Rolls-Royce Wraith ‘inspired by music’
By Kyle Lindsay
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 15:30
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has contributed to the myth and legend of the contemporary music scene since the birth of Rock & Roll. Over half a century later, this long-standing love affair lives on, with some of the world’s most celebrated artists choosing the marque as the ultimate affirmation of their success. In this spirit, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is delighted to present Wraith ‘Inspired by Music’.
Since the launch of Wraith in 2013, customers have been able to commission their Rolls-Royce Wraith with Bespoke Audio; the most exhaustively designed sound system in automotive history. Like every element of a Rolls-Royce motor car, its construction blends the finest components with the skill of the most eminent experts in their field. Now, with Wraith ‘Inspired by Music’, these characteristics, and the precious materials used in the Bespoke Audio system, are brought very much to the fore, creating ‘the most exclusive music venue’ that delivers an unrivalled aural experience.
“Wraith ‘Inspired by Music’ appeals to those looking to Rolls-Royce for unique and creative motor cars. Its effortlessly cool appearance complements the superior Bespoke Audio system; the contemporary use of copper creates an atmospheric setting for the most encompassing music system on the market,” commented Torsten Müller Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
A Lyrical Copper exterior paint finish, presented with a blend of brushed and polished textures elegantly hints at the use of copper in only the very best audio systems. On opening the car’s coach-doors attention is drawn to re-imagined speaker grilles, here presented in copper theme, and engraved with the words ‘Bespoke Audio’. The door panniers and floor mats have been crafted from finely-woven leather to add an additional depth of tactility to the car’s interior cabin. Copper-coloured door inserts, which start at the front of the cabin before tapering at the rear, have been included in the design to emphasise Wraith’s characteristic internal curves.
A book matched copper finish features for the first time on Wraith’s fascia, boldly extending the car’s theme. The same copper tone extends to Wraith’s signature seat bullets.
The fastidious detail that went into the development of the car’s sound-system is employed in every facet of the construction of the car. For example, the chaplets on the clock have been designed and meticulously crafted with a combination of warming copper and silver, whilst the radial lines of the outer bezel playfully emulate the look and feel of vinyl records.
The Bespoke Audio system was created from scratch by a team of the world’s very best automotive audio engineers. The two-year development process saw the team work closely with Rolls-Royce interior designers to ensure the system was perfectly tuned to the interior of the cabin. Indeed, this pursuit of aural perfection was deemed so important the interior designers had to consult with the Chief Audio Engineer before making any changes.
The extraordinary clarity of sound and dynamic range is delivered via a 1300W, 18 channel system comprising two highly powerful bass speakers, seven tweeters and seven mid range speakers. Two ‘exciter’ speakers hand-fitted in the car’s headlining play a vital role in bringing the sound to the listener at ear-level; ensuring the output perfectly imitates the way music is experienced in a live setting. Microphones constantly monitor ambient and exterior noises and will adjust volume and tone settings automatically to ensure no external agent detracts from the user’s listening pleasure.
Wraith ‘Inspired by Music’ completes a trilogy of striking and distinctive Bespoke Collections. The first, Wraith ‘Inspired by Film’ celebrates Rolls-Royce’s long association with the silver screen whilst, Wraith ‘Inspired by Fashion’ allows customers to commission a true piece of automotive haute couture inspired by the materials and motifs of cutting-edge high fashion.
Rolls-Royce: the ‘Rock & Roll’ years:
In January 1961, Elvis Presley walked into the Beverley Hills Rolls-Royce dealership. Flush with the success of his music career and a five-year movie deal, he ordered a Rolls-Royce Phantom V; the only motor car in the world that could possibly befit his status as the ‘King of Rock & Roll’. From that day on, a Rolls-Royce motor car became the conveyance of choice for the music scene’s burgeoning elite.
Many of these cars have taken their place in automotive and music folklore. John Lennon, for example, acquired a Phantom V in 1965. During his ownership he commissioned a number of cutting-edge additions for the time including; a television, portable refrigerator, record player and the first blacked-out windows to appear on a car in England. He was so enamoured with the interior comfort of the finest riding car in the world, he is reported to have converted the rear bench-seat into a double bed.
However, it is his car’s exterior that ensures its place in the pantheon of famous Rolls-Royces. Not satisfied with the Phantom’s stately Valentines Black finish, he commissioned a Dutch art collective to re-paint the car in a psychedelic motif designed to mirror the decorations on fairground caravans. The result was not met with universal acclaim, with Lennon often recounting the tale of a woman who chased the car, shouting, “You swine! You swine! How dare you do that to a Rolls-Royce!”
One particular story resulting from the music world’s love affair with Rolls-Royce has segued from folklore to infamy. It concerns The Who drummer, Keith Moon and the night of his 21st birthday at the Holiday Inn in Flint Michigan. Legend goes that a somewhat high spirited Mr Moon drove his Rolls-Royce into the hotel’s swimming pool. This is categorically untrue and is probably an overblown conflation of two stories.
The first, involves a regrettable yet entirely understandable lapse of concentration, with Mr Moon failing to fully secure his Rolls-Royce’s handbrake. Unfortunately he had parked on a slope leading to a half-constructed swimming pool. The car made a characteristically graceful descent down the hill before coming to rest at the bottom of the unfilled pool.
The second is a little closer to the legend. On purchasing a new American car he tried to charge it to the band’s account, naturally they refused to indulge his request. Mr Moon expressed his displeasure by parking the car in an ornamental pond before telephoning the dealer to take it away. Not something he would ever have done to his beloved Rolls-Royce.