Who says art is only for display ? The luxury car company Rolls-Royce adopts pure craftsmanship skills and techniques to manufacture exceptional cars. The workmanship of detail-oriented, boundary pushing philosophy over the century has not changed, making the car a mobile piece of art. The warmth of hand-making survives time and space and the luxurious Spirit of Ecstasy has never lacked her pursuers.
回首 1904 年 5 月 4 日，自行設計並製造汽車的亨利·萊斯和愛車成癡的查爾斯·勞斯兩人首度會面於英國曼徹斯特米德蘭酒店，一拍即合的緣分彰顯於品牌商標疊合的 R 字，橫跨至 116 年的今天仍然秉持初衷「不惜成本做出最完美的車子。」與時俱進的性能和實現無數想像的外觀，讓歷史持續書寫，何謂完美，亨利·萊斯爵士說「就是將已存在的完美做到更好。」
加入高效隔音層，坐進車艙恍若進入無聲宇宙，抬頭視線所及全是星空閃耀。星光頂篷由 1340 至 1600 個微型LED光纖組成，僅靠兩名工匠師以手工一針一線縫製而成，長達9至17個小時的製程，讓現代科技增添手作的質感和溫度。
魔鬼就藏於細節裡，勞斯萊斯兩道唯美腰線，手工技藝傳承至今，品牌總部現由馬克考特一人專職負責。每台車出廠前，工匠師精準畫上寬僅 3 毫米的單腰線，或是距離 2毫米的雙腰線，在效率掛帥的年代，仍有一雙眼眸堅持於有限的車身上，繪出超越時空的不朽弧線。
舒適的駕乘體驗全來自於品牌堅持超乎世俗標準的追求，像是自行研發「Architecture of Luxury」車架，能持續配合不同車型變化，也確保產出品質，另有空氣懸吊系統、厚實鈑件等元素輔助，不分主客乘坐其間即便高速行駛，也能感受魔毯般平穩飆馳、前進。
今年Wraith推出特別版Kryptos 隱匿之鑰，Kryptos 古希臘語意為深藏的密語，從車身到室內細膩鑲嵌著密語，像是駕駛者與設計師凱特琳·萊曼心領神會的對話空間，而真實解答已封存於勞斯萊斯之家古德伍德的保險箱內。
Backtracking to May, 4th, 1904, the solo carmaker Henry Royce and car enthusiast Charles Rolls met for the first time at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. This perfect match was then revealed in their company logo, the double R. It’s been 116 years but until today, the philosophy remains the same, “build the best cars in the world, regardless of cost.” After keeping up pace with generations and realizing countless imaginative designs, the history will still keep the record of such perfection, as what Sir Henry Royce said, “Take the best that exist, and make it better.”
Bespoke Making Rolls-Royce a Work of Art
Rolls-Royce owns a bespoke custom-made department at its headquarters in Goodwood, Manchester, England. Bespoke is a lingo in the tailoring industry and here the craftsmen offer personalized services to make customized cars for high-end customers, just as in haute couture fashion. This way, the car can be a statement of personal style and also a timeless mobile work of art.
The iconic Spirit of Ecstasy was designed by British painter and sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes in 1911; the way her arms posed and the skirt flew up had made it become a tasteful art piece since then. Back in 1910, it was a trend to install statues in front of cars in order to show personal style, so the ornament was actually the sign of that era. It is still iconic today because the Spirit of Ecstasy was reproduced by the now “lost-wax casting” process to assure its quality and the Parthenon-looking air-inlet grille that carries her above was done by the “golden proportion” in which the twenty-two grids are all in equal size, for a dominant temple look.
Built with high-efficiency sound-proof layer, sitting in the car is just like sitting in a sound-free universe. Wherever you look up, it’s all starry shine. The starry hood is made from 1340 to 1600 micro LED light fibers and is sewn in stitches by two workman by hand. The hood takes about 9 to 17 hours to finish, and this allows the modern technology to add the touch of hand-making warmth.
The devil is in the details. The two sexy waistlines of all Rolls-Royce cars were also done by hand and is supervised by only one person in the headquarters, Mark Court. Before every car leaves the factory, the workman hand-draws the single waistline of 3 mm or double waistlines of 2 mm in person. At the time when efficiency prevails, there are still two determined eyes that are locked on a finite car body in order to put down timeless curves that stand for infinity.
Passing the Torch to the Next Generation
Looking at all the cars in Rolls-Royce, such as Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, they all share the same quietness, and this can be traced back to the first car that was born in the Rolls-Royce Motor, Silver Ghost. This one had not only broken their own record of 20,000 km of non-stop driving but also its powerful engine, in comparison to other Rolls-Royce cars, allowed it to run around the city without a sound.
The comfortable driving experience originated from the exceptional requirement of the company, including the invention of their won “Architecture of Luxury” car structure to fit various car design and also reassures manufacture quality. There are also air suspension system, rock-solid sheet metal and more, so that no matter which seat you sit in, you could feel the smooth and stable ride like a magic carpet even when you’re racing in high speed.
Another “out of the world” design is that, Rolls-Royce, then faced the historical junction between carriage and automobile transport, insists using the design of traditional carriage and build the coach doors and front-opening doors for cars. For this, the outline and structure of the car must follow the traditional royal standards, but it allows entering and leaving the car with more ease and grace. And the umbrella that sticks at the driver’s seat not only can block the rain but also let passengers wearing a skirt steps out the car with reassurance of a better privacy.
Rolls-Royce Wraith Kryptos
Constantly pursuing perfection is what makes Rolls-Royce the synonym of a luxury car, and they later reached out to the aviation industry. Charles Rolls passed away at the age of 33 and the company logo had turned from red to the black that people are more familiar with nowadays.
However, the existence of Wraith not only showcases its legacy of premium and refined elegance but also out wins other Rolls-Royce cars in terms of functionality. Torsten Muller Otvos, the CEO of Rolls-Royce, stated that “This is a racecar for sophisticated gentlemen, and it’s a tribute to Charles Roll’s adventurous spirit.” Wraith again broke their own records and became the most sporty and youthful car.
This year, Wraith has launched a special edition “Kryptos”, meaning “hidden” in Greek. Secret codes are embedded from the body to interior, as if a mysterious space exists for a dialogue between the driver and the designer Katrin Lehmann. Yet the real answer is already locked somewhere inside the safe in the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood.
The color experts in Bespoke Department invented the Kryptos Green, which can be seen on the hand-drawn waistlines. The base of Spirit of Ecstasy is changed to green enamel instead; the interior is equipped with a bicolor starry hood, and spreading data seems like an unsolved puzzle. The Delphic Grey of Kryptos under the sunshine glitters bluish green as the mica radiance. The non-rotating double R wheel cover can only be explained by some mind-blowing creativity that is derived from a luxurious personality who defies the limit of time and space.