We love a good Rolls-Royce as much, if not more than the next person, and we appreciate a flowery-worded Rolls-Royce press release almost as much. But is it just us, or has the whole bespoke Roller thing just started to become a bit, vulgar? We mean, of course, owning a Rolls has always been about the vulgarity of excess wealth at its core (and the level of vulgarity obviously depends on what perspective you’re looking at it from). But these cars – the jewel-spangled Dawn especially – seem just to be tipping over the edge into the realm of the naff.
Back in the old days Rollers were all painted in subtle, gentle hues and power outputs that only ever spoken of as being ‘adequate sir.’ The odd brightly-coloured Rolls you saw knocking about belonged either to Elton John or John Lennon, and that was OK because they were working class lads done good.
But these? These are properly vulgar and over the top, a stark brace of four-wheeled reminders of just how much the one per cent have compared to you or us.
The Wraith, we’ll just about give a bye to. The whole idea of both cars is that the reflect the colours, sights and sounds of the (admittedly beautiful) Costa Smerelda in Sardinia. The gorgeous hues of the island are meant to be reflected in the paint work and the interior layouts, but at least the Wraith has taken the more subtle route. It’s supposed to be inspired by the attraction of ‘Dusk Until Dawn’, so it has a duo-tone silver exterior, with a subtle purple highlight, while inside is a mixture of blue, purple, slate and black. The Spirit of Ecstasy figure at the top of the radiator grille is carefully backlit so it’s a relatively low-key kind of car. Aside from the ostrich leather seats, of course.
The Dawn is just, well… come on, get a hold of yourselves. It has emeralds mounted in gold and mother of pearl on the dashboard. And it’s got a bright green exterior with a green and cream cabin. The only thing about this that we like is the use of gorgeous marine-quality teak as an interior trim, and as a special liner for the boot. Teak is classy. Emeralds on the dash are not.
Isobel Dando, General Manager, Future Retail, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented, “Patrons of our marque delight in inhabiting some of the world’s most beautiful enclaves. Sardinia and its stunning Costa Smerelda serves as the perfect backdrop for Rolls-Royce to host these patrons of true luxury in an intimate setting; The Rolls-Royce Summer Studio. The stunning Bespoke Wraith and emerald embellished Dawn, inspired by the sights and colours of Porto Cervo, have been commissioned in the spirit that so many of our customers delight in.”
Want to make it even naffer? Get this – Rolls invited London-based tattoo artist (yes, you read that right) Mo Coppoletta to the launch of these cars (“himself an artisan held in the highest regard” says the press bumpf) and got him to tattoo the headrests of the two launch cars. That’s a dead ostrich with a tattoo, just behind your head. Classy.
Coppoletta commented, “The colours and atmosphere of Porto Cervo are truly inspiring. The designs I have created for Rolls-Royce evoke the emotion experienced by observing this magical place from the harbour of Promenade du Port.” Because of course, they do.
Look, when clothed in subtle, funereal colours and swish past with barely a sound, we love Rolls-Royces. When they carry us through a long journey with apparently no effort, and total comfort, we love them. And we love that, by and large, they are more low-key and less ostentatious than an equivalent Bentley. But emeralds and tattooed ostrich skin? Please…