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Rolls-Royce Celebrating Beauty for the Spirit of Ecstasy Emblem

During this period, the British automaker celebrates women’s beauty with the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its “Spirit of Ecstasy” emblem. The emblem was first crafted by Charles Robinson Sykes and adorns the hood of all Rolls-Royce models since then. So, Rolls-Royce has chosen to commission Rankin, a photographer, to create a collection of 100 individual images inspired by the Spirit of Ecstasy. In this way, he continued the tradition of inspiring Rolls-Royce’s work by the beauty of a woman, as it is said that lady Eleanor Velasco Thornton inspired the creation of the original emblem.

The collection of images “Rankin: Spirit of Ecstasy” will be exhibited in 2011 on a world tour at different art events, but also in dealer showrooms.

What is your opinion about this idea: does it capture the essence of women’s beauty and the entire symbolic meanings of Rolls-Royce’s emblem?

[Source: Worldcarfans]

Build Your Virtual Rolls-Royce Phantom Car with iPhone App

If you are a fan of the new released Rolls-Royce Phantom, you might also enjoy the news that it was also created an iPhone app, which allows you to build your own fully-customized version of this luxury car. You have 44,000 exterior color options and you can chose any color shade you want just by using the device’s camera to take a picture and then take a sample of the wanted color and apply it to the virtual Phantom car. After the exterior, you can create the interior, making the wanted choices about pipping, wood grains and all the other details.

The app can be used for free from the App Store, which is quite nice, because any iPhone user, no matter if he affords or not this luxury car for real, can have its own Roll-Royce Phantom car virtually.

So, what do you think, is this app really useful for us or for the Roll-Royce brand?

[Source: Autoblog]

Rolls Royce Introduces The LWB Version Of The Ghost

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

It really is astonishing to see that more and more automakers from all over the world are launching new models in China and some of them are even exclusive to this market. One of the latest car manufacturers is Rolls Royce and they’ve unveiled today at the Shanghai Motor Show, the long wheelbase version of the Ghost, along with several China-only Phantom and Ghost editions.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

The stretched Ghost is now 6.7 inches longer than the standard model and according to the luxury British brand, good for double the knee room. The car will be built upon order and at least this year, there are going to be only a few made, until RR can increase the production capacity in 2012.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

The heart of this model is its massive V12 twin-turbo 6.6-liter engine that produces 555 hp (563 PS / 414 kW) and 575 lb.-ft (780 Nm) of torque, allowing the car to reach 60 mph in exactly 5 seconds.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

One of the China-only models is the Phantom Drophead Coupe that has a Maiden Blue exterior paint finish with a Navy Blue and Seashell cabin, complemented by the Straight Grained Oak and Ebony.

The second model at RR’s venue in Shanghai is the Phantom Extended Wheelbase Saloon, featuring a Rhapsody Black exterior with an Ardent Red and Seashell interior finish with a Piano Black veneer.

Yet another model exclusive for the Chinese market is the RR China Edition Ghost, a model that sports a red interior which is contrasted with gold twin-coachlines, stainless steel pinstripes and gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy badging. For the exterior, customers will be able to choose from: Black Ember, Deep Garnet and Infinity.

All of these variants are part of Rolls Royce’s “Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection” of which only 100 units will be made.

Source: Rolls-Royce via WCF

Geneva Preview – Rolls Royce 102EX EV Study

Rolls Royce 102EX

The newest addition to the Rolls Royce EX concept series is the 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric. The company will bring it to this year’s Geneva Motor Show to gauge feedback from the automaker’s clientele, shareholders along with the general public to find out if they would like an electric-powered Rolls Royce.

Rolls Royce 102EX

The engineers used the aluminum spaceframe from the Phantom as the foundation of the 102EX and installed not one, but two electric motors (145 kW each) as well as a lithium-ion battery. The latter uses five lithium-cobalt-manganese-oxide “pouch cells” sized at four, eight, ten, thirty-six, and thirty-eight cells in a formation that imitates the shape of a regular engine and transmission.

Audi And BMW Will Expand Their Factories This Year

According to Bloomberg.com, it seems that BMW, Mercedes and Audi AG (the world’s three largest luxury-car manufacturers), will expand their factory units in 2011 in order to keep up with the increasing customer demand.

Audi is targeting to overtake BMW as the largest manufacturer of premium cars by 2015 and for this reason it plans to increase the production of their cars and sport utility vehicles to more than the 1.15 million produced last year.

Mercedes and BMW have just about the same plans as Volkswagen AG’s Audi, with increased output at the Stuttgart and respectively Leipzig plant.

Juergen Pieper is a Frankfurt-based analyst for Bankhaus Metzler and he said that “the top three are poised for further growth”. “The momentum in luxury markets will continue this year and also in 2012.” He also recommends buying BMW, Daimler and VW shares.

This targeted increase in production output is directly linked to the continuous expansion of China’s market which became in the last years one of the two largest automotive markets in the entire world, after United States. To satisfy this increasing request, Audi is planning on spending $15.7 billion (11.6 billion Euros) through 2015 on plants as well as new models. Since 2009, BMW has already spent 1.5 billion Euros for the German plants and Daimler is at the moment building a small-car plant in Hungary for which they will invest a total of 800 million Euros.

BMW plans on selling more than 1.5 million units of their BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini models in 2011. In order to prepare the production of the highly-anticipated Mega City electric vehicle which is due in 2013, BMW is spending 400 million Euros at its factory unit located in Leipzig, Germany. The company also announced that it will roll out 20 new models by 2015 while Audi affirmed that they will launch 13 new models and upgraded cars in 2011.

As far as Volkswagen is concerned, they plan on investing more than 5 billion Euros for two of their factories in Germany, the one in Neckarsulm and the other in Ingolstadt, where the new Audi A6 model will be made. In addition, Audi said that pretty soon they will begin working on expanding the output of their factory located in Gyor, Hungary to 125,000 units per year.

In 2010, BMW finished a $750 million expansion of its United States factory, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in order to create the facilities for making the facelift version of the X3 SAV. The company has plans of increasing its production in South Africa, India and most important, China.

Source: BMWBlog via Bloomberg.com

Rolls-Royce Sales In China Reach New Record

Rolls-Royce Phantom

According to Bloomberg, in 2011 China will become the biggest market for Rolls Royce, surpassing the United States. RR sold about one third of its cars only in the United States and plans to sell about 800 units in China next year as it targets to grow deliveries eightfold in 2 years in the world’s biggest automotive market. In the first ten months of this year, Rolls Royce shipped about 500 cars to China, in comparison to only 100 cars delivered in the same period of 2009. These figures were published by Paul Harris who is RR’s Asia Pacific regional director. The company includes the cars sold in Hong Kong as China deliveries.

The company is selling more and more Ghost and Phantom models in China thanks to the fact that the income in the country is growing and the demand of high-end luxury automobiles is stronger. According to a report made by Hurun Research Institute, based in Shanghai, states that China has 6.1% more millionaires in comparison to 2009, reaching 875,000 people. Harris noted that “the Chinese market in general is showing only one direction. That’s exceptional growth, and it’s going to be ongoing for quite a while.”

The standard price of a Rolls Royce Ghost costs in China 4.1 million yuan because consumers are obligated to pay higher taxes on imported luxury cars. In the United States, the RR Phantom costs (for the basic model) $380,000, in comparison to China were the price is almost triple ($990,000).

In 1998, BMW purchased the rights to the Rolls Royce cars by paying $70 million (45 million pounds) and started manufacturing cars at a new factory ever since 2003. Harris said that RR might add an additional number of four dealers in China by mid 2011, in 2nd-tier cities like Wuhan and Tianjin. At the moment, there are eight Rolls Royce dealerships in China.

Rolls-Royce Ghost

In 2009, the sales of RR cars plummeted by 17%, but once the new Ghost model was launched, the situation began to shape up for the Goodwood, England-based automotive maker. By October this year, RR sold 2,007 units, which are a lot more than the previous record of 1,212 in 2008 and 1,002 in 2009.

The Rolls Royce Phantom is equipped with a powerful 6.75 liter engine and comes as standard with elegant soft leather upholstery. According to the company, an extended wheelbase version of the Phantom costs 8.2 million yuan. These imported luxury cars are significantly more expensive in China because of the high import duties as well as the various consumption taxes, in comparison to the United States for example.

A buyer of a car that has a power unit of more than 4.0-liters must pay a 25% import duty, 17% value-added taxes plus a 40% consumption tax, according to the researchers at J.D. Power & Associates. Harris stated that people that are ordering the Rolls Royce Phantom have to wait until May 2011 until they can have their cars delivered. He added that “it’s a story of success for Chinese entrepreneurial businesses; the Chinese entrepreneur works hard and wants to reward himself for a job well done.”

T-Pain’s custom Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe [with video]

We already know British cars like Bentley and Rolls-Royce are very successful among rappers and the Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe is one of their favorites. And T-Pain is no exception to that, especially with cars being one of his passions, a proof to that being the fact that he’s co-owner to Auto Extreme, a vehicle customization company based in Georgia. And this custom Drophead Coupe you see here was built by the company especially for its owner, fitting the car with huge 24-inch wheels, titanium hood and plenty of teak-decking at the rear.

Check out a video of T-Pain presenting his new car after the jump. (more…)

Mansory presents surprisingly tasteful Rolls Royce White Ghost tuning project

Mansory is definitely one of the most eccentric tuning companies in the world, as it combines some very interesting and impressive projects with some that are … let’s just say out of the ordinary, like the Porsche Panamera or the Bentley Vitesse Rose.

We’re sure many of you are still recovering from the awful blue and gold Rolls Royce Ghost project, but Mansory has modified the British luxury limousine once more. You won’t need to shield your eyes this time, as the Mansory Rolls Royce White Ghost limited series is surprisingly tasteful.

A subtle body kit was added, as were LED daytime running lights and a set of dual exhaust pipes. On the inside, the same luxury options as on the Ghost were kept, with just a few new materials making an appearance.

Performance fans will be thrilled to hear that the power of the White Ghost has been increased to 629 HP, and the torque rating is now 634 lb-ft. This allows for a 0 to 62 mph sprint of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph.

Only three models will be made, each with a tag of €119,800 ($152,407), not counting in the price of a stock Rolls Royce Ghost. It may be tasteful, but who said it was cheap?


Rolls Royce sales up 146% due to Ghost popularity

The economic recession took a pretty hefty toll on luxury carmakers, which saw sales figures drop.

This forced a lot of companies to release more entry-level models, in order to attract those who don’t want to spend an obscene amount of cash on a new car. The Rolls Royce Ghost is one such example, as with its $250,000 starting price, offered a much more reasonable alternative to the larger Phantom.

Many scoffed at the new baby Rolls, saying that its niche just isn’t big enough. Luckily for the carmaker, they were very wrong.

New sales figures show that during the first five months of 2010, Rolls Royce moved over 678 models. While that doesn’t sound too impressive, it’s a whopping growth of 146% over the same time period a year ago.

No concrete numbers were released per model, but you can clearly guess that the lower priced Ghost is mostly responsible for the increase.

If you still can’t afford a Ghost though, perhaps you’re better off configuring one on the special iPhone app.


Rolls Royce Ghost configurator now available on the iPhone

Did you ever find yourself desperately wanting to configure your own Rolls Royce Ghost luxury limousine but didn’t have access to a computer, just your iPhone?

Well, Rolls Royce seems to think you did, as it has just announced that a configurator for its flagship model is now available on the iPhone App Store, completely free of charge.

Included, besides the opportunity to create your own specific Ghost, are things like videos with the Rolls Royce model and even various technical data, for you to drool over.

You can head on over to the App Store and download the new Ghost configurator, so that you can carry a piece of that Rolls Royce luxury with you until you can actually afford such a limousine (a lottery ticket wouldn’t hurt, though).


Geely GE limousine drops Rolls Royce look in Beijing

At last year’s Shanghai Motor Show, Chinese carmaker Geely introduced its GE luxury limousine that, considering imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, made Rolls Royce feel extremely “good”.

After threatening with legal action, the Chinese carmaker, now the proud owner of Volvo, will reveal a restyled GE model at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, taking place at the end of April. As you can see above, some serious modifications were made, from the curbed grille to the new headlamps, all in order to escape the keen eye of Rolls Royce.

The interior also saw some alterations, replacing the single rear seat with a more standard two-seat design. Expect the the GE limousine to appear under the Emgrand brand, alongside 58 (!) other vehicles at Geely’s stand at the Beijing Motor Show.


Rolls Royce rumored to prep next generation Phantom for 2016 debut

In what is a pretty far fetched rumor, it seems that famous luxury British carmaker Rolls Royce will be launching the next generation Phantom model around 2016. Until then, you can hope that the interest in your bank deposit piles up so that you can afford one.

With Bentley already getting the new Mulsanne ready for its official launch, many people believed Rolls Royce will be hurrying its research for the new flagship Phantom. But it seems that the British carmaker is fine with keeping the Phantom, which was introduced way back in 2003, on the market for another few years.

Until then, people who want something newer can experience the smaller Ghost, which will see new body styles coming in the next few years. Also, a few more special Phantom editions, targeted at its main customers, are certain to appear.

Do you think that the Phantom’s timeless nature will keep it popular for a few more years to come or should the carmaker kick the next generation’s development into overdrive? Share your thoughts below.


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Mansory-tuned Rolls Royce Ghost can’t outrun bad taste even with 710 HP

This is one of those tuning projects which once it has been seen, it cannot be unseen. While it is commendable that Mansory upgraded the new Rolls Royce Ghost to 710 HP, the paint scheme for the preview, blue and gold, will forever burn the car into your eyes.

First, let’s talk about what we like: the performance boost. From the stock 562 HP and 575 lb-ft, the Mansory Rolls Royce Ghost is now capable of 710 HP and 752 lb-ft of torque. This increase is due to an upgraded engine manifold, larger turbochargers and an optimized ECU. Performance figures include a 0 to 62 mph sprint of just 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h) for the big British saloon.

Next are the aerodynamic improvements, and while we can’t say anything about the 22-inch wheels, the restyled front and rear fascias, side skirts or rear spoiler, the paint scheme leaves us completely without words.

But while we most certainly won’t approve of such a model, I’m sure that it will find plenty of customers in “certain” parts of the world. What do you think? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.


New Rolls Royce Ghost concepts planned: coupe, drophead and long wheelbase

Rolls Royce is keen on getting different models out there, and wants to further establish its entry-level Ghost model with various other body styles.

It seems that the British company will soon launch concept, or rather Experimental Cars, as it calls them, based on the Ghost. These will include a coupe and a convertible (drophead), which will be revealed in the next time frame to see what reaction they will get from the general audience.

According to the chairman of Rolls Royce, these concepts might get various other names than Ghost, leaving the door open for the revival of other names from the company’s rich past. According to other rumors, a long wheelbase variant of the Ghost is also on the table, as market research revealed that it won’t rival the short wheelbase of the bigger Phantom model.

Seeing as how the economy is bound to make a comeback, more Rolls Royce models will definitely make more people interested in the British brand.


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Maybach Exelero-themed Rolls Royce bespoke DC Design project for sale

I’m sure most of you are already familiar with the Indian designer Dilip Chhabria, the head of DC Design, a company which tried its hand at tuning even the Tata Nano low cost model, and jacked up its price 100 times.

Now, his work is once again on display, and in case you’re a Rolls Royce fan, you should really avert your eyes. What you can see above is codenamed the Black Ruby, and was custom made for a maharajah, who didn’t really like it (who can blame him?).

As such, this odd cross between a Rolls Royce Phantom and a Maybach Exelero, complete with Ferrari Enzo doors, is up for sale at a London-based company. The price you ask? Just £750,000 or around $1,17 million.


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