Rolls-Royce says there is nothing standing in the way of a Rolls-Royce Wraith convertible from an engineering perspective, leaving the door open for a soft-top Drophead version of its all-new luxury two-door.
Rolls-Royce South and East Asia Pacific general manager Dan Balmer told CarAdvice the Wraith’s structure and underpinnings – based on those of the four-door Ghost – could support an open-top body style, although he suggested the final decision could have more to do with the car’s design.
“Could you image making a drop-top of that [Wraith] shape?” Balmer asked.
“For me, simply from a design point of view, this shape is trickier to present in a convertible, which has to be beautiful. Our cars have to be elegant and beautiful, they can’t be big and ungainly or any strange shapes or shadows, they are elegant cars.”
Balmer admitted the bespoke British car maker had left the door open for a convertible version of the Wraith, but said its focus in the short term was on establishing the new high-performance coupe around the world.
“We never say never, and you’re right, there is potential for us to do something later on.
“It would be a few years away, I mean, we’ve not even started discussions internally about it.
“It’s just a question of giving the Wraith in its current form … a chance to launch, a chance to get out there.
“For us it’s a bit of a brand changer, and we need that time to understand what Wraith is and what that direction means for us, and then from there we can develop new versions.”
Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific regional director Paul Harris said there were other factors to consider before signing off on an all-new model or variant.
“At the end of the day we’ve got a two-line production facility that is going to go to three soon with Wraith because it is so significantly different,” Harris said.
“That takes a long time to embed and establish before you start even thinking about engineering solutions for your next generation or your next step.
“We are very conscious of making sure that our quality is the absolute pinnacle before we release a car and we work to a sustainable standard all the way through. That’s why it takes 21 days on average to make a Ghost.”
Having debuted last week at the Geneva motor show, the Rolls-Royce Wraith will arrive in Australian showrooms around September with a circa-$645,000 price tag.
The only convertible in Rolls-Royce’s current line-up, the Phantom Drophead, is the marque’s most expensive model, priced from $1,019,000.