Rolls-Royce Phantom Metropolitan Collection wafts into the annals of exclusivityFri, 03 Oct 2014 15:33:00 EST
Limited-edition, hand-built cars are kind of a bizarre thing. On the one hand, people pay umpteen amounts of money for bespoke cars, with the manufacturer adding that iconic descriptor to all its press materials, but then the company goes and produces 20 of the exact same car and sells them as a "special edition." It seems kind of contradictory.
Rolls-Royce must not see it that way, though, as it has just unveiled one of 20 Metropolitan Collection Phantom sedans at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. As the latest member of the brand's Bespoke Collection, the Metropolitan joins the Phantom Drophead Coupe Waterspeed Collection, the Pinnacle Travel and the Ghawwass Edition.
According to Rolls-Royce, the Metropolitan Collection pays "homage to the world's great metropolises" by way of the company's well known craftsmen. The veneers, particularly on the second row picnic table, get extensive attention, with just the table using 500 individual pieces of wood.
Aside from the wood trim, Aetherius Grey leather is the other dominant interior finish, while Darkest Tungsten paint adorns the exterior. The Metropolitan Collection is a member of Rolls-Royce's Bespoke line, so brand's very wealthy consumers aren't locked into the gray shade shown here. According to the Rolls, 44,000 hues are available from the company's paint catalog and, as always, the team is able to deliver virtually any shade not already offered in the company's collection.
Take a look above for our gallery of live images, and then head below for the full press release from Rolls-Royce.
ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS DEBUTS PHANTOM METROPOLITAN COLLECTION AT PARIS MONDIAL DE L'AUTOMOBILE
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is delighted to present the latest showcase of the marque's pinnacle Bespoke offering.
The Phantom Metropolitan Collection, unveiled today at the Mondial de L'Automobile in Paris, features exquisite hand-crafted design inspired by the modern metropolis. Just 20 of these beautifully crafted motor cars will be available to commission.
Phantom's launch in 2003 emphatically heralded the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars by affording the world's most discerning and successful men and women the consummate super-luxury experience. Central to the allure of its unique promise is an interior furnished in the very finest materials; expertly hand-applied by the master craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England. It presents a space that cossets occupants and provides the ultimate sanctuary in which to traverse and observe the city in supreme comfort.
The Phantom Metropolitan Collection pays homage to the world's great metropolises through the meticulous application of marquetry – the art of inlaying small pieces of wood veneer to form decorative motifs. When open, Phantom's signature picnic table presents occupants with an elevated view of the city, created through the expert application of 500 individual wood veneer pieces. Indeed, the process of hand-cutting, colouring, shaping and applying is so complex these unique objects d'art take an expert wood craftsperson several days to complete. On closing the tables, a different perspective of the cityscape is offered – reflecting the view one gets when effortlessly travelling in the rear of a Phantom.
"I can think of no more fitting location than Paris to debut this remarkable new motor car. This is a city that echoes Rolls-Royce's very special brand promise in perfectly combining the timeless and modern in a manner that celebrates the art of the master craftsperson," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Our customers across the globe delight in challenging our designers and craftspeople to create true, one-of-a-kind pieces of automotive art. This latest Collection serves to showcase the extraordinary scope for Bespoke personalisation afforded to every patron of the marque."
Meticulous care is taken when selecting the individual wood veneers. Minute imperfections such as knots and flecks lead to instant rejection. Adjustments to the colour of each piece are made through the traditional hand-process of hot-sand shading before a final inspection under magnification on a light box to ensure perfection.
The cityscape theme extends beyond Phantom's many wood surfaces. A specially developed Aetherius Grey leather colour was created to echo the colour palette of the modern city whilst 6,800 two-tone stitches to the central rear seat flutes depict an abstract image of a skyscraper. A specially developed Bespoke clock extends the theme to the front of the car. For the first time in the marque's history, a rotating bezel expressing 24 of the great cities of the world and their time zones – Paris included – adorns the central console of a Rolls-Royce motor car.
An exterior hue, Darkest Tungsten, inspired by city skylines finishes the exterior surfaces of the motor car on display in Paris. However, as afforded to any Rolls-Royce customer, the full palette of 44,000 colours is available to those commissioning a Phantom Metropolitan Collection motor car. Should that not be enough, the marque's Bespoke craftspeople will create a perfect match of any colour or object a customer may wish to replicate. The exterior is completed with a hand-applied coachline that depicts an abstract silhouette of modern skyscrapers.
This is the latest in a line of remarkable, individual Bespoke masterpieces. 2014 has seen such highlights as the Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection that paid tribute to Sir Donald Campbell's record-breaking achievements and the Pinnacle Travel Phantom that made its debut at the Beijing Auto Show. These limited Collections serve to inspire customers, with record levels of Bespoke demand reported in September 2014. Nearly every Phantom across the globe, 90% of Wraith and 80% of Ghost family motor cars were commissioned by customers with some element of Bespoke design. Bespoke is Rolls-Royce.
By Brandon Turkus
See also: Rolls-Royce starts a turf war in the Garden of Wraith, Rolls-Royce to reach 4,000 units this year, Man orders $20M-worth of Rolls-Royce Phantoms.