Auto blogWed, 20 Feb 2013 16:58:00 EST
Grey Poupon mustard will revive the concept behind its famous Pardon Me commercials with a new ad that will air only once on television during this Sunday's broadcast of the Academy Awards.
The original spot, which showed two one-percenters sharing the condiment between their Rolls-Royces at an intersection, first aired all the way back in 1981, and variations of it continued up through 1997. Kraft, owner of the Grey Poupon brand, is hoping that reviving the commercial will boost sagging sales and raise the mustard's profile with a younger generation of fancy folk.
So why are we talking about this on Autoblog? Because the new version of the ad won't end with a polite passing of the bottle. Rather, we're told a car chase ensues when the Grey Poupon's owner doesn't get it back. We're assuming the two cars in question will again be a pair of Rolls-Royce sedans, probably Phantoms unless they go with more vintage model years.
After shadowy images of the 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith in profile and of the car's rump, the slow striptease of this hyper-luxury coupe finally starts to show us what the inside of the car will look like. We'll get our up-close look at the 2014 Wraith at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5th, but to tide us over until then, Rolls-Royce has provided a pair of images showing just some of the details that will be present inside.
Promising the interior of an "ultra-luxury yacht," the Wraith will get plenty of soft leather and real wood paneling, and as we suspected, this car will share a lot of interior bits with its sedan counterpart, the Rolls-Royce Ghost. We can somewhat see this from the second image provided showing the placement of the clock and the air vents that look almost identical to what can be seen currently on the Ghost. On the Wraith, though, the clock's hands feature "Blood Orange" tips, which not only contrast the high-gloss, piano black finish of this instrument panel but also is designed to pay homage to the aviation side of Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce has dropped a third teaser for its upcoming coupe that we'll be seeing in a few weeks at the Geneva Motor Show. A couple of weeks ago, we saw the 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith in a shadowy profile shot, and now we're getting an (admittedly limited) idea of what the rear of the car will look like.
As suggested by a recent set of spy shots, the 2014 Wraith should have a rear-end styling very similar - if not identical - to the Rolls-Royce Ghost, which this car is a coupe version of. In typical Rolls-Royce fashion, the British automaker promises that this new model will deliver plenty of power, style and drama, though it's declining to get more specific about what that power is (other than to say it will be "more than ample"). We have no indication that the engine won't be the 563-horsepower, 6.6-liter V8 that's in the Ghost, but we'll have to wait until next month to find out for sure.
Rap star and exotic-car enthusiast, Rick Ross, had a double-close call on Monday morning, escaping harm in what appears to be an attempted drive-by shooting.
According to Fort Lauderdale Police, Ross was driving his 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost (pictured) with his girlfriend, Shateria Moragne-el, as a passenger at 5:00 AM on Monday. An unnamed gunman in another vehicle opened fire on Ross' car, causing the rapper to turn a corner, lose control of the vehicle and eventually crash into the wall of an apartment complex. Neither Ross nor Moragne-el was injured, despite reports that "dozens" of ammo casings were found at the crime scene.
Ross had been out celebrating his birthday on Sunday night; at nearby restaurant Floridian and a club called LIV in Miami Beach. Reports indicate that the restaurant was also the target of gunfire - some 15 shots that "sounded like they came from a high-powered rifle."
Well here's a nice twofer. On the same day Rolls-Royce releases its first official teaser image showing the 2014 Wraith, we also get a look at the car undergoing some cold-weather testing courtesy of some new spy shots. As the coupe version of the Ghost, the 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and it's expected to go on sale during the fourth quarter of this year.
Rolls-Royce already confirmed plenty of information in a teaser it released last week, but the latest image shows us a clear shot of what the car's midsection will look like. Comparing this image and the spy shots, we can see that the Wraith will have a pretty sleek - (almost Bentley Continental GT-like) roofline, and, like the Phantom Coupe, it will have rear-hinged doors. We can also tell from the spy shots that it seems to be keeping the same face as the Ghost and taillights, too.
Be sure to check out the latest spy photos for the Wraith as well as a brief press release from Rolls-Royce by scrolling below.
When severe weather or a natural disaster strikes an area, it's hard to get sentimental over trivial possessions like cars, but at the same time, as auto enthusiasts, it always pains us to see a rare car lost regardless of the circumstances. Heavy rains in Jakarta, Indonesia have produced the worst flooding in the city since 2007, which according to Reuters has left an estimated 18,000 people displaced from their homes in addition to six deaths, leaving the roadways covered covered in feet of water.
One of the many cars claimed by the rising waters was this Rolls-Royce Ghost that is surrounded by water that almost fully covers the massive wheels. There is no word as to how much water got inside this Ghost, but it was obviously enough that it could be bailed out by the bucket.
Rolls-Royce is headed to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show with a new addition to its lineup: the Wraith. The ultra-luxury automaker says it plans to start deliveries by the fourth quarter of this year, though details are scarce at the moment. The automaker has contented itself with saying the Wraith will the "most dynamic, powerful and beautiful Rolls-Royce in the company's history." We hear it will be the most modest, too.
Rolls-Royce first began using the Wraith nameplate in 1938. The original car used a tweaked version of the 4.3-liter inline six-cylinder found in the company's 25/30, but its real claim to fame came from the fact that it boasted speed-variable hydraulic dampers. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 85 miles per hour, Rolls-Royce only built 492 examples of the vehicle's chassis.
You can look for the new Wraith to bow at the Geneva Motor Show in March. In the interim, check out the shockingly bare press release below and get ready for a spate of teasers to follow.
The wheeled monolith above is the 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Extended Wheelbase - a rolling demonstration of the real definition of "More." For that reason we can use it as a symbol of the firm's sales, which have not only achieved 'more' for the past three years but have also broken company records. Adding to its record-setting years in 2010 and 2011, the Goodwood-based carmaker moved 3,575 units, an increase of 38 over the year before.
The US retook its crown as the greatest consumers of Rolls-Royces, snagging it back from China. Other market movers were the Middle East, where sales rose 26 percent, Mainland Europe - the same place where mass-market makers are drowning in woe and inventory - that rose by 21 percent, and the Asia Pacific region and its 18-percent rise. Rolls-Royce is probably making more money on its cars, too, with bespoke uptake reaching 95 percent on the 10-year-old Phantom line and 73 percent for the Ghost line.
With a just-refreshed lineup and one or perhaps two more models coming, the indicators for more upward sales movement are strong, even if we don't know how soon the new models will arrive. For 2012, the brand that sells more cars above $200,000 than any other proved the saying that storms can't affect you when you live above the clouds. The press release below has more to say about the record year.
Ten years ago, Rolls-Royce opened its Goodwood manufacturing facility and handed over the keys to the very first Phantom. Back then, parent company BMW was cranking out Phantom sedans at the blistering pace of one unit per day. By the end of 2003, that number had tripled, and today, the Goodwood plant builds a total of 20 Phantoms in sedan, coupe, drophead and extended-wheelbase models during a single day's working hours. Originally, there were fewer than 400 workers on staff responsible for hand-building the big cruisers, but now the plant boasts over 1,400 craftsmen, with 100 of those positions added in 2012 alone.
Rolls-Royce boasts one of the lowest staff turnover rates of any brand in the industry, thanks in part to a successful apprenticeship and internship program, and the company notes 80 percent of its workers live within 15 miles of the facility. You can read the full press release on the 10th anniversary of both the Phantom and the Goodwood plant below.
Mr. Allen Swift died in 2005 at the impressive age of 102, but his automotive story is even more remarkable. Not only is the gentleman credited with owning a Rolls-Royce automobile longer than anyone else in the world, but he had the forethought and funds to ensure its future preservation after his death.
In 1928, while living in Springfield, Massachusetts, Swift's father gave him a 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Roadster as a graduation present (Springfield and Rolls-Royce have a history - from 1920 to 1931, the British automaker built 2,944 vehicles in the city as part of its attempt to establish a US plant). The young man was passionate about his green-over-green softtop convertible, not only driving it on a regular basis, but maintaining it meticulously over the decades (the two door-received a complete body-off restoration and engine rebuild in 1988).
Rolls-Royce acknowledged Mr. Swift in 1994, awarding him a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy award for his length of ownership. By 2005, Swift had logged more than 170,000 miles on its analog odometer and he was recognized as the oldest living person to have owned a car from new. He passed away that year.