Whilst every Rolls-Royce is special, many customers desire extraordinary distinguishing features to make their car completely unique. This falls to the marque’s Bespoke design department; a collective of the automotive world’s finest designers, engineers and craftspeople.
This approach has distinguished Rolls-Royce for over a century, with today’s methods echoing the age of the coachbuilder when customers purchased their chassis and engine before sending it to be bodied to their exacting specifications.
From the finest detailing to the boldest statement, customers work in close collaboration with the team to realize their desires. Inspiration can come from anywhere; whether it is a request to perfectly match the exterior finish to a favorite garment or a more elaborate creation that seeks to tell a story, no idea is left unexplored.
The Phantom Metropolitan Collection, unveiled at the Mondial de L’Automobile in Paris, features exquisite hand-crafted design inspired by the modern metropolis. Just 20 of these beautifully crafted motor cars will be available to commission.
Phantom’s launch in 2003 emphatically heralded the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars by affording the world’s most discerning and successful men and women the consummate super-luxury experience. Central to the allure of its unique promise is an interior furnished in the very finest materials; expertly hand-applied by the master craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England. It presents a space that cossets occupants and provides the ultimate sanctuary in which to traverse and observe the city in supreme comfort.
The Phantom Metropolitan Collection pays homage to the world’s great metropolises through the meticulous application of marquetry – the art of inlaying small pieces of wood veneer to form decorative motifs. When open, Phantom’s signature picnic table presents occupants with an elevated view of the city, created through the expert application of 500 individual wood veneer pieces. Indeed, the process of hand-cutting, colouring, shaping and applying is so complex these unique objects d’art take an expert wood craftsperson several days to complete. On closing the tables, a different perspective of the cityscape is offered – reflecting the view one gets when effortlessly travelling in the rear of a Phantom.
“I can think of no more fitting location than Paris to debut this remarkable new motor car. This is a city that echoes Rolls-Royce’s very special brand promise in perfectly combining the timeless and modern in a manner that celebrates the art of the master craftsperson,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Our customers across the globe delight in challenging our designers and craftspeople to create true, oneof-a-kind pieces of automotive art. This latest Collection serves to showcase the extraordinary scope for Bespoke personalisation afforded to every patron of the marque.”
Meticulous care is taken when selecting the individual wood veneers. Minute imperfections such as knots and flecks lead to instant rejection. Adjustments to the colour of each piece are made through the traditional hand-process of hot-sand shading before a final inspection under magnification on a light box to ensure perfection.
The cityscape theme extends beyond Phantom’s many wood surfaces. A specially developed Aetherius Grey leather colour was created to echo the colour palette of the modern city whilst 6,800 two-tone stitches to the central rear seat flutes depict an abstract
image of a skyscraper. A specially developed Bespoke clock extends the theme to the front of the car. For the first time in the marque’s history, a rotating bezel expressing 24 of the great cities of the world and their time zones – Paris included – adorns the central console of a Rolls-Royce motor car. An exterior hue, Darkest Tungsten, inspired by city skylines finishes the exterior surfaces of the motor car on display in Paris. However, as afforded to any Rolls-Royce customer, the full palette of 44,000 colours is available to those commissioning a Phantom Metropolitan Collection motor car. Should that not be enough, the marque’s Bespoke craftspeople will create a perfect match of any colour or object a customer may wish to replicate. The exterior is completed with a hand-applied coachline that depicts an abstract silhouette of modern skyscrapers. This is the latest in a line of remarkable, individual Bespoke masterpieces. 2014 has seen such highlights as the Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection that paid tribute to Sir Donald Campbell’s record-breaking achievements and the Pinnacle Travel Phantom that made its debut at the Beijing Auto Show. These limited Collections serve to inspire customers, with record levels of Bespoke demand reported in September 2014. Nearly every Phantom across the globe, 90% of Wraith and 80% of Ghost family motor cars were commissioned by customers with some element of Bespoke design. With an unparalleled scope for personalisation, Bespoke is very much the jewel in the crown of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ unique brand promise, indeed Bespoke is Rolls-Royce.