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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Rolls-Royce Dusk in Tokyo collection features unique accents.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Nearly every aesthetic aspect of a Rolls-Royce can be customized. From traditional leather choices to intricate inlays, vapor blasted titanium, and million-stitch embroidery, the options for owners from the Bespoke side of the brand are nearly endless.

"The Bespoke Collective scaled new heights of greatness in 2020 – that they did so against the backdrop of numerous, unprecedented constraints and challenges makes their accomplishments even more impressive," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Never before have we seen such levels of Bespoke detailing in each commission, demonstrating that Rolls-Royce clients around the world have sought solace in creativity – commissioning introspective items of luxury that will stand the test of time to become lasting and poignant legacies."

Here, AutomotiveMap takes a closer look at some of the most intricate designs that the luxury automaker crafted in 2020. Click here to see their hits list from 2019.

Dusk in Tokyo

Rolls-Royce Dusk in Tokyo interior

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The 'Dusk in Tokyo Collection' is comprised of a Phantom, Wraith, Dawn, and Cullinan that celebrate the life and culture of Japan's capital city. Each model features a z complex, multi-faceted white paint, eponymously named 'Dusk in Tokyo', that is reminiscent of high-rise glass and concrete buildings bathed in the warm light of early dusk. The paint contains aluminum and mica flakes that create subtle tones in low light.

The Black Leather interior, punctuated by Rose Gold Bespoke Audio grilles and on Phantom, the fascia's Rose Gold clock case, is meant as a contrast, just as the long shadows of the city's call buildings cast on the ground below them.

At the cars' face is the Spirit of Ecstasy, presented in Rose Gold for the first time in Japan, representing the setting of the sun.

The Steed Phantom Extended

Rolls-Royce Phantom Steed Extended

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This horse-themed Phantom features complex bespoke embroidery that embellishes the interior rear doors. The design was developed from a sketch presented to the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Collective, by a Chinese client with a very clear vision.

Neon Nights Color Trilogy

Rolls-Royce Neon Nights Trilogy

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The new Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective collection featured a limited run of four of each color Dawn, Wraith, and Cullinan models. Each is colored with a hue inspired by the natural world. Read more about these models here.

Phantom 'Iridescent Opulence'

Rolls Royce Iridescent Opulemnce

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This Phantom includes artwork that originally debuted as a concept in 2017. It was created in partnership with a Swiss materials specialist with the result being a gallery that houses over 3,000 sustainably sourced iridescent tail feathers. These feathers have been hand-sewn in to the open pore fabric. A Mother of Pearl casing surrounds the clock at the heart of the Gallery while bespoke embroidery at the rear waterfall and silver inlays on the picnic tables complete the design.

Wraith 'Inspired by Earth'

Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by Earth

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Earth gave the design team the inspiration for this solar system-themed Wraith. The one-of-a-kind model was showcased earlier this year here on AutomotiveMap.

Wraith Kryptos Collection

Rolls-Royce Wraith Kryptos Collection Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Wraith Kryptos Collection comes complete with its own cipher that is concealed in the cars' bespoke detailing. Just 50 models were commissioned as part of the series. AutomotiveMap took a closer look at the vehicles here earlier this year.

The Mahlangu Phantom

Rolls-Royce The Mahlangu Phantom

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

A South African client commissioned the bespoke model to display a highly personal work of art from globally celebrated South African artist, Dr Esther Mahlangu. Dr Mahlangu, a national icon in Africa from the Ndebele region, was the first artist to create an artwork in this way and the motor car was named 'The Mahlangu Phantom' in her honor. Positioned front and centre in the Phantom's interior, the one-of-a-kind commission is a striking display.

Cullinan Spirt of Russia Collection

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Spirit of Russia

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Four Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUVs were created and dedicated to Russian mountains: Elbrus, Krasnaya Polyana, Golden Mountains, and Klyuchevskaya Sopka. The exteriors of the models are painted Iced Black Diamond, Iced Gunmetal Steel, Midnight Sapphire Blue and Premiere Silver - colors chosen because they are reminiscent of the frosty peaks. Inside each, a map of Russia is on the starlight headliner while mountain peaks are embroidered on the headrests. The engraved sill plates of each car bear an inscription naming the mountain region that inspired its design, as well as the height of the highest peak in each region.

Dawn Silver Bullet Collection

Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection features an ultra-metallic paint job and unique aero cowling. Click here to read more about the car.

Sportive Collection

Rolls-Royce Sportive Collection

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

A Collection of two Black Badge Dawns and nine Black Badge Wraiths were commissioned for the United Arab Emirates. The group features bold color combinations and technical fibers that intertwine to create vibrancy. Each has a hand-painted coastline. They also features woven-leather door panniers and engraved bespoke audio frets.

Arctic White and Hotspur Red Phantom

Rolls-Royce Hotspur Phantom

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

An Arctic White exterior paint job with a double pinstripe in Hotspur Red is just the beginning of this model. The red continues inside where the lambswool floor mats, privacy curtains, and luggage compartment are completed in the color. The 'Lakeshore Aurora' Gallery is designed and created by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective.

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Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 delivers new safety and driver assistance tech to the company's 2021 model lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made public a list of proposed upgrades to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NCAP testing addresses the crashworthiness of a vehicle as well as the vehicle's headlight functionality. These new proposed measures go even further, putting driver assistance and safety technology to the test.

Automakers often strive to achieve the highest score possible in NCAP testing, wearing their five-start safety ratings and Top Pick designations as badges of honor in marketing campaigns.

"Thanks in part to NCAP, new vehicles today are much safer than a generation ago," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. "Even so, there are still too many fatalities and serious injuries in crashes every year, so it is critical that vehicles keep getting safer in the future, and a modernized NCAP will better enable American families to select vehicles with the safety features they want."

The immediate planned update to NCAP testing includes four advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS): lane keeping support, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and blind spot intervention. Engineers have designed these four specific technologies to mitigate high-frequency and high-risk crash types.

NHTSA is currently seeking public input on how best to develop a rating system for ADAS technologies.

"These upgrades will make NCAP more dynamic," Deputy Administrator Owens said. "American car buyers want safety, and NHTSA wants to empower them with comparative safety information about vehicles in the market. This information creates powerful market-based incentives for automakers to invest in advanced safety technologies that will save lives and prevent injuries."

The NHTSA began testing vehicles in 1978. The first tests examined frontal impact protection and used data from crash test dummies. The five-star safety rating system was established in 1993 and have been steadily increasing the scope of the testing over the last two decades.

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