The Rolls-Royce Ghost is almost ten years old. To mark the occasion, the maker of the most luxurious of motor cars is introducing the Ghost Zenith Collection. With only 50 numbers planned for production, the idea is to be as artistic, as skilled and as imaginative as possible. For instance, the intricate embroidered leather seats are inspired by the original 1907 Silver Ghost. There is a complex hand-crafted wooden marquetry design installed in the door panels as ambient lighting peaks through the perforated leather of the illuminated pockets. There is even a starlight headliner with thousands of individually mapped and hand-woven fiber optic lights, shooting-stars firing at random across the cabin roof. This is pure theatre.
The Ghost has been a critical car for the marque since it was introduced into the modern era in 2009. The 200EX study car, revealed at the Geneva Motor Show a year earlier, introduced a concept that was driver-focused. This was all very new for Rolls whose cars tended to be very stately and usually chauffeured. The Ghost altered this image. The smaller size made it more of a lifestyle choice too, thus introducing an entirely new customer to the brand – younger drivers, women and a more international set. The Wraith, the Cullinan and the Black Badge further enhanced the younger appeal so much so that the marque’s average customer age is now in their early forties – a dream for makers of such luxury products.
The Zenith Collection doesn’t happen too often. In fact, the last time was in 2016 when an equally limited number of Phantom VII Zeniths were released to celebrate the end of the pinnacle Rolls-Royce’s production before the current model was introduced. The company says the cars have since become collectables.
“The Ghost is the most successful Rolls-Royce ever created and the Zenith Collection marks an important milestone in our modern history,” says chief executive officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “It presents an entirely forward-looking study of the unique characteristics that have seen Ghost ascend to the status of the most progressive super-luxury saloon ever conceived.”
The Ghost Zenith Collection draws references from the original 200EX concept car. Specifically, the designers have included a commemorative ingot, made from the original 200EX Spirit of Ecstasy, melted down and set in to the centre console of each of the cars. Engraved with the three key design lines of Ghost, the plaque details its origins. Moreover, the Spirit of Ecstasy and clock are engraved with the name of the Zenith collection.
Elsewhere, a complex engraving on the centre console of Ghost Zenith also honours the 200EX. A blueprint inspired artwork, enlarged to a point of abstraction, has been divided into 50 distinct parts, allowing each Ghost Zenith customer their own personal and individual work of art. Putting bespoke art in cars is something Rolls is keen to explore further, as we saw in the Phantom gallery.
There is a complex piece of marquetry here too, available in wood, technical fibre or piano finished veneer. The seats are accentuated in a contrasting leather; the rear seat embroidery from the original Silver Ghost transitions seamlessly to the front of the cabin.
The exterior comes in a special two-tone application with a gloss-contrast paint finish. Customers can select three different colour-ways: Iguazu Blue with Andalusian White, Premiere Silver with Arctic White or a daring Bohemian Red with Black Diamond, with multiple variants available.
The Ghost Zenith Collection is essentially a showcase for the skills and imagination of Rolls-Royce bespoke tailoring department. It presents luxury as experience. The cars are currently being crafted at the Rolls-Royce home in Goodwood, UK, ready for collection by the end of the year with examples on display this week at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
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