Rolls-Royce created its Bespoke design studio for the purpose of enabling customers to build a car any way they wanted, and this might just be one of the most telling examples of how far it will go. Rolls-Royce Bespoke has produced cars with all manner of special customer-requested decoration, colors and unique interior materials, but this one in particular is much more thematic than the others.

Don Brinkerhoff, founder and CEO of Lifescapes International, is a long-time Rolls-Royce customer and a fan of the "Inspector Morse" detective series. When it came time to get his latest Wraith, Brinkerhoff decided to combine his two loves, and worked with the Rolls-Royce Bespoke design team to create a car inspired by the Jaguar Mark II driven by Inspector Morse. Rolls-Royce matched the color scheme of the Wraith to the car in the series. The result is a strikingly unique car that won’t be mistaken for anything else.

Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse is the star of 13 novels written between 1975 and 1999. The inspector’s adventures were serialized for British television from 1987 to 2000, where he was played by John Thaw.

Continue reading for the full story.

  • 2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    350000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse Exterior
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2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse Exterior
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2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse Exterior
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Looking at the Inspector Morse Wraith, one thing becomes clear—it’s actually pretty uncommon to see a red Rolls-Royce. This two-tone Wraith was painted to match the Inspector’s Jaguar with 20 layers of special red paint.

It’s substantially shinier than the Jag driven by John Thaw in the TV series, of course, but then this is a new Rolls-Royce, not an old daily driver.

The roof panel and pillars are black, but the hood (usually included in Wraith two-toning) is body-colored. It’s substantially shinier than the Jag driven by John Thaw in the TV series, of course, but then this is a new Rolls-Royce, not an old daily driver. Even if the reference isn’t familiar, the big grand tourer looks pretty good in red, the color bringing out the chrome grille and window trim in an appealing way.

Rolls-Royce’s bespoke design team works with customers to tweak requests so that they fit with the brand’s aesthetic. That’s no surprise, for a company that designs its vehicles with a set wheel-to-body ratio and famously produced hubcaps that were always upright to keep the “RR” logo properly oriented.

Even without the flash paint job, when it comes to making an entrance, the Wraith defeats just about all comers. The reverse-hinged coach doors and slab-sided look exude class and exclusivity, and the dramatically tapered fastback rear end is sportier than anything the brand has done in recent memory, but still carries hints of classic cars.

Interior

2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse Interior Exterior
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The four-seat interior matches the exterior, with red and black leather on every surface that isn’t glossy piano-black trim. Though the inspiration vehicle was a Jaguar, the Inspector Morse Wraith is all Rolls-Royce.

The Wraith's interior is dead silent with the doors and windows closed.

The Wraith has a tall, broad dash, in keeping with its regal bearing. The dash’s chrome accents give it the look and feel of a piece of fine furniture. The Wraith’s interior is dead silent with the doors and windows closed. The fiber optic-lit Starlight headliner is available on the Wraith as well.

Rolls has always prided itself on offering the ultimate in technology, and the Wraith continues that tradition. A head-up display and adaptive headlights are standard, and the infotainment system includes voice and manual commands.

The Wraith features a "Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller" that enables smartphone-style swipe inputs as well as recognizing drawn-on letters and numerals in several languages, which simplifies navigation and other input commands. It’s fancy technology, though it’s also available on other luxury vehicles. What matters is the way Rolls-Royce does it, which is to say: elegantly.

What is unique is the satellite-aided transmission, which actually takes GPS data from the navigation system to predict the road and select the proper gear for what’s coming next, before the driver can even see it.

Drivetrain

2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse Exterior
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The satellite-aided transmission contributes to the Wraith’s Rolls-Royce feel, which is "effortless." The unique feeling of the marque’s cars has always been a solid sort of nonchalance, and the Wraith, while tuned for a sportier road presence, maintains that stiff upper lip. The precognitive eight-speed transmission is managing 624 horsepower being produced by a 6.6 liter V12 engine. This massive car will run from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds.

The Wraith’s active air suspension has been tuned for something slightly more engaging than Rolls-Royce’s usual "magic-carpet" ride. Double wishbones are used in the front, and there’s a multi-link rear. The drive is still notably smooth, as though the car is smoothing the road flat as it drives, but it’s also tuned to offer a measure of feedback. Body roll is limited and Rolls-Royce has baked in a degree of steering feedback , though the Wraith is still a very coddling vehicle. There’s no forgetting that it’s a 5,000-pound coupe, either. That gravitas gives the car a feeling of significance and quality that’s missing in lesser vehicles.

Prices

2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse Emblems and Logo Exterior
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The Wraith’s starting price of $294,025 shouldn’t come as a surprise. Rolls-Royce doesn’t generally divulge the premiums required for Bespoke Design vehicles, so there’s no telling how much more Brinkerhoff paid for the Inspector Morse Wraith.

Competition

2016 Bentley Continental GT Speed

2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed Exterior
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Bentley’s big coupe is a world-class performer, and its exclusivity and hand-built status don’t prevent it from being a car that can be driven hard. The 626-horsepower W12 will push it to 206 mph if the road permits.

You can read the full review here.

2014-2015 Aston Martin Vanquish

2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish High Resolution Exterior
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The most powerful production Aston Martin ever hits the road with a 568-horsepower V-12 engine and will run all the way to 201 mph. Aston has wrapped this powertrain in a carbon-fiber body and a hand-crafted interior that would make James Bond proud.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

Obviously, the Wraith is nothing like the Jaguar Mark II that Inspector Morse actually drove — it doesn’t even have the correct number of doors. But this is a cool car nonetheless, in a flight-of-fancy kind of way. It also shows the lengths that Rolls-Royce will go to in order to see its customers happy. The Wraith’s styling is surprisingly versatile, and it’s able to pull off what might have looked cheesy in a dignified and impressive fashion.

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    • * Less sporty than some competitors
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Source: Rolls Royce

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