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2018 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

The brand’s first SUV comes to challenge the Bentley Bentayga

The luxury SUV bug has bitten its share of automakers in recent years. Up to now, Rolls-Royce has been an exception. Come 2015, luxury automaker has confirmed it is working on an SUV of its own.

Better late than never, Rolls-Royce.

News of Rolls’ interest in developing a luxury SUV came to light after design chief Giles Taylor told Autocar that his design team had begun tinkering with sketches of a potential SUV, possibly to gauge the feasibility of building one in the future. Taylor was also quick to point out that the team was still in the infancy stage of an SUV design and that any talk of "proportions and three dimensions" were premature. This changed dramatically in February 2015, when Rolls revealed that it’s working on a car "that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain."

Although Rolls-Royce has no history with SUVs, the company cited vehicles from the past which have been successful in events such as the Scottish Reliability Trials and the Alpine Trials, and had the ability to carry their owners "over challenging terrain with absolute reliability and comfort" in Australia, India, and other parts of the world. The SUV’s true purpose is to challenge Bentley’s upcoming Bentayga, but the two won’t meet face to face earlier than 2017. Meanwhile, let’s see what Rolls-Royce might have in store for its first-ever SUV.

Updated 03/14/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming RollS Royce Cullinan out for a new testing session, somewhere in Sweden and next to a prototype of the new Phantom.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Rolls Royce SUV.

To say that Rolls-Royce makes luxury cars is an understatement. The iconic British firm goes beyond that, and it has been doing so since forever. You know those Bespoke models that pop up from time to time? Well, those aren’t rare, custom cars among standard models. Nearly every single model visits the Bespoke division before leaving the factory, because almost every Rolls-Royce (if not all) is tailored to customer specification. When you’re paying hundreds of thousands for a vehicle, you want to make it your own by adding all sorts of details and materials. It’s as simple as that!

Granted, it’s not wrong to say that Rolls-Royce is a luxury car manufacturer, but judging by the amount of bespoke and flamboyant features we see in most of its cars, we can file these products under "exuberant," "rakish," and in some cases even "ostentatious." They’re opulent means of transportation of opulent people and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, in its wild desire to innovate, a company like Rolls-Royce tends to blow things out of proportion. It doesn’t happen too often, but the unique Ghost Elegance that the Brits displayed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show is the perfect example.

Yes, I’m talking about the Diamond Stardust paint.

Created for a what appears to be a very demanding owner, Diamond Stardust was created by crushing no fewer than 1,000 diamonds and mixing the resulted dust into the paint, in a process that lasted two months. Sounds pretty fancy and innovative, but there’s just one tiny problem. The dark gray color looks like a dull metallic paint. Sure, it looks as if the color has more glitter than the average metallic paint, but I’m not impressed.

Why is this a big deal? Well, let’s say that Rolls-Royce made a too big of a fuss about this paint and the lengthy process it needed to be created. And it’s not like the Brits discovered how to make flying to Mars more affordable, it’s just a paint that’s not too different from a metallic hue you can get with any Toyota or Hyundai.

I’m anxiously waiting for the paint made from 100 pounds of unobtanium.

2017 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase Elegance

When the paint is as expensive as the car...

While the existing Phantom is on its way out, with a redesigned model to be launched soon, the Ghost is ready to soldier on for a few more years. Introduced in 2010 and updated in 2014, the full-size sedan will be around at least until 2018. Most likely, Rolls-Royce won’t bother to release another facelift, but we will see plenty of Bespoke-made versions, just like the unique Ghost Elegance that the British automaker launched just in time for the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Created for an unnamed owner that "exudes unapologetic luxury and grandeur" (whatever this is supposed to mean...), the Ghost Elegance is just like any other Bespoke model, featuring custom paint with thin stripes on the outside and two-tone upholstery on the inside. However, unlike any other production car so far, it is finished in a paint created from diamonds. Yup, you read that right. And what’s more, Rolls-Royce crushed no fewer than 1,000 diamonds to create enough paint for about half a Ghost.

Named Diamond Stardust, this is arguably the most luxurious and expensive paint to ever grace a production car. A bit flamboyant if you ask me, but it definitely takes automotive paint to the next level.

Continue reading to learn more about the Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase Elegance.

2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom VII Final Edition

The seventh-generation Phantom says farewell with ocean liner-inspired Final Edition

After 13 years on the market, the seventh-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom was discontinued at the end of 2016 as the British firm began testing the upcoming model built on a brand-new architecture. To celebrate the end of the line for the Phantom VII, Rolls-Royce built a unique Final Edition model.

"This very last seventh generation Phantom signals the end of the first successful chapter in the renaissance of Rolls-Royce under new custodianship and the establishment of a true global center of luxury excellence in West Sussex, England," the luxury carmaker said about the Final Edition, which was commissioned by an unnamed Rolls-Royce collector.

Inspired by 1930s ocean liners, the Phantom VII Final Edition was designed by the Bespoke division and features numerous unique elements inside and out. Although it doesn’t stand out compared to other special-edition models outside the usual unique interior, it’s a fitting farewell for the limousine that heralded the modern renaissance of Rolls-Royce.

The Phantom VII Final Edition sets the stage for the introduction of Phantom VIII, underpinned by an all-new aluminum platform. The new sedan could break cover by the end of 2017 and you can find out more about it here. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at the Final Edition below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Rolls Royce Phantom VII Final Edition.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Specially Commissioned By Stephen Hung

30 custom Phantoms are headed to Macau to serve as guest transportation at The 13 super luxury hotel

Rolls-Royce prides itself on being at the absolute pinnacle of automotive luxury. It’s a position that the British car brand has cultivated with utmost dedication to its craft, and the results definitely speak for themselves. Today, Rolls-Royce holds a candle to no one in its segment, and the automaker has also become the go-to brand for luxurious establishments who are in need of a fleet of luxury vehicles. Take for example the soon-to-open “The 13” super luxury hotel in Macau.

Not content with building a $1 billion property in the heart of Macau, the hotel’s joint chairman, Stephen Hung, has ordered 30 bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms to serve as the hotel’s official guest transportation. Take those shuttle buses elsewhere, fellas. The 13 is rolling its guests in a lap of luxury, right down to its chauffeur-driven luxury rides.

As you can probably expect, the 30 Phantoms are all customized to the hilt and filled with just about every bespoke feature Rolls-Royce can fit on them. They’re collectively known as the “Phantom Specially Commissioned by Stephen Hung” series and all 30 vehicles represent the largest single commission Rolls-Royce has done in its own long and esteemed history. Seems appropriate then that Hung paid around $20 million for the order. At the very least, it’s in line with the extravagance of a hotel that itself comes with 200 multi-level suites, highlighted by the 30,000-square foot Villa de Stephen.

Hey, if you can order 30 highly bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms at a drop of a hat, you can have a villa named after you too.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Rolls-Royce Phantom “Specially Commissioned by Stephen Hung” Series.

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom

Spy photographers caught the next Rolls-Royce Phantom doing some cold weather testing

Just a month ago, Rolls-Royce announced that it was testing an all-new aluminum architecture that would eventually underpin every Rolls-Royce model starting with the 2018 model year. The new architecture is built around an aluminum space-frame and according to Rolls, it “perfectly delivers the brands magic-carpet ride trademark.” At the time, Rolls also announced that it would soon begin testing mules underpinned by the new architecture, and it looks like we are getting a glimpse of one of the first mules – the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Considering the company claims the new underpinnings is resilient to extreme weather conditions, it’s no surprise that our photographers caught the new Phantom testing in the snow. As you can see, the Phantom is under heavy camo, that is to be expected since the new Phantom is at least a year away from hit showrooms.

We know that the new space-frame should make the Phantom significantly lighter but, at first glance, it doesn’t look like we’ll see too many exterior changes on the outside. Of course, it is still pretty early to be speculating, but let’s take a look at the pictures and see what is going on with this camouflaged mule.

Updated 11/04/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Rolls Royce Phantom out for a new testing session and, when compared to the previous prototypes, this one lost all of those fake panels under the foil.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Rolls Royce Phantom.

2017 Rolls Royce Dawn Inspired by Fashion Edition

Don’t eat or drink anything when you’re inside these cars

The Rolls-Royce Dawn is a little over a year old but it’s already been presented in various special trims and variants. Thank Rolls-Royce’s penchant for launching special edition models. It’s nice to see then the British luxury car brand is still in fine form in that regard with the presentation of a new line of limited edition Dawns created under the “Inspired by Fashion” line.

Three unique versions of the Dawn are being offered, each with a unique color scheme that, according to the company’s design boss Giles Taylor, was carefully chosen by a team of designers from “the worlds of fashion, fine textiles, and luxury accessories.”

Most of the upgrades can be seen in the car’s interior, but there are some special designs on the body as well, highlighted by a special body paint that comes exclusive to the unique line. No matter how you look at them though, these limited edition Dawns are catered specifically to a certain clientele, which not only adds to their luxury appeal, but also emphasizes the lengths by which Rolls-Royce will go to offer their clients the exclusivity that the company is known for.

No mention was made on how many units are available under the Dawn Inspired by Fashion line or how much each is going to cost, but the company said that orders will be begin being taken starting in November 2016.

Continue reading to learn more about the Rolls Royce Dawn Inspired by Fashion Edition.

Aston Martin, Ford, and Rolls-Royce Skipping 2016 Paris Auto Show

Increasing costs and new marketing trends makes auto shows less appealing to automakers

Auto shows such as those in Detroit, Paris, Frankfurt, and Geneva usually gather round tens of manufacturers that are looking to showcase their latest vehicles and products. However, while auto shows were also a place where companies used to sell cars back in the day, nowadays large traffic at vehicle stands doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. Consumers spend more time looking at cars on their computers and smartphones, and many would rather attend all sorts of programs that allow them to drive the vehicles they want to purchase. This, paired with the fact that auto show booths cost millions of dollars to set up, have prompted some manufacturers to skip this year’s Paris Motor Show.

According to Automotive News, no fewer than four major companies have declined to join the event. For instance, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that while new cars and technology benefit from the attention they get at auto shows, sometimes there are "better ways of doing it than just always spending money on show after show after show." Ford and Rolls-Royce also seem to agree, as both companies have decided to skip the 2016 Paris Motor Show, which will likely be the year’s largest car show in terms of attendance. Volvo is yet another brand that won’t be in Paris, but the Swedish manufacturer has announced its plans to skip most shows and market its products more directly to buyers a couple of years ago.

Even automakers that will set camp in Paris are revising their strategies. "The world is continuously changing," a Lamborghini spokesman told the aforementioned outlet, adding that the supercar company "intends to anticipate these changes."

Continue reading for the full story.

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn By Spofec

German tuner has plenty of new offerings for Rolls-Royce’s newest model

The Rolls-Royce Dawn’s grand entrance to the auto world occurred at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show and it’s arrival coincided with the return of the name after six decades of being on the shelf. Yep, the Dawn moniker was once used on a limited number of convertible Rolls-Royce models from the 1950’s. The new Dawn looks far different from its previous incarnation, but just like any other Roller model today, it’s not immune to the hands of the aftermarket tuning world. We’ve already seen Mansory develop a program for the Dawn and now we have Sporfec, which has new tuning kit that revolves around an engine upgrade that gives the Dawn 686 horsepower and 693 pound-feet of torque to play with.

That’s a significant improvement from the standard model but it’s also far from the only useful upgrade Spofec is offering. The noted Rolls tuner is also throwing a carbon aero kit into the mix and a series of modifications to the Dawn’s suspension and brakes. A new set of wheels is also on the menu, although that’s entirely expected from a tuner that also specializes on custom rims.

Given the myriad of options that owners of the Rolls-Royce Dawn are being presented with this program, it’s hard to think of what Spofec did and dismiss it simply because the car in question is the Dawn. Sure, the luxury convertible is arguably one of those models that already looks great in standard form, but like every other car, there’s room for improvement. That’s what Spofec is offering with this tuning program, and for the most part, it prepared one that Dawn owners will find appealing.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

Don’t Even Bother Trying To Steal Rolls-Royce’s Spirit Of Ecstacy Hood Ornament: Video

It’s a unique feature on all Rolls-Royce models that few people know about

Badges and hood ornaments are arguably one of the most stolen parts of a car. You can add side mirrors, wheel caps, and sometimes, the entire wheels themselves on that list. But when it comes to the ornaments, there is one that’s considered the holy grail of them all: the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy. Needless to say, the luxury British brand has taken great lengths to ensure that the Spirit of Ecstasy, or the Flying Lady as some would call it, remains a permanent part of the car to the point that it becomes impossible to steal.

Mark Powell, the sales director of the Rolls-Royce dealership in Tampa Bay, made a demonstration on what happens when somebody tries to pry the Spirit of Ecstasy ornament from the hood of the car. A simple nudge of the ornament in any direction and the whole thing disappears out of site. The trick behind the hiding Flying Lady is a spring-loaded mechanism that Rolls-Royce began using in the 2003 Phantom. That mechanism jumps into action when the ornament is nudged and the ornament immediately retracts into the radiator shell under the hood of the car. The whole thing happens so quickly that any intention of stealing the ornament disappears just as fast.

To make the ornament feel more secure, Rolls-Royce also put in a button in the cabin of every one of its models whose sole purpose is to raise and lower the ornament at the whims of the owner.

It’s an incredible piece of engineering that often gets lost when people start talking about the opulence of these Rolls-Royce models. But it is an important part of the whole Rolls experience, especially if would-be owners decide that they’d want to have their Flying Lady’s covered in 24-carat gold plating or frosted crystals. In those instances, having that security measure helps prevent the ornament from falling into the wrong hands.


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