Engineering

14 technical details that make a Rolls-Royce a Rolls-Royce

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Bespoke artisan craftsmanship is Rolls-Royce's hallmark. Recently, the carmaker pulled back the curtain on the process, revealing 14 technical details that aren't obvious at first glance, but together help make a Rolls-Royce a Rolls-Royce.

Each Rolls-Royce automobile is made at the company's headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex, England.

No. 14

Rolls-Royce Goodwood Phantom engine

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

When the Rolls-Royce V12 engine was being tested, it had to faultlessly revolve 750 million times before it was approved for production.

No. 13

Rolls-Royce Goodwood Spirit of Ecstasy

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The mechanism that retracts the Spirit of Ecstasy is comprised of 24 unseen linkages and bearings.

No. 12

Rolls-Royce Goodwood factory plant

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Each Rolls-Royce vehicle rides on a 16-liter air cushion that is paired with dampers and springs. Those mechanics adjust themselves every five milliseconds to deliver the marque's signature magic carpet ride.

No. 11

Rolls-Royce Goodwood paint assembly plant

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce employee Mark Court is the only man in the able to hand-apply a perfectly straight Phantom coachline. It takes him hours per vehicle side using brushes made from ox and squirrel hair to ensure the line is precisely level and a uniform 3mm in width. He honed his steady-hand painting pub-signs.

No. 10

Rolls-Royce Goodwood Dawn driving

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The sensors in a Rolls-Royce are so sensitive that they can detect if a driver or passenger shifts their body weight from one side to the other and adapt the vehicle accordingly.

No. 9

Rolls-Royce Goodwood Dawn

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Rolls-Royce Dawn raises and lowers its convertible roof via the silent ballet. The car features the largest production convertible roof in the world. It is also the quietest.

No. 8

Rolls-Royce Goodwood Phantom

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is made up of 48 wood parts that take 28 days to produce. To ensure a seamless look, only using wood from one tree for each motor car.

No. 7

Rolls-Royce Goodwood sound system audio

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Each Rolls-Royce has a bespoke auto system. The system outputs 1300 watts and features 18 speakers. it is so expertly tuned, the interior designers are required to seek permission of the audio engineer who created it before making any changes.

No. 6

Rolls-Royce Goodwood leather stitching bespoke

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Leather elements inside the cabin of each Rolls-Royce car are handcrafted by artisans, some of whom are part of generations of craftspeople who have worked for the manufacturer. It takes 17 days to craft the leather.

No. 5

Rolls-Royce Goodwood champagne chiller

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Sommeliers advise that the optimum serving temperatures of non-vintage Champagne is six degrees centigrade and vintage Champagnes is 11 degrees centigrade (52 degrees Fahrenheit). Rolls-Royce equips its motor cars with a refrigerator that operates two cooling modes, chilling to six and 11 degrees respectively.

No. 4

Rolls-Royce Goodwood starlight headliner

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Starlight Headliner started as bespoke request from a client who was suffering from Photophobia, an extreme sensitivity to light, and was only able to enjoy reading his daily newspaper under the starlight on his rural ranch. He requested that the marque develop a similar ambience in his Rolls-Royce.

Customers are able to specify a specific constellation which will be verified by a local Observatory. In total over two kilometers of cabling is hand-woven to achieve this.

No. 3

Rolls-Royce Goodwood back seat rear ghost

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Over 100 microprocessors decipher 130 million lines of code in each vehicle, delivering the magic carpet ride and other functions of the car that many drivers and passengers take for granted.

No. 2

Rolls-Royce Goodwood phantom paint painting shop assembly plant

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

To achieve the mirror-like finish that Rolls-Royce vehicles wear, five layers of paint are applied by the only robots at the Home of Rolls-Royce. Any hard-to-reach spots are painted by paint experts. In total, the process of applying a flawless exterior finish takes seven days and uses over 100 pounds of paint.

No. 1

Rolls-Royce Goodwood bespoke audio

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

More than 25 meters of cabling is used to transfer audio data in a Rolls-Royce. Fiber-optic cabling is used to ensure immunity against interference.

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Electric vehicles

NHTSA looking into Tesla's in-car video games

Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game console youtu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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Tesla quietly released the "toy" today.

Tesla

Tesla is known for being unpredictable, so today’s news is not totally shocking, despite being extremely cool. The automaker released a new vehicle today, but not for use on the road, and not for use by grownups. The Cyberquad for Kids landed today with a sophisticated feature set and a very adult price tag of $1,900.

The Cyberquad for Kids checks in at 122 pounds and can carry a person that weighs as much as 150 pounds. Two forward speeds include 5 and 10 mph settings, and reverse can reach 5 mph. Depending on the rider’s weight and speed, the Cyberquad for Kids can travel up to 15+ miles on a charge. Tesla says that an empty battery can take up to five hours to fully recharge.

A full steel frame underpins the quad, and though it’s being pitched for kids, the ATV features adjustable suspension, rear disk brakes, LED light bars, and a cushioned seat. The futuristic EV looks almost identical to the larger Cyberquad we saw during the initial Cybertruck demonstration.

A thorough set of assembly and troubleshooting directions are available on Tesla’s site, but despite the Cyberquad for Kids’ complexity, don’t get any ideas about using it on the street. Tesla recommends using it on sidewalks and for stunts, but I think we’re all looking forward to the eventual tidal wave of YouTube videos this thing is going to generate.

Tesla Cyberquad for Kids Kids 8 years and older, and up to 150 pounds can ride. Tesla

If you’re hoping to get a Cyberquad for Kids, you might be out of luck. Though it only launched today, it’s already out of stock. There’s no word on if more will become available. Those that were lucky enough to snag one should start receiving them in early 2022.

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