Tag Archives: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom Unveiled in China

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom

The Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom was created to celebrate China’s love of travel and to showcase the levels of craftsmanship the company can offer through its bespoke design studio.

The new Bespoke Collection car boasts an opulent two-tone exterior finish of Madeira Red and Silver Sand with complementing tones of leather and lambswool dressing the seats, roof liner and covering the floors.

The Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom

The seats and rear cushions are further embellished with a specially designed motif, stitched in smoke grey thread.

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom inside

But as impressive and cosseting as all of that is, it is nothing compared to the marquetry that adorns the instrument panel and other cabin surfaces.

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom interior details

The individual pieces of different colored wood veneers have been precision laser cut and then painstakingly assembled by hand to create the image of a train speeding across a landscape, leaving plumes of smoke in its wake.

Rolls-Royce Pinnacle Travel Phantom interior

In all, there are 230 individual pieces of marquetry adorning the cabin, from the front fascia to the rear passengers’ picnic tables. The incredible woodwork is complemented by some serious needlework too as the motif blends into the fabrics dressing the doors thanks to 24,633 individual stitches.

Rolls-Royce planning plug-in hybrid

Rolls-Royce 102EX

Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce has confirmed plans to introduce its first-ever plug-in hybrid model within the next three years.

Rolls-Royce Develop Electric Phantom

Speaking to Auto Express during the Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce’s CEO, Torsten Müller-Otvos, described hybrid technology as “essential in two years, maybe not from customer demand but through legal regulation on emissions,” if the car company wants to continue using V12 powerplants.

Rolls-Royce 102EX

Rolls-Royce has already toyed with an all-electric version of its Phantom flagship, the 102EX, but it failed to excite any of the brand’s existing clients and so never went any further than the prototype stage.

Phantom 102EX

“A Rolls-Royce cannot come with any kind of compromise, and both the recharging times and the range were not acceptable for our buyers — but with hybrid technology that is no longer a problem,” said Müller-Otvos.

It is unclear what model Rolls-Royce could first implement a plug-in hybrid powertrain into, but the next-generation Phantom is a possible candidate.

BMW X5 eDrive

It’s likely Rolls-Royce’s plug-in hybrid car would use technology from parent company BMW, which is set to launch the X5 eDrive (below).

bmw x5 edrive concept charging

While Rolls-Royce is now a self-sustaining business without influence from BMW, the prohibitive cost of developing an all-new plug-in powertrain means BMW’s help may be invaluable in getting such a car to market.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II (Video)

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II boasts the perfect combination of performance, comfort and connectivity.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

According to the company, that was Rolls-Royce’s brief when it set out to improve on the original car and as such the external changes are subtle: new headlights, a more tapered nose, tweaked front and rear bumpers.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II photo

However, inside, the car gets a wifi hotspot and a reworked multimedia interface for front and rear passengers and new seats. These seats actually have business and relaxation adjustment settings.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II interior

And to make sure that nothing disturbs the occupants, the Satellite Aided Transmission system (SAT), which debuted on the Ghost‘s sportier brother, the Wraith, last year, is also included. This clever system uses information from the satnav system regarding conditions and the road ahead to preemptively adjust the car’s gear selection for an even smoother ride.

rolls royce two tone bespoke ghost

Rolls-Royce owners like the personal touch

Just like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that 2013 was a record year for clients customizing their cars and the trend looks set to continue.

rolls royce ghost bespoke design interior

Rolls-Royce says that bespoke customization requests are nearing the 100 percent mark and that 2013 was the busiest its team of artisans and craftsmen have ever been. In all, 95 percent of the 3,630 cars it sold globally over the past 12 months left the factory with bespoke options.

This includes 90% of all Rolls-Royce Wraiths, the company’s newest and most powerful car, which only went on sale in mid-2013. And when it comes to customization, the Middle East is the most demanding region, 99% of Ghosts and Phantoms arrived in the region with a personal touch.

rolls royce ghost bespoke

Globally, the company’s flagship Phantom remains the most popular car for customization for all clients, wherever they are based, with 98% of US Phantom owners and 95 percent of European clients specifying bespoke details or features. In Asia the trend is not yet as well established — only 86% of customers in the region decided to get creative with their care.

“This continuing growth in Bespoke sales in 2013 proves the fact that Rolls-Royce is the home of Bespoke in the luxury world,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Ghost V Specification

Rolls-Royce announces limited-edition Ghost

The Rolls-Royce Ghost V-Specification boasts greater power and will only be available for customers to commission for the next six months.

Ghost V Specification

The company’s chief executive, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, says that the idea behind the limited edition is to celebrate “one of Ghost‘s defining characteristics: the exquisite 6.6-liter Rolls-Royce V12 engine.”

The car, which can be specified as a standard or extended wheelbase model, will feature a 30bph power increase over the standard edition, which translates into a 0-62mph (100km/h) time of 4.7 sec.

Owners will also be able to select one of five specially developed exterior paint colors for the car or to select one from the company’s existing 44,000-hue palette. The vehicle will also sit on exclusive 21-inch part-polished wheels and can be specified with visible chromed exhausts.

Ghost V Specification interior

Providing a subtle clue to passengers that the car is a little more exclusive than an everyday Rolls-Royce are V-Specification motifs which appear on the door treadplates, on the steel inlays to the front multimedia screen lid and embroidered into the rear armrest.

Completing the look is an exclusively designed clock with a black crown surrounding the face. The order book for the V-Specification opens Wednesday but will close again in June.

Rolls Royce Wraith Harrods Window

Rolls-Royce planning convertible Wraith

Rolls Royce Wraith Harrods Window

A Drophead version of Rolls-Royce’s latest sports coupe, which delighted the crowds at the Geneva Motorshow, will go into production in 2015.

Unlike the existing models in the company’s growing line-up, the Wraith is focused as much on performance as it is on out-and-out luxury, and although Rolls-Royce established itself some 107 years ago as a performance car company, it is with comfort and exclusivity rather than seat-of-the-pants driving thrills that it has come to be associated with.

Therefore, the decision to build a GT car, and compete head to head with the Bentley Continental GT, Mercedes CL, Aston Martin Rapide and even the Ferrari FF, could have been a high-risk strategy.

So far the signs are good. As well as attracting the Ferrari-owning fraternity to the Spirit of Ecstasy, the Wraith looks like it will also succeed in lowering the average age of Rolls-Royce’s client base.

In terms of styling, the convertible Wraith will take design cues from the larger Phantom Drophead but will retain the sporting characteristics of the existing hardtop — therefore it will boast a 6.6-liter V12 engine that should catapult the car from standstill to 100 km/h (62mph) in a little under 5 seconds but with a suspension and damping system that will eliminate all bumps and body roll.

Also adding to this sense of well-being is the ingenious satellite-aided transmission (SAT) feature which uses GPS data to understand the road conditions ahead, beyond the driver’s vision, so that it can automatically select the correct gear and alter the suspension settings.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

The latest “bespoke” model from Rolls-Royce was designed in honor of the Dubai International Motor Show, which will open its doors November 5. The Phantom Coupe Chicane pays homage to Goodwood, home to the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit and to the prestigious auto manufacturer’s headquarters.

Mohammed El-Arishy, Rolls-Royce Brand Manager in Dubai, expressed his ambition to create “an automobile that captures all the unique atmosphere and history of the Goodwood Motor Circuit.”

In response, the British brand’s custom design department developed this exceptional model using carbon fiber rather than wood for the exterior panels, and adding flair through red interior upholstery and wheels that match the body.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane is powered by the traditional 460hp V12 engine. The manufacturer has not yet released details on availability dates or pricing for the luxury vehicle, which will be unveiled in a world premiere in Dubai.

The Dubai International Motor Show takes place November 5-9, 2013 at the Dubai World trade Center.

Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Chicane

Rolls-Royce London 2012 Olympic badge

Rolls-Royce SUV will not compromise brand

rolls royce range

Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce will not compromise its exclusive image if it builds a sports utility vehicle (SUV), its chief executive said Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists in Singapore, Torsten Müller-Ötvös said the firm known for its stately sedans is now in the early stages of designing its first SUV for the super rich.

“I have tasked our designers to come up with some ideas on paper how they would imagine our car, the Rolls-Royce, would look like in this segment,” he said. “This segment is interesting, it keeps growing and growing and growing, even at a time when the whole automotive industry was quite in a crisis.”

The auto press is abuzz over the idea of a Rolls-Royce SUV but Müller-Ötvös said the BMW-owned British company would tread carefully as “Rolls-Royce is not sporty, Rolls-Royce is not utility (and) it is not in the genes of this brand”.

“There is no decision yet made, and we aren’t rushing it, and there is also really no need to enter that segment. It only makes sense if this can be credibly represented by Rolls-Royce,” he said.

Bentley in July said it would go ahead with plans to launch an SUV by 2016. Lamborghini, which like Bentley is a unit of Volkswagen, is also eyeing the SUV market along with Fiat’s Maserati.

Porsche, also part of the Volkswagen group, is well ahead of the pack, with its sales boosted by its hugely popular Cayenne SUV.

Luxury cars going increasingly customized

Bespoke Home of Rolls Royce motor collection

New statistics reveal that the demand for personalization in the ultra luxury car segment is not only a growing trend but is one being driven by Middle Eastern clients.

According to Rolls-Royce, in q1 2013, nearly every one of its flagship Phantoms were commissioned with bespoke personalization, while 75% of its smaller Ghost luxury saloons also left the production line with some form of client personalisation.

The company’ figures, which stretch back to 2005, show that even seven years ago, 50% of all clients were in search of something more than ‘stock’ luxury — 75% of cars destined for the Middle East were personalized, as were 55% of European and 50% of vehicles destined for Asia.

However, in North America, a region that has made customization — of every type of car from family run-around to limousine — mainstream, a mere 30% of orders were for customized Phantoms.

Fast forward to today and the US is only behind the Middle East in terms of personalization — 95% of Phantoms headed for the US are customized, compared with 100% of those destined for the Middle East and 93% of those sold in Europe.

This growing demand is such that Rolls-Royce has had to expand The Home of Rolls-Royce, its bespoke personalization arm, doubling the number of designers, craftsmen and engineers it employs.

But this trend is not confined to Rolls-Royce. Aston Martin and McLaren have also witnessed growing demand for bespoke features.

Aston Martin officially opened its Q by Aston Martin bespoke personalisation service in April, allowing discerning clients to specify both interior and exterior features, but its dedicated designers are happy to help a customer design any luxury item, be it a yacht or even a house — Aston Martin claims that its designers have already worked in collaboration with a client’s architect for that very purpose.

McLaren showcased what it calls its Special Operations division, which is charged with the delivery of bespoke projects, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2011.

Twenty-one months later, 25% of McLaren cars leaving the production do so following bespoke customisation and roughly 50% are for North American clients.

“The levels of McLaren Special Operations content on the 12C and 12C Spider has been steadily increasing throughout the year, with a diverse range of upgrades requested from owners looking to put a unique twist on their McLaren,” says Paul Mackenzie, Programme Director at McLaren Automotive.

To celebrate the growing demand for personalization, Rolls-Royce has handed design duties over to its bespoke department for a special range of Phantom and Ghost models that will launch later this year.

Each model produced will feature a special celebration motif in hand-crafted marquetry, plus a special embroidered pattern adorning armrests and console lids that require 112,533 individual stitches and that, even with a precision embroidery machine, take over an hour to complete.

Meanwhile McLaren is expanding the reach of its Special Operations unit too, so that clients who specified their supercars before the company started offering the service, can re-specify their cars.

Rolls Royce motor cars bespoke design

Rolls Royce Wraith Harrods

Rolls-Royce Wraith debuts in Harrods Window

Rolls Royce Wraith Harrods Window

Rolls-Royce’s new luxury sports coupe, the Wraith, will be on show in London’s iconic Knightsbridge department store Harrods until May 4.

In what for many will seem a match made in heaven, the exclusive department store, among the most famous in the world, is playing host to the first Rolls-Royce Wraith to arrive in the UK.

The car, which caused a sensation upon its official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March, is no doubt bound to turn heads in the English capital and could even add to the city’s already heavy congestion as motorists slow down and even stop to take a closer look.

By far the sportiest car to be built by the company since it was acquired by BMW, the Wraith boasts a V12 engine that is capable of catapulting the car from standstill to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, yet its ride is so smooth that the acceleration doesn’t threaten a spill of the rear occupants’ cocktails.

Rolls-Royce is already taking orders for the €245,000 car and the first examples are expected to be delivered to their owners before the end of 2013.

Rolls Royce Wraith Harrods

RollsRoyce Ghost Alpine Trial Centenary

Rolls-Royce Ghost Alpine Trial Centenary

Rolls-Royce Ghost Alpine Trial Centenary

The Rolls-Royce Ghost Alpine Trial Centenary Edition, which honors the automaker’s 1913 Alpine Trials cars, debuted at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show.

Four Rolls Royce Silver Ghosts embarked a century ago (1913) on the Austrian Alpine Trials, which was the benchmark for automotive endurance at the time.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Alpine Trial Centenary front panel

In performing without fault over 1820 grueling miles of near impassable mountain terrain, the Rolls-Royce Works Team and privateer entrant James Radley helped cement the marque’s reputation for reliability and mechanical excellence.

The Alpine Trial Centenary Ghost takes close inspiration from Radley’s Silver Ghost with a bespoke “baby-blue” paint hue, and black grille and wheels.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Alpine Trial Centenary clock

Inside, the clock displays the stages of the rally and timings, while inlays to rear picnic tables and the front fascia represent the topography and distances of the Alpine route, and the headliner matches the hood of Radley’s car.

The Special Edition car will join Radley 1913 Silver Ghost to take part in a faithful re-enactment of the classic rally, starting in Vienna on 14 June 2013.

Rolls-Royce Alpine Trial Centenary Ghost

BMW Museum Munich

Rolls-Royce exhibition opens in Munich

Rolls Royce exhibition Munich

Rolls-Royce parent company BMW is staging the first exhibition of its kind at its BMW Museum in Munich to celebrate the British luxury carmaker’s recent resurgence and to honor the 150th birthday of the marque’s founder, Sir Henry Royce.

First Rolls-Royce Exhibition

The display, which covers more than 1000 m2 and which is spread over five floors, tells the Rolls-Royce in incredible detail, starting with the initial meeting between the company’s founders, Sir Henry Royce and the Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls in 1904 and leads right up to the present day.

Rolls-Royce Exhibition

The exhibition is packed with some of the most important cars the company has produced over the past 105 years including the 1926 Rolls-Royce 10EX which was developed to show the capabilities of the company’s engine and chassis technology and which Sir Henry Royce engineered and drove himself.

Rolls Royce exhibition BMW museum

Away from engineering perfection there is also a focus on craftsmanship, coachbuilding and bespoke design, all of which have become synonymous with the brand over its lifetime.

BMW Museum Munich

Rolls-Royce London 2012 Olympic badge

Rolls-Royce says “never say never” to a possible SUV

rolls royce range

Rolls-Royce’s Asia-Pacific regional director says the company has a “never say never” attitude to developing an SUV, despite the implications it could have for Rolls-Royce’s brand perception.

Despite the fact that Bentley was laughed off the stage when it unveiled its SUV concept, the EXP 9F, at the 2012 Geneva Motorshow, or that Land Rover appears to perfectly nail the concept of the quintessential luxury SUV with each new Range Rover, Rolls-Royce has revealed that although it has no immediate plans, it is not prepared to completely rule out entering the 4×4 market in the future.

In an interview with CarAdvice, Rolls-Royce Asia-Pacific regional director Paul Harris said: “The Rolls-Royce philosophy is very clear, and that is that we will never say never to anything.”

“As it stands at the moment it’s not in discussion. We’ve just brought Wraith to market, that’s probably our model offering in the new market for at least the next two and a half years. There’s nothing on the drawing board at all as it stands now, but the never say never scenario still stands.”

There is a story, which is quite possibly apocryphal, about Rolls-Royce’s engineering and design departments in the 1950s and 1960s banning the use of the words ‘speed’ and ‘fast’ from discussions about its cars and their future direction.

The company was dedicated to building the best car money could buy and seldom in the history of the motorcar, if ever, has the world’s fastest car also been the world’s best car.

This story is important because while BMW pledged to maintain the company’s brand values when it bought an almost exhausted Rolls-Royce 10 years ago, there have been signs that now, the company is indeed considering spreading its wings and moving into other motoring subcategories.

The most obvious example of this brand extension is the aforementioned Wraith. Launched this month at the Geneva Motorshow, it is undeniably striking in appearance, but it is also undeniably a sportscar, focused just as much on handling and driver experience as it is on propelling four people in splendid isolation on a cushion of air to their next country club meeting or tour around the continent.

Rolls-Royce Wraith

Rolls-Royce Wraith unveiled

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith

The wait is over, the teasing has stopped and Rolls-Royce has officially taken the wraps off its latest luxury offering, the Wraith.

This two-door coupe version of the Ghost is the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever. The 6.6-litre V12 engine produces 624bhp and drives the Wraith from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds.

However, thanks to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this power is delivered in a smooth, seamless curve so that rear-seat passengers don’t spill their cocktails.

Rolls-Royce Wraith interior

Rolls-Royce emphasizes that although the Wraith benefits drivers in terms of re-worked suspension and reduced body roll, the car is “no GT Bruiser” and everything its engineers have done to increase the car’s sporting credentials has in no way affected its ride, which is still akin to riding on a bed of air.

One ingenious technological feature that the Wraith sports to ensure passenger comfort is satellite-aided transmission (SAT).

Using GPS data to understand the road conditions ahead, beyond the driver’s vision, the system automatically selects the approapriate gear for the upcoming terrain.

Rolls-Royce Wraith inside

Inside, the Wraath’s mix of leather, wood and hand-milled metals whispers opulence, while the Starlight Headliner complete the package.

1,340 fiber optic lamps, hand-woven into the roof lining give occupants the impression they are gazing up at the constellations. Added to this is a voice command system that not only activates the navigation and communications system but also links to a dedicated concierge service.

European prices for the Wraith are expected to start at €245,000 with first deliveries in autumn 2013.

Rolls-Royce Wraith photo