Driving down the highway from Sea Island, Georgia to the Savannah airport in a 2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom at what feels like a steady pace. “You might want to slow down,” says the back passenger.
That’s when you realize that you are driving 95 mph. That is what it feels like to drive a Rolls-Royce. Even when getting carried away with the speed (but safety first, always watch your speed) the car never loses its smoothness, its comfort, and its luxury. That old cliché, “she drives like a dream,” never has felt more appropriate.
And what better place to test-drive the Phantom as well as the 2014 Wraith than the scenic South Georgia coast? The setting of the 2014 Bespoke Drive, a trip in which Rolls-Royce allows writers to test drive recent signature models, was a lovely place to drive these special vehicles. With upscale amenities and heavily forested roads that are draped in the South’s signature fern trees, one can truly imagine that this luxurious lifestyle is his/her own, if only for a little while.
Rolls-Royce gives writers the full experience of being a Rolls-Royce customer. “We want you all to not only know what it’s like to drive the cars,” says Rolls-Royce North American Director Eric C. Shepard at a five-star dinner in the Terrace Room in the Lodge at Sea Island, “But we want to give you all a taste of the full lifestyle experience of a Rolls-Royce customer.”
So even though you go on a Rolls-Royce trip with the expectation that the storied luxury automobile brand is going to be deliberately wooing you, you can’t help but feel sufficiently impressed. Whether it’s the unfettered access to driving the Wraith and the Phantom, the scattered and admittedly fun activities that Rolls-Royce provides you with, or the delicious food that you are served throughout the trip, Rolls-Royce definitely knows how to show you an excellent time that will leave you praising the brand for much time to come.
As for the cars, well for one, they are Rolls-Royces. Second to none, they are the most luxurious cars on the market and well worth the $284,000 (Wraith) and $474,990 price tags. The Wraith is the perfect vehicle for someone looking for an ultra-luxury car that is also very sporty and ridiculously fast. Rolls-Royce claims that the Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, and they make good on that claim. Behind its pantheon grille sits a potent 6.6 litre, twin twin-turbo charged V12 engine. Delivering 624 BHP with 800 Nm of torque, it powers from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Really, really fast. But its speed doesn’t sacrifice any of the luxury or beauty that Rolls-Royce is known for, either. The interior is equipped with four-inch carpets that make you feel like you are driving in a reading den. The inside of the car seems inspired by analog-controlled vehicles, and a vintage tape-deck looking display hides what is actually a supremely sophisticated 6-CD changer and efficient XM radio station. It in many ways feels like it’s the perfect vehicle for cruising.
The Phantom name has been used by Rolls-Royce since 1929, and has become synonymous with the brand. The 2014 model is something to behold. It’s huge, and even though the size of the vehicle can give the illusion that you are driving in a tank, the utter smoothness of the ride brings you back to the realization that you are driving nothing other than a luxury sedan. The interior is so spacious that you could be an NBA player and still have some legroom to spare. The smooth leather of the seats, the stylish display, and the sparkling ceiling all combine for dazzling effect. You don’t need to be a car expert to know that these are truly special vehicles.
The care and craft that goes into every vehicle is astounding. About 400 hours of work go into the building of every Rolls-Royce. Every aspect of the car’s production until the last two coats of paint (paint is applied every day for five days) is done by hand. Rolls-Royce nurtures the talents of its mechanics and craftsmen from early ages, ensuring the quality of its cars in the future. “We sometimes identify craftsman from the time that they are teenagers and will pay for their education so they work for Rolls-Royce as adults,” says Rolls-Royce’s North American Product Manager Terrence Grogan.
Imagine walking out of the airport and Rolls-Royce’s Product Communication Officer Elizabeth Williams greets you and says, “Here are the keys!” Yeah, you’re excited before the trip even starts.
The Lodge at Sea Island is a grouping of multiple hotels that form a single resort. Everything is fairly close but not too close together, giving you the acceptable amount of time in the car before your next meals and activities. Rolls-Royce treats you to delicious meals including a luxurious Southern buffet at the Cloister Room consisting of southern fried chicken, stuffing, brisket, and so much greasy goodness you will have to manually unclog your arteries the next day. On that next day, Rolls-Royce treated everyone to the luxury southern lifestyle. Shooting, golfing, and even fishing for sharks. In-between that was a delicious breakfast buffet, Mahi Mahi sliders for lunch overlooking the ocean, and finally a decadent French dinner in the Lodge’s Terrace Room.
For just a couple days Rolls-Royce let’s you live how a Rolls-Royce customer lives, not just by driving the cars, but by engaging in the lifestyle.