMG. We were able to carry quite a bit of speed through our cone course with very minimal body roll and a planted feel that had us pushing harder and harder until we got it to step out on us just a little.

You can get into a base front-wheel-drive GLA for as little as $43,000, but this AMG 35 will cost you at least $57,600.

When we hear things like “the best or nothing at all,” we tend to dismiss it as Mercedes marketing speak, but that was actually a quote going all the way back to Gottlieb Daimler in the late 1800s prior to his firm joining up with Karl Benz’s. And, for the most part, it’s still the philosophy behind Mercedes-Benz today. And you can certainly feel it behind the wheel of the 2024 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged I4
  • Horsepower: 302
  • 0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 112 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.6 MPG (Premium)
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 295 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.5 seconds at 102 mph
  • EPA: 22 City | 28 Highway | 24 Combined