Does Rolls Royce have enough tech on board to rival Mercedes-AMG?
Say the words ‘Rolls Royce’ and most of us think about being chauffeured around town in the pinnacle of luxury; but, for those lucky enough to have a car like the Rolls Royce Wraith parked in their undoubtedly spacious garage, semi-autonomous driving and advanced driver aids are expected at this price level to augment the luxurious comfort of the brand. But, just how much do you actually get for all that money spent?
While most manufacturers in the USA have chosen to go all-in when it comes to cramming technology into their products, the legendary British marque has managed to merge old-school charm with modern advancements to create apex vehicles like the Rolls Royce Phantom, a sedan that asks for around a half a million dollars -- and is deemed worth every penny. So what tech is really on board these elegant cruisers that make them more than just plush lounge on wheels? And, is it enough in comparison to more modern rivals like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe? Let’s take a look.
Making use of satellite communication technology, both the Wraith and Phantom are able to predict the road ahead and automatically select the right gear needed for the specific road conditions. At the same time, Active Cruise Control keeps tabs on the immediate surroundings using radar to maintain a safe following distance to the car ahead, at varying speeds. While the AMG S63 doesn’t have the former as standard, it does offer speed adaptation and active steering assist optionally. This, together with lane keep assist, allows the vehicle to make automatic adjustments to remain in the center of the lane. The tech used here is similar in that surroundings are monitored to orient the car in terms of road markings and in relation to cars around it.
Intelligent Head-Up Display and 360-Degree Views
Helping to keep the driver -- whether that’s you or your blazered chauffeur -- informed, the head-up display on the Rolls Royce shows all the most vital information to you in your natural field of vision, helping to keep your eyes on the road while making sure you know what’s happening. At the same time, there’s a surround-view camera that offers views from all angles around the car and a parking assist system that makes maneuvering this behemoth a little easier. These features are both standard on the AMG S63, too.
Safety Aids and Driver Assists
Night Vision Assist is standard on the Wraith, comprising a strategically-placed infrared eye in the Pantheon Grille that will detect potential hazards from up to 300 meters away. Other than that, there’s only lane departure warning and forward collision assist. In terms of advanced driver aids, the Mercedes-AMG offering has both the Wraith and the Phantom seriously beat, with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, Pre safe and Pre safe sound systems, a driver attention alert, and active brake assist all fitted as standard. Here, German models are the best equipped in terms of technology. There are also a variety of optional safety features available, including night vision assistance, automatic speed takeover, evasive steering assist, and active lane change assist, which places the S63 Coupe way ahead of the Rolls Royce offerings.
Technology is not just limited to assistance features and driving aids. Infotainment is rather basic on the Wraith and Phantom, and these beautiful cruisers do without modernities like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is Bluetooth and integrated navigation, however, including real-time traffic assist and Wi-Fi. The S63 Coupe is on the other end of the spectrum, here, with much more modern inclusions, including both Apple and Android integration on top of those features the Rolls Royce’s already have.
At a whopping $320k for the Wraith and over $450k for the Phantom, it seems a little unfair that the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe completely dominates in terms of on-board tech while having an MSRP of around $172k. So how does Rolls Royce justify this price tag? Here are some of the strong points of these ultra-luxury vehicles:
- Status, swag, and street cred
- A powerful, smooth engine with thrilling performance
- Good handling for its size
- Utterly sublime ride comfort
- Bespoke custom configurations available
- Sumptuous back seat
- Best-in-the-business in terms of luxury