Legendary automobile manufacturer Rolls-Royce recently unveiled the reimagined version of its iconic ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ figurine, which will grace the bonnet of the marque’s new all-electric motor car, Spectre.
It was “electrifying” news when Rolls-Royce recently announced that their iconic hood ornament – better known as the Spirit of Ecstasy – had been revamped for the forthcoming all-electric Spectre model, the marque’s most aerodynamic automobile yet. Fittingly, this new Spirit of Ecstasy figurine was also being given a more aerodynamic reimagining, making her more streamlined and graceful than ever.
The 2022 iteration of this stylish statuette has been recreated with a lower, more forceful stance – bringing her much closer to the early 20th century drawings made by her original creator, the illustrator and sculptor Charles Sykes. The new version stands just 82.73mm tall, compared to her predecessor’s 100.01mm, while her robes, which flow behind her in the slipstream – often, but erroneously, characterised as “wings” – have been subtly reshaped to make them more aerodynamic and realistic.
Her stance has also undergone a considerable transformation. Previously, she stood feet together, legs straight, and tilting at the waist, but now she has been reshaped as a true goddess of speed – braced for the wind with one leg forward, body tucked low, and eyes focused eagerly ahead. These changes have both practical and stylistic benefits, contributing to Spectre’s remarkable aerodynamic properties.
This wholly new shape was digitally sculpted by computer modellers, whose experience in this field was also invaluable in developing the figurine’s lifelike facial features and expression of focus and serenity. The designers also consulted stylists at Goodwood for their perspective on her hair, clothes, posture, and expression, adding an authentically contemporary aura to her dynamism and commanding presence.
While all of Rolls-Royce’s figurines are made using one of the oldest known casting techniques – the “lost wax casting” or cire-perdue technique – each is then individually finished by hand, so as to be minutely different from one another. This adherence to tradition is part of what solidifies the brand’s heritage and mystique, but that doesn’t mean that the spirit of innovation ever takes a back seat, as it were.
Progressive thinking is evident not only in the computer-enhanced design of the new Spirit of Ecstasy, but also in the automobile that she will ultimately grace… the all-electric Spectre. The new sculpture created for Spectre will appear on all future models, however the current design will still be used on Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and Cullinan and their Black Badge alter egos (where applicable).
Throughout its history, Rolls-Royce has given its vehicles names that are ethereal and otherworldly: monikers like the aforementioned Ghost, Phantom, Wraith, Shadow, and Spirit. The new all-electric Spectre follows in these formidable footsteps, with promises of a soon-to-be-released EV that – like a true spectre – will pass silently before our disbelieving eyes, fleeting in its appearances and gone… like an apparition in a whisp of time.
“The Spirit of Ecstasy is the most famous and desirable automotive mascot in the world,” remarked Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars at the figurine’s formal unveiling. “More than just a symbol, she is the embodiment of our brand, and a constant source of inspiration and pride for the marque and its clients. Like our brand, she has always moved with the times while staying true to her nature and character. In her new form she is more streamlined and graceful than ever before – the perfect emblem for the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created, and for gracing the prow of our bold electric future.”
This story first appeared on Prestige Thailand.