Large numbers of buyers opting for the big four-door Rolls-Royce models enjoy them in chauffer-driven splendour, but the Wraith two-door that’s dubbed ‘a gentleman’s GT’ by Rolls is very much a drivers’ car. It’s certainly the sportiest Rolls-Royce right now and in fact, it’s the most powerful car ever built by the storied UK megalux carmaker.

The ‘Wraith’ name has been attached to many models from Rolls-Royce over the years, but none of them ever approached the sporty appeal of the current one. Although Rolls enthusiasts will argue until the end of time which was the most beautiful model in the company’s history, many will agree that the current Wraith is right up there with the very best of them.

With its dramatic fastback coupé styling, elegantly finished off with a trademark Rolls-Royce radiator topped with the famed Spirit of Ecstasy, it’s a delight for the eyes by any measure. Not everyone will warm to the ‘coach’ doors that hinge at the rear but it can’t be denied that they are very individualistic and a fascinating piece of eccentricity.

Wraith power is supplied by a whopping 6.6-litre, 624-horsepower, turbocharged V-12 and if you order a Black Badge upgrade, torque and transmission are tweaked to create an even sportier motoring experience. This mighty power unit is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Wraith is by no means a small car, but you’ll top 100 km/h in a scant 4.6-seconds with no fuss at all.

It’s widely known that Rolls-Royce has been owned by BMW for some years and that’s where the V-12 engine originates. It’s hard to imagine that Rolls, with its deeply embedded traditions, could have made it into the modern era without a merger with a mass-market premium carmaker like BMW. The V-12 engines used by Rolls-Royce are silky smooth and refined and according to recent comments from management, they’ll be around for many years yet.

One of the reasons people buy Rolls-Royce cars is for their remarkable interior ambiance, which is quite unlike anything else in the entire realm of personal transportation. The cabin of a Rolls is an experience that’s unequalled and occupants enjoy a wonderful feeling of being totally insulated from the noisy world outside. This regal atmosphere is created by some of the finest leathers and woods available, matched by cashmere headlining and the plushest of carpeting with real lambswool mats.

Many buyers will pass on the optional starry headliner that uses over 1,300 fibre optic ‘stars’ to create a dramatic effect. We’ve found it a little distracting when driving at night but it can be switched off. Buyers looking for the hot rod experience that often goes with mega-horsepower engines like the Wraith’s are going to be disappointed because this car is seriously quiet even at high speeds.

It also handles surprisingly well for a sizeable car and clearly, the suspension has been fettled to the tastes of enthusiastic drivers who like a brisk drive along winding roads. The Rolls-Royce Wraith is a very special car indeed and those lucky enough to own one will enjoy more than mere luxury transportation. It’s an unmatched lifestyle experience created to make every journey a unique occasion.

ENGINE: Turbocharged 6.6-litre V-12.

TRANSMISSION: Eight-speed automatic.

ACCELERATION: Zero to 100 km/h in 4.4-seconds.

TOP SPEED: Governed at 250 km/h.

I LIKED: Unsurpassed levels of luxury, albeit it at a substantial price. Very impressive performance with surprisingly brisk response and a suspension to match. Superlative interior materials and workmanship. Although there are many fine products at the pinnacle of the market, Rolls-Royce is still the prestige standout.

I DIDN’T LIKE: Rear-hinged doors are a ‘love or hate’ feature and take time to get used to.

MARKET ALTERNATIVES: Rolls-Royce says there are none, but the Bentley Continental GT has to be a rival.

WHO DRIVES ONE? Buyers who’ve stayed away from Rolls-Royce because the models weren’t sporty enough. Long-time Rolls enthusiasts who’d like a sports car to compliment their Phantom or Cullinan.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: Available now at prices from around €300.000.