June 02, 2018



“ Today, Rolls-Royce, the world’s leading luxury brand, has defined the future of luxury mobility. The Grand Arrival of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 boldly points to a bright future for our marque where our patrons’ individual demands for complete and authentic personalisation will be met through an exquisite fusion of technology, design and hallmark Rolls-Royce craftsmanship. ”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
“ With the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 we were mindful not to dwell on the past. We wanted to be as innovative as possible and at the same time transcend the design history of the marque ”.
Giles Taylor, Director of Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 was presented date of June 16, 2016. The car defines the future of luxury mobility. Code named 103EX, it is the marque’s first ever pure ‘Vision Vehicle’.
The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 presents an intriguing and aesthetically dynamic vision of the future of luxury mobility  – a completely personal, effortless and autonomous Rolls-Royce experience, wrapped in a design that ensures a ‘Grand Sanctuary’ for its occupants, and a ‘Grand Arrival’.
The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 anticipates the mobility demands of the luxury customer of the future. Brought to life by Rolls-Royce after many months of study and consultation with current patrons of the brand, the car represents their clearly expressed desire for an assurance that the marque’s plans for the future of luxury personal mobility will continue to embody the key attributes that have made Rolls-Royce the preferred marque of the most discerning and powerful patrons in the world for over a Century.
With the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, the brand provides just such an assurance to its valued customers – present and future. It makes a bold and definitive statement of confidence in a future where Rolls-Royce rejects the notion of anonymous, utilitarian and bland future modes of mobility. Through an intimate understanding of its customers’ thinking and their demands in the future, Rolls-Royce presents an exciting and highly appealing vision of effortless, autonomous, spacious and beautiful luxury mobility, as personal as each individual customer.   
This ‘Vision Vehicle’ is one of four announced by the BMW Group in Munich on 7 March 2016, as it launched its centenary celebrations – THE NEXT 100 YEARS. In addition to being the centenary of the BMW Group, 2016 also represents a seminal moment in the history of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. 
For Rolls-Royce, the end of production of the seventh generation Phantom – considered by aficionados to be "the best car in the world" – represents the completion of the first phase of the Rolls-Royce brand’s renaissance under BMW Group custodianship. The success of Phantom, Ghost, Wraith and now Dawn serves as the foundation for a bold new chapter.
This highly successful era for the world’s most celebrated luxury brand has been driven by a restless commitment to always looking forward.
In this spirit, the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is presented – a truly revolutionary, highly authentic exploration of the future of luxury mobility. It provides a fully authentic look into the potential demands and desires of the wealthy connoisseur of the future. 
In creating the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars design team, led by Director of Design Giles Taylor, asked themselves the question, “How can we recast luxury for the next 100 years?” Within that question the team found that they had to address two further questions: “What will a Rolls-Royce owner expect of his or her Rolls-Royce in the coming decades?” and “How do we at Rolls-Royce today envision how we meet those expectations?”. These questions allowed the team to dream of the staggering possibilities for Rolls-Royce’s future.
Rolls-Royce intimately understands its patrons and their likely desires and motivations in the future. It understands that true luxury is deeply personal and that the hallmarks of every Rolls-Royce past and present are key to its future. The designers therefore distilled four key tenets that not only underpin the elegant solution that is the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, but epitomise the future of luxury mobility as a whole:
·        The Personal Vision
·        The Effortless Journey
·        The Grand Sanctuary
·        The Grand Arrival

In presenting the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, the marque has rejected the common notion that the future of personal transport is a utilitarian and functional one. Rolls-Royce has stepped bravely into the future to propose a no-compromise, fully autonomous, coach built, personalised vision to those customers who wish for an emotional attachment to their car. This reasoning led them to the first key tenet: The Personal Vision.

The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, as presented in London on Thursday 16 June 2016, is but one example of a number of possible personal visions of a Rolls-Royce of the future. Indeed, in an evolution of the Rolls-Royce Bespoke experience of today, the customers’ taste will influence the exact design of his or her Rolls-Royce and how it will be configured.
In the spirit of the great coachbuilt cars of the past, Rolls-Royce will create the chassis of the future, hand-built from the most advanced materials and powered by a zero emissions powertrain. Advanced manufacturing technologies will enable customers to involve themselves even more in the design of the shape, size and silhouette of their personal Rolls-Royce vision. The future customer will commission his or her own concept. Rolls‑Royce will design and manufacture this personal vision of each customer and make every Rolls-Royce a unique Bespoke masterpiece.
In short, the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 utilises envisioned advances in technology to herald the return to authentic coachbuilding.
The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is the vision of the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars design team, led by Director of Design Giles Taylor. Their deep understanding of the Rolls-Royce customer of the future and the world in which they will live led them to conceive of a motor car that would serve and augment its patron’s lifestyle in every way.
“The Rolls-Royce patron will continue to be a famous figure in the future,” explains Taylor. I envision that the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 will play a key role in these people’s lives, guiding and conveying them effortlessly through their life’s journey in an exquisite sanctuary where they can reflect in peace ahead of arriving in the grandest style.”
The Effortless Journey, the Grand Sanctuary and the Grand Arrival. The next three tenets and hallmarks of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100.
For the 105 years since her creation in 1911, the Spirit of Ecstasy, modelled by sculptor and artist Charles Sykes, on Eleanor Thornton, has silently guided every Rolls-Royce and its owner through the momentous events of their lives. She has stood as an elegant presence at some of history’s most notable events. 
Today, the ‘Voice of Eleanor’ inhabits the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, delivering the dream of an effortless future to her owners. Digitally connected to every aspect of her owners’ lives and her surrounding environment, ‘Eleanor’ becomes their virtual assistant and chauffeur, freeing them of all effort and encumbrance. Imbued with her own artificial intelligence, she works intuitively to advise her owners on itineraries, schedules and options before they leave their residence, reminding about appointments and tasks and making suggestions to ease any anticipated impediments.
She ‘brings’ the car around when her passengers are ready to travel and, whilst conveying her charges to their next destination, helpfully but discreetly makes suggestions and recommendations, briefing them ahead of their arrival so they are ready to ‘perform’. And ever vigilant, ‘Eleanor’ safely delivers her passengers to their destination, having already predicted the situation and surroundings that await them.
This Effortless Journey is enhanced by the hallmark Rolls-Royce ‘magic carpet ride’ delivered through a blend of a futuristic, powerful, zero-emission drivetrain and advanced suspension that sees the vehicle almost skim across the road surface. As a V12 combustion engine is most unlikely to exist in the future, one can only surmise how this Rolls-Royce will be powered. A hint may appear in the Grand Sanctuary that is the interior of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100.
“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” Coco Chanel
Already prepared by ‘Eleanor’ for the next journey in their event-filled lives, our owners are met by the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 which awaits their departure. Entering the Grand Sanctuary, our passengers step in unbowed, with consummate grace and dignity, as with the state carriages of old, taking their place on the best seat in the house.
Cocooned in the futuristic but handcrafted lounge atmosphere, the coach door and clamshell canopy glide closed to envelop them in uninterrupted silence and luxury.
As one would expect from a Rolls-Royce, the environment of the Grand Sanctuary is crafted from the most precious and contemporary of materials. What is unexpected is the feeling of lightness and simplicity, an effortless elegance.
True to this spirit, the cabin is encircled by the most modern handcrafted fine-line Macassar wood panelling, sweeping across the interior from the coach door, continuing around behind the generous OLED screen and up beside the second passenger to the side of the sofa. This ensures a continuous, beautifully clean and sculptural surface when the screen is extinguished.
The centrepiece of the cabin is the beautiful sofa. The best seat in the house, it is an exquisite, futuristic interpretation of modern furniture design. Clothed in the most opulent fabrics, it gives the impression of floating within the cocoon of the cabin thanks to the artful use of lighting and modern materials.
Inspired by the early regal Rolls-Royces, but also by the ground-breaking work executed on the 2015 Phantom Serenity, the designers used the symbol of ultimate elegance – silk – to clothe the sofa. This most natural and sensual of materials is combined with wool to create a beautifully textured, ivory-coloured luxurious throne upon which our passengers are conveyed, and from which they command.
A final sensual touchpoint within the cabin is the finest one-off deep-pile ivory wool carpet woven especially in London, which our passengers can enjoy as they luxuriate in the ample space created by the removal of the chauffeur. 
This sense of space is accentuated as our passengers’ view from their seats is uninterrupted by a cockpit or steering wheel which are now superfluous. From their powerful position within the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players…”.
Should they choose to drop their eyes from that world stage for a moment and ask ‘Eleanor’ for visual cues, she will provide them on the transparent OLED screen that dominates the front wall of the cabin. Here our passengers can view information regarding their journey, their destination and the people they are expecting to meet. Or they may simply choose to retreat from the outside world and be entertained by their favourite show for a while.
Or they may just contemplate the finely crafted analogue clock that hovers in a central position above the screen, which serves both as a reminder of Sir Henry Royce’s humble beginnings as an electrical pioneer making electric dynamos, and of time as the ultimate luxury.

“Rolls-Royce design today is the epitome of elegance,” Taylor comments, “and this elegance is achieved through simplicity of design under which lies the technology that makes our patrons experience effortless.”

December 2016, Goodwood
The Spirit of Ecstasy has graced the prow of Rolls-Royce motor cars since 1911. Today, she remains one of the world’s most famous symbols, a true icon embodying beauty, luxury, style and perfection.
In a company that always seeks to innovate, the ‘Flying Lady’ is one of the few things that has remained constant. There could be no more fitting symbol for the feats of engineering, works of art and objects of desire that constitute the world’s finest motor cars.
·        Created by sculptor and illustrator Charles Sykes
·        Based on Sykes’ bronze statue ’The Whisperer’, commissioned by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and modelled on his private secretary Eleanor Thornton
·        First introduced as the ‘official’ Rolls-Royce mascot in 1911
·        Until 1939, every figurine was hand-finished by Sykes and his daughter Josephine
·        Modern Spirit of Ecstasy is cast in Southampton, England
·        Created in plated 24-carat gold, sterling silver, glass, stainless steel and illuminated versions
·        Centenary (2011) marked with an exclusive Collection car, portraits by leading photographer Rankin
·        ‘The Whisperer’ and other Spirit of Ecstasy figurines are on permanent display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu was one of Britain’s motoring pioneers. As founder and editor of The Car Illustrated magazine, he employed an illustrator, Charles Sykes, and a private secretary, Eleanor Valesco Thornton.
In 1909, Lord Montagu commissioned Sykes (who was also a sculptor) to make a mascot for his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. Using Eleanor as a model, Sykes produced a bronze statue of a young woman in fluttering robes, which he named ‘The Whisperer’. The figure is holding a finger to her lips, which some claim is a reference to Lord Montagu’s close relationship with Eleanor. Others suggest, more prosaically, that it relates to the engine’s quietness.
Whatever the truth, ‘The Whisperer’ went on to adorn every Montagu Rolls-Royce. Soon, other owners were having their own ornaments made, much to the displeasure of Rolls-Royce General Managing Director Claude Johnson. In 1911, he commissioned Sykes to make an ‘official’ mascot to protect the company’s products from these unsightly additions. The ever-practical Sykes subtly reinterpreted The Whisperer, and created what become known as the Spirit of Ecstasy.
Sykes’ original design has evolved over the years. Originally seven inches tall, she’s now a more petite three inches high, and made from many materials. In 1934, Sykes created a kneeling version for the Sports Saloon, which also graced the Silver Wraith and Silver Dawn into the 1950s.
In the 1970s, some countries tried to ban the Flying Lady on safety grounds. In Switzerland, for example, customers weren’t allowed to display her at all, and on receiving their cars found her languishing in the glove compartment! Rolls-Royce’s typically elegant and ingenious solution was to mount the mascot on a spring-loaded base, allowing her to sink into the radiator out of harm’s way at the merest touch.
To this day, it’s still unclear whether The Whisperer, or the Spirit of Ecstasy, was truly based on Eleanor. Sykes never spoke publicly about her, while his daughter Josephine confined herself to saying, “Eleanor was a lovely person. It is an interesting story, and if it makes you happy, let the myth prevail.” Something we’re happy to do for another 100 years.
In preparation for the launch of Phantom in 2003, BMW Group rejuvenated the Spirit of Ecstasy, marking a new chapter in the company’s history, while maintaining a crucial link with its unique heritage.
Until 1999, the figurines were made by ‘lost wax’ casting, which dates back over 5,000 years. Amazingly, Charles Sykes himself, assisted by his daughter Josephine, personally cast, inscribed and finished every Spirit of Ecstasy right up until 1939. Today, they’re produced using the more modern investment casting process, by a specialist company in Southampton, England. 
The first step was to digitally ‘map’ the original Spirit of Ecstasy, manipulating and enhancing individual details to create a perfect three-dimensional computerised image. To ensure even the finest details were precisely replicated, the injection mould was formed by skilled craftsmen using cutters measuring just 0.2mm in size. This cast tool was used to produce a highly accurate wax model of the figurine, which was then coated in ceramic. After this coating had dried, the wax was melted away, leaving a perfect ‘female’ mould from which the new cast would be taken.
Each figurine is made by filling the mould with molten stainless steel, at a temperature of 1600°C. Once the steel is cool, the mould is opened to reveal the Spirit of Ecstasy in all her glory. The final transformation takes place in the Finishing department, using a process called peening. The casting is blasted by millions of stainless steel balls just 17 thousandths of an inch (0.04mm) in diameter, which help to polish the surface without being abrasive. After machining, a final mirror polish and stringent quality assurance checks, the completed figurine is sent to Goodwood to take her rightful place above the iconic Rolls-Royce grille.

Launched in January 2011, The Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection provided a fitting tribute to the company’s world-famous mascot. Limited to just 100 Bespoke Phantom models, the collection featured exclusive body colours, leather combinations, wood veneers and interior details. All featured a specially commissioned Spirit of Ecstasy in solid silver, with six hallmarks (including two designed specifically for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars) on a black-gold plated illuminated base. The Centenary Collection cars are now being enjoyed by 100 favoured customers around the world.
In 2011, Rolls-Royce commissioned leading British portrait and fashion photographer Rankin to mark the Spirit of Ecstasy’s centenary with a series of 100 images inspired by the famous figurine.
The original 36 x 24-inch prints have been seen by customers and colleagues at Rolls-Royce events around the world. They’ve also been shared digitally with countless fans and enthusiasts via the Rolls-Royce website and social media.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bespoke lets customers create a car that’s absolutely unique, with every detail customised and personalised exactly as they wish. But when it comes to the Spirit of Ecstasy, their choices are to solid silver, illuminated, or, for the ultimate statement, 24-carat gold-plated. In 2011, Mouawad Jewellers created a diamond-enrobed centenary model, valued at $250,000.

For over a century, the Spirit of Ecstasy has been a constant for Rolls-Royce owners, enthusiasts and employees. Her magic, symbolic power and mystique remain as strong as ever and will do so for the next 100 years and beyond.



Certain truths are constant over time. One of these truths is how the powerful have always understood the symbols through which they express their standing. From the lavish chariots of the Roman Emperors to the individually hand built state carriages and cars of Monarchy – such as the coach built Rolls-Royce Phantom IV used during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation – such fine vehicles have been designed to project the importance of the individual inside to those waiting outside.
Waiting with bated breath for a grand arrival, the crowds were never anything but impressed by the stately arrival of their idol. In the future, Rolls-Royce believes that its powerful patrons will wish to continue projecting their power and status in such a manner.
This truth is reflected in the most dramatic aspect of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 – its iconic, imposing and futuristic presence which ensures a Grand Arrival for its occupants. Yet whilst it powerfully expresses the future of luxury, it remains constant to
the iconic tropes of any true Rolls-Royce: The Spirit of Ecstasy, the Pantheon grille, the long bonnet and the iconic proportions of the entire vehicle.
The very size of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 announces the importance of its precious cargo. At 5.9 metres long and 1.6 metres high, it mirrors the perfect dimensions of today’s Phantom Extended Wheelbase, whilst the ever constant Spirit of Ecstasy grows in stature, harking back to the regal Phantoms of the 1920s. Hand-crafted by the finest European glassmakers of today, she lights the way to the future of luxury. She is poised atop the re-imagined, yet still iconic, Pantheon grille with the red Double-R badge of an experimental Rolls-Royce.
From these timeless icons of Rolls-Royce design flow the graceful, sweeping lines and expressive surfaces that combine to create a completely futuristic vision of a possible Rolls-Royce exterior.
The polished metal of the grille flows up over the nose, around the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy and along the top of the suspended laser-headlight hoops, before narrowing to shoot down the side of the vehicle’s long bonnet, as a dividing line between upper and lower sections of the car. Not stopping at the extremes of the bonnet, this beautiful metal feature creates a beautiful ‘horseshoe’ as it flows along the top edge of the coach door, describes a parabola up and over the pronounced rear shoulder, encircling the rear of the glass canopy and back down the other flank.
This dividing line accentuates the car’s two-tone design scheme. The upper section is entirely comprised of dark glass. It flows fluidly as a daring fastback, creating a glass canopy over the occupants that provides privacy whilst allowing them to contemplate the majesty of the stars in the firmament above as they glide through the night; a window on the world ahead before resolving itself into the bonnet of the car.
The lower section is more dramatic in its design and in what it achieves. Draped in a silk-like ‘Crystal Water’ colour scheme, its surfacing achieves a lightness that belies the vehicle’s size. This is automotive ‘Haute Couture’. From whatever angle the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is viewed, it seems to float, whether at rest or in motion.
This lightness is achieved through the paring back of this vehicle to the essence of a Rolls-Royce by the Design team, who were freed from their current constraints by the new propulsion and coach-build technologies now available to them. So, for example, where an engine would once have occupied the entire under-bonnet area of the car, a luggage compartment is positioned just aft of the front wheels.
In conceiving this bold vision of the future of luxury, the designers remain steadfast in their commitment to imbuing every element of the Rolls-Royce experience with effortlessness. The luggage compartment therefore opens automatically following arrival and disembarkation, presenting two Grand Tourer cases. In the case of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, the cases are fittingly personalised to CS Rolls and FH Royce.
The newly liberated Pantheon grille is now the unencumbered prow of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100. It is the front of a fully enclosed and smooth-bottomed hull that echoes the form language of 1920’s Rolls-Royces, with its ‘boat-tail’, and within which the entire accommodation area is located.
Constructed from light yet incredibly strong materials, the hull ‘floats’ above the road surface as it is suspended from the vehicle’s wheels via exposed arms and struts.
The 28-inch tall but narrow wheels upon which the car glides are each hand-built from 65 individual pieces of aluminium, and enclosed to deliver the impression of a futuristic catamaran.
Seen from the side, the coachwork delivers hallmark Rolls-Royce privacy to the occupants as it rises gracefully like a fine cloak over the shoulders at the rear of the car. However, this fine drapery flatters to deceive as this rear shoulder line also imparts an air of powerful but graceful forward motion, accentuated by the rising beltline that thrusts upwards in a manner reminiscent of the great pre-war Rolls-Royces.
Whilst this radical new design language also contributes to an effortless, unruffled journey thanks to improved air flow and reduced air resistance, its unquestioned drama delivers a grand arrival.

In the era of the stately carriage, and even of the early coach built limousine, one was guaranteed an arrival befitting one’s stature. As we have seen, the exterior design and adornment of such conveyances announced one’s importance, as did the luxurious appointment of the interior.
However, one other aspect of such vehicles contributed to their suitability for such occasions: their elevated position, suspended as they were on large wheels. Combined with the high ceiling typical of carriage or limousine, one could normally stand before stepping out in a graceful and dignified manner. Modern aerodynamic considerations meant that even modern limousines’ rooflines had to be lowered, thereby reducing headroom and requiring one to stoop slightly when alighting from one’s vehicle.
Unwilling to accept such stricture and compromise in the future, Giles Taylor and his team set to work to reinstate the Grand Arrival as it should be. 
The Grand Arrival of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is first signalled by the Spirit of Ecstasy and Pantheon grille illuminating to cast an ethereal, otherworldly glow from the front of the car. As this vision of the future gracefully sweeps up to its destination, the ethereal glow spreads from the trailing edge of the front wheel arch to the rear of the single coach door, signalling that something momentous is about to happen. As the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 gracefully comes to a halt, something magnificent occurs.
Hinged on the left of the vehicle, the glass canopy lifts to allow the occupant to stand whilst providing shelter from above and behind. Then, in one effortless movement, the single coach door sweeps open and a step emerges from below the running board. As a final flourish, a red light is projected, carpet-like, from the underside of the step as a welcome.
Thus, as in Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’, our guest is framed and ready to step gracefully into the limelight and greet their audience.
“The Grand Arrival gesture of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 creates a stage for our important passengers as they arrive at their ultimate destination,” comments Taylor. “It is an expression of our intrinsic understanding of the possibilities for a true luxury brand and the desires of its customers.”
The Personal Vision, the Effortless Journey, the Grand Sanctuary and the Grand Arrival. Rolls-Royce’s vision of the next 100 years. Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100. A vision of the future of luxury.
Rolls-Royce has also harnessed the power of the virtual space to bring the experience of the Vision NEXT 100 closer to those unable to personally see the vehicle in London.
The Vision 360 CGI experience immerses the viewer in a journey from Goodwood, the Home of Rolls-Royce, through to vision of the future of luxury. Viewers can enjoy and explore the fine detail of Rolls-Royce 103EX, guided by the voice of the original Spirit of Ecstasy, Eleanor Thornton, on YouTube 360°.



With a shared ambition to make the future of motoring extraordinary, the Honourable Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce joined forces in 1904. Despite being from very different backgrounds, the founders of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars formed an unlikely partnership – one forged from a shared passion for engineering and a desire to create the Best Car in the World.
Born in 1877 in London’s affluent Berkeley Square, Charles Stewart Rolls was the third son of Lord and Lady Llangattock. After school at Eton, Rolls studied mechanical engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was the first undergraduate to own a motor car. Having gained a reputation for tinkering with engines, Rolls earned himself the nicknames ‘Dirty Rolls’ and ‘Petrolls’.
By the time he left university, Rolls was already an accomplished motorist. In 1903, he broke the world land speed record in Dublin driving a 30hp Mors at nearly 83mph. But because the timing equipment was not approved, the governing body refused to acknowledge his accomplishment.
To fund his sporting activities, Rolls set up one of the first car dealerships in Britain with his friend Claude Johnson: CS Rolls & Co. Together they imported and sold Peugeot motor cars from France and Minerva motor cars from Belgium.
In contrast to Rolls, who had had a privileged upbringing, Henry Royce was working by the age of nine. Born in 1863 in Peterborough, England, Royce sold newspapers and worked as a telegram boy before his fortunes changed.
At 14 years old, one of Royce’s aunts paid for him to begin an apprenticeship with Great Northern Railway Works. Working under one of the outstanding engineers of the day, Royce took every opportunity to educate himself, spending his evenings studying algebra, French and electrical engineering. With a natural talent for engineering, Royce landed a job with the Electric Light and Power Company.
Royce’s true ambition was to make engineering his full-time job. He started a business with his fellow engineer friend, Ernest Claremont – working around the clock to make electrical components such as doorbells and dynamos. It was during this time that Royce patented improvements to the bayonet light bulb that are still in use today.
It wasn’t until he bought a second-hand two-cylinder French Decauville that Royce became interested in building motor cars. He had an instinctive desire for perfection and an innate work ethic that later became a pillar of Rolls-Royce philosophy: “Take the best that exists and make it better.”
Having found construction faults in the French Decauville, Royce vowed to do better. By the end of 1903, he had designed and built his first petrol engine – and in April 1904, he drove his first Royce 10hp motor car into town.
Henry Edmunds, a shareholder in Royce’s company and a friend of Rolls, was boasting to him about his new 10hp Royce motor car. At the time, Rolls was frustrated at only being able to sell foreign imports, so Edmunds arranged a meeting with the man behind the 10hp.
Little did Edmunds know that the meeting he organised would change the future of motoring forever.
Rolls and Royce first met on 4 May 1904 in Manchester. Within minutes of seeing Royce’s twin-cylinder 10hp, Rolls knew he had found what he was looking for. After taking the motor car for a drive, Rolls agreed on the spot to sell as many motor cars as Royce could build, under the name Rolls-Royce.
Creating a brand requires vision. So while Rolls and Royce were busy building and selling motor cars, it was Rolls’ partner, Claude Johnson, who stepped into the role of Managing Director and expanded the fledgling company’s reputation. A genius at publicity, Claude Johnson was so integral to the success of the company that he became known as ‘the hyphen in Rolls-Royce’.
One of Johnson’s early adverts for the 40/50hp motor car promoted it as: ‘The six-cylinder Rolls-Royce – not one of the best, but the Best Car in the World.’ In that moment, he had introduced the phrase that would forever be associated with Rolls-Royce.
Johnson’s decision to orchestrate a series of publicity stunts to promote the quietness and reliability ofRolls-Royce motor cars was incredibly effective. It demonstrated their superior performance and created global exposure for their world-class engineering. The rest is history.



The Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, is the subject of the second chapter in a series of short films. In the film the world is introduced to Rolls-Royce’s global centre of luxury excellence, a place where artisans practice the art of true luxury. The new film was premiered at www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com on, April 7; 2017.
Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet once again becomes the voice of the Spirit of Ecstasy, leading us on a journey to a place where colourists and sculptors, designers and engineers collaborate under one roof, with a single objective… to deliver perfection.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented, “The Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, is a source of inspiration for artists, patrons and craftspeople alike. It is with pleasure that we premiere the second in our series of short films entitled ‘The House of Rolls-Royce’. We are honoured that Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet will once again give voice to the Spirit of Ecstasy.”
At the Home of Rolls-Royce, materials are sourced with no concession to compromise. The craftsmen and women are guided by the philosophy of co-founder Sir Henry Royce, to “Take the best that exists and make it better. If it does not exist, design it.” It is here that Rolls-Royce constantly raises the standards by which all other luxury goods are judged and where it reinforces its proud standing as the most celebrated luxury house in the world.
The film opens the doors of the West Sussex landmark, inviting viewers to witness the legends and mythologies of Rolls-Royce, to a place that draws on 113 years of design experience, and where every Rolls-Royce motor car is meticulously and proudly crafted by hand. Indeed, it takes 60 pairs of hands more than 400 hours to build a Rolls-Royce and this can more than double, depending on the complexity of a Bespoke commission.
Rolls-Royce brings together the finest materials, cutting-edge technologies and the unrivalled expertise of dedicated designers and craftspeople. For example, the leather in a Rolls-Royce takes 17 days to hand-craft and comprises 9 bull hides; only 1 in 100 hides is chosen for quality. Over 20,000 wood combinations are available, with each set of veneers taking over a month to handcraft. For the exterior, patrons select their own hue. Each five-metre-long coachline takes one specialist – Mark Court – three hours to hand paint using a brush made from ox and squirrel hair.
One of the marque’s most popular Bespoke features – the starlight headliner, is comprised of 1340 individually hand-woven fibre-optics. Typically, it takes one day to craft but a personalised commission can take much longer to complete. Any shape can be created in ‘stars’, such as the constellation at the time of a patron’s birth, or the outline of a company insignia.
The first of the House of Rolls-Royce short films was premiered in December 2016 and shared the story of how the Spirit of Ecstasy, the enigmatic symbol of Rolls-Royce that graces the bonnet of every car we create, came to be not only the Rolls-Royce muse, but also a symbol that represents the very best of the best, becoming a great icon of luxury excellence.

The link to film can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/xxpHolHJZY8


27 March 2018, Goodwood
·        Limited Collection of 55 unique Rolls-Royce motor cars
·        First ever shooting star headliner
·        World debut of illuminated wooden paneling
·        Stainless steel hand-woven fabric incorporated into cabin
·        Global debut of Sunburst Grey paint. Solid grey with rich copper tones
Oxford English Dictionary definition Luminary: 1) A person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere. 2) A natural light-giving body, especially the sun or moon.
In a bold expression of dynamic luxury, Rolls-Royce unveils the Wraith Luminary Collection. Inspired by those who lead where others follow, the Wraith Luminary Collection will light the way for the luxury trailblazer.
In response to an ongoing global demand for Rolls-Royce Collection Cars, the marque has created a Limited Collection of just 55 of these spectacular Wraiths. These motor cars join the highly exclusive ranks of collectible Bespoke masterpieces, envisioned by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke design team and collected by Patrons of true luxury all over the world.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented, “Wraith Luminary is a stunning Collection Car. It speaks directly of our contemporary Rolls-Royce brand – progressive and trailblazing; the pinnacle in hand-crafted luxury. This is a motor car that celebrates visionaries who achieve eminence in their respective fields. Indeed, this collection is for the world’s luminaries.”
The heady shade of the golden hour’s sunrays inspire this newly developed exterior paint, Sunburst Grey. One is met by a flat grey that enlivens when awoken by the sun, rich copper tones, emitting a deep emotive warmth. Further intrigue is added by a hand-painted Sunburst Motif coachline, hand-painted Wake Channel Lines on Wraith’s bonnet and pinstripes applied to the wheel centres, each in Saddlery Tan, bearing reference to the colour way of the interior leather.
Energy courses through this highly charged edition of Wraith. On opening the coach doors, one is met by a statement of modern luxury, as light flows from the front into the rear passenger compartment. The Collection’s defining feature, Tudor Oak wood, sourced from the forests of the Czech Republic, selected for its depth of colour and the density of the grain structure, is for the first time, illuminated. The light of 176 LEDs permeates through an intricately perforated design in the unique Tudor Oak veneer, allowing a mesmerizing pattern, reminiscent of the trailing light of a shooting star, to luminesce at the touch of a button. Linked to the controls of the starlight headliner, the cabin’s veneer surrounds Wraith’s occupants in an ambient glow of light.
Speaking of shooting stars, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective, a talented group of engineers, designers and craftspeople located at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, have brought further theatre to the cabin of Luminary in the form of brilliant shooting stars. The prized Rolls-Royce starlight headliner, a handwoven configuration of 1340 fibre optic lights which act as a glittering night sky, takes a bold new step as it incorporates shooting stars into the constellation; a playful display of light that creates wonderment and awe for the car’s passengers.
Taking nearly 20 hours to configure, eight shooting stars fire at random, predominantly over the front seats, in recognition of Wraith’s owner-driver appeal.
Wraith Luminary’s cockpit is trimmed in Saddlery Tan, though the rear seats contrast in Anthracite leather, thus highlighting the prominence of the driver’s position. Contrast piping and stitching masterfully marry the front aesthetic to the rear. Alternatively, a more dramatic contrast can be selected by specifying Seashell coloured leather in the rear, both of which will be perfectly coalesced by the inclusion of a two-tone steering wheel.
The Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective continually seeks inspiration from external trends and influences. In a progressive step, the application of hand-woven stainless steel fabric, a highly contemporary and innovative new technique in luxury craft, is appointed to the central transmission tunnel and door panniers, contrasting the Tudor Oak wood and Saddlery Tan leather.
Incorporating strands which are 0.08mm – 0.19mm in diameter, this technical fibre is woven in a pattern oriented at precisely 45 degrees, to complement the lines of the interior and provide a uniform appearance throughout the passenger compartment when viewed from either side. Taking three days to produce in a ‘clean room’ environment, the fabric is manipulated to cloak the centre console, modified from use in an industrial environment to create a finish befitting the interior of a Rolls-Royce motor car, refracting the light of the unique illuminated paneling in the doors.
As a final touch, the car’s tread plates bear the provenance of this unique collection. ‘WRAITH LUMINARY COLLECTION – ONE OF FIFTY-FIVE’ is engraved in hand-polished stainless steel.
Since its incarnation, Wraith has long attracted the patronage of visionaries – drawn to the intoxicating promise of near unlimited power and it’s hauntingly rakish fast-back design, a true gentleman’s gran tourismo fabricated par excellence. The remarkable success of Wraith in attracting a new generation of drivers to the marque is reflected in this distinctive motor car’s masterfully incorporated, innovative expressions of pure luxury.
Rolls-Royce is Bespoke.



The turn of the 20th century marked the beginning of an extraordinary partnership between two of the most innovative minds of the moment. Henry Royce, a successful engineer and Charles Rolls, owner of one of the UK’s first motor car dealerships, agreed to sell motor cars under the name Rolls-Royce.
At that moment, a new company was born: Rolls-Royce.
In 1907, the Silver Ghost was declared ‘The Best Car in the World’ after its record breaking success. Travelling from London to Glasgow 27 times - covering 14,371 consecutive miles - the iconic motor car broke the world record for a non-stop motor run while demonstrating unrivalled reliability and comfort.
Despite earning the marque this legendary title, Silver Ghost was phased out in 1925 and replaced by New Phantom. Later known as Phantom I, this model was built in both the UK and USA.
The 1920s also marked the start of Rolls-Royce’s contribution to aviation engineering. After the First World War and the opening of the first Rolls-Royce factory in Massachusetts, USA, the ‘R’ engine set a new world air speed record. 
Developed for Britain’s entry into the 1929 Intercontinental Schneider Trophy seaplane contest, it evolved into the Merlin engine, which later powered both the Spitfire and Hurricane.
In the 1930s, Rolls-Royce broke world records on land and sea. And automation saw the arrival of Phantom III – the first ever Rolls-Royce to be built with a V12 engine.
Travelling at 272.46 mph, Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record in 1933 with Bluebird. But George Eyston smashed this time four years later by reaching 312.2 mph in Thunderbolt – a motor car powered by two Rolls-Royce ‘R’ engines. And Sir Henry Segrave broke the world sea record at 119 mph in Miss England II. Also engineered with ‘R’ engines, Sir Henry was killed moments later after colliding with a submerged tree stump.
Rolls-Royce improved the chassis of Phantom II, making it the first choice for the growing middle class who would cruise down to the south of France for the weekend. The same decade saw the launch of the first ever V12-engined Rolls-Royce – Phantom III.
The 1940s saw new developments in craftsmanship and design. Until 1959, each Silver Wraith had an individual, coach-built body.
Being constructed on a separate chassis meant that Silver Wraith bodies were heavy, so a 4,887cc engine was installed to cope with the weight.
When Silver Dawn came on the scene, it was the first Rolls-Royce sold with a standard steel body. Much lighter than the coach-built body of Silver Wraith, it was a pioneering effort from Rolls-Royce. While all steel-bodied models were exported, a few coach-built models still survive today and are highly collectible.
The 1950s marked the start of a long-standing relationship between Rolls-Royce and the royal family.
Replacing Daimler as the preferred motor car supplier to the British monarchy, Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth took delivery of the first Phantom IV in 1950. Designed exclusively for royalty and heads of state, Phantom IV is one of the rarest Rolls-Royce motor cars in the world, with only 18 ever built.
The introduction of Silver Cloud came in 1955. Designed by JP Blatchley and capable of a top speed of 106 mph, it featured the same 4,887cc engine as Silver Dawn but with a completely new and handsome steel body. 
By the end of the 1950s, Phantom V had arrived. Powered by a V8 engine and featuring a coach-built body, it was a huge success.

By the time the Swinging Sixties began, Rolls-Royce had begun to appeal to a new breed of owner. Actors, rock stars and celebrities chose the marque as a symbol of their success.
Rolls-Royce also graced cinema screens. Sharing the limelight with Omar Sharif, Ingrid Bergman and Rex Harrison, a Barker-bodied Phantom II featured in the 1965 film, The Yellow Rolls-Royce.
In the same year, John Lennon bought a Phantom V. Leaving the factory with a plain white finish, Lennon had it repainted in matt black before opting for an outlandish, colourful design instead. Now, it’s one of the most valuable items of pop memorabilia ever.
The 1970s was a challenging decade for Rolls-Royce but, following re-launch as two separate companies, the decade saw the arrival of two exciting new motor cars.
Under Rolls-Royce Motors Limited, the stylish two-door Corniche was created. Based on Silver Shadow, it was hand-built by Mulliner Park Ward. Available as either a hardtop or a convertible, just 1,306 of them were built.
The Camargue, also by Mulliner Park Ward, was coach-built on a Silver Shadow platform with styling by iconic Italian coachbuilder, Pininfarina. The first Rolls-Royce designed to metric dimensions, it offered advanced features such as automatic split-level air conditioning.
Silver Shadow II was further enhanced with wrap-around black bumpers, an air dam below the front part of the motor car, and improved handling.
By 1980, British defence company Vickers had bought Rolls-Royce Motors Limited, producing Rolls-Royce alongside Bentley motor cars. The new Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1985.
Another record-breaking performance proved that Rolls-Royce was still leading the way in engineering. In 1983, Thrust 2 broke the land-speed record at 633.468 mph, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon 302 jet engine.
Also taking pioneering steps in automation was Silver Spirit – Silver Spur with four inches added to its wheelbase. The limousine version increased its length by 42 inches. 
The 1990s marked a new chapter in the marque’s history when the BMW Group bought the rights to produce Rolls-Royce motor cars. With the change came a brand new manufacturing facility: the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood. It was here that an exciting new chapter would begin.