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Rolls-Royce Wraith: Ghost coupe to revive a name from Rolls’ past at 2013 Geneva Motor Show

Rolls-Royce is launching a two-door version of its “baby” Ghost (pictured) at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March. Rolls says the car will be its sportiest ever, and it will revive a name from the company’s past: Wraith.

The name was announced at the Rolls-Royce World Dealer Conference in London. As with most things this luxury carmaker does, the Wraith will be a “go big or go home” proposition.

“Rolls-Royce Wraith will draw superlatives when it is unveiled in Geneva,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos said. “Expect the boldest design, the most dramatic performance and the most powerful Rolls-Royce that has ever played host to the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. We will present a model whose starting point is luxury, refinement and exclusivity, traits that have made Rolls-Royce the world’s pinnacle luxury good for the last 108 years. This is a car not only defined by a timeless elegance, but one that encapsulates a sense of power, style and drama.”

The name, in addition to being wonderfully alliterative, comes with a lot of historical weight. The original Wraith was built for just one year, from 1938 to 1939, while the Silver Wraith was Rolls’ first postwar production car. The Silver Wraith II, a long-wheelbase version of the Silver Shadow II, entered production in the late 1970s.

If the new Wraith really is the most powerful Rolls ever, it will have to outdo the Ghost sedan’s 6.6-liter V12. That engine produces 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, and is the most likely power plant for the Ghost-based Wraith.

The Wraith won’t just need extra horsepower for bragging rights. With the Ghost sedan weighing around 5,500 pounds, the Wraith will need some extra motivation to truly improve the driving experience. A bit of weight loss is also expected, although the Wraith will still be one of the most massive coupes on the market.

Despite its girth, the Ghost can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Expect the Wraith to at least top the 0 to 60 mph acceleration number.

The Wraith will be unleashed on March 5 at the Geneva Motor Show. Pricing will be announced sometime after that, but the Wraith will probably cost more than the Ghost, which starts at around $250,000.

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