August 20, 2012
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars debuted the Phantom Coupé Aviator Collection, an aviation-mirrored line inspired by founder Charles Stewart Rolls, at Pebble Beach Quail last week.
The first of the 35 new Coupé Aviation Collection models was featured at Pebble Beach Quail in California. This new collection is in line with the bespoke experience known to Rolls-Royce.
"Rolls-Royce has a history of bringing rather special bespoke creations to Pebble Beach, and where better to celebrate the possibilities of the bespoke program than in the California sunshine?" said Emily Dungey, manager of lifestyle communications and events for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Goodwood, England.
"These are unique details hand-selected by our designers and meticulously created by craftspeople here in Goodwood, available only in a limited number of motor cars," she said. "This provides prospective customers with an exclusive opportunity to own something really rather special."
Germany's BMW owns Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The new collection features a suite of exclusive design concepts, color combinations and new materials.
"At this price point affluent consumers expect the product to be uniquely theirs," said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami. "At Rolls-Royce bespoke isn’t special – it the norm.
"There are certain special events where the affluent gather and expect to be impressed and delighted," he said. "This is why they are so effective."
The Collection is finished in Aviator Gray and features a contrasting matte bonnet , window and grille.
The inside of the car features wood and metal, which hints at a cockpit theme. Also, an aviation-grade clock with blood-orange needle tips is embedded in the metal foil upper fascia which is completemented by matte black dials for the power reserve, speedometer and fuel gauges.
Meanwhile, the lower fascia is veneered in mahogany and is shaped by craftspeople as the early record-setting propellers were fashioned, per Rolls-Royce. There are polished stainless-steel veneer onlays with bullet-shaped ends that are designed to match the floor mat fixings.
The leather-lined glove compartment includes an embossed Charles Rolls quote following his first flight with the Wright Brothers in 1908: “The power of flight is as a fresh gift from the Creator, the greatest treasure yet given to man.”
Also, the center console chrome plaque describes Mr. Rolls as Pioneer Aviator below his signature.
The Aviator Collection cars have also been designed to incorporate new cupholders. They are made of highly-polished aluminum to deliver functionality, but with a combination of theater and jewelry.
The Schneider Trophy was held in the South of England close to Goodwood, the Rolls-Royce headquarters.
Collection cars commemorate the S6B aircraft with transmission tunnel in anodized aluminum with exposed torx fixings and swage lines that mimic the oil cooling veins on the S6B fuselage side. These highlights are repeated on collection car armrests, per Rolls-Royce.
Bespoke options are important to luxury automakers, especially ultra-affluent companies such as Rolls-Royce.
Since Rolls-Royce only has two main models, the Phantom and the Ghost, this leaves a lot of room for affluent consumers to customize their cars to their liking.
For example, it recently upped the customization on its Ghost models by allowing consumers to choose two-tone exterior and interior features.
The brand originally started the two-tone bespoke option for its Phantom models some time ago and will start to offer this option for the Ghost.
Interestingly, the first two-tone Ghost was revealed at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Indeed, Rolls-Royce seems to favor showing new bespoke options at auto shows.
"Pebble Beach is often the launching pad for unique products across all luxury categories," Mr. Ramey said. "It’s not about options on two models. Each Rolls-Royce Motor Car is bespoke.
"Rolls-Royce need not market options any more than they might market quality," he said. "Some things are just understood."
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York