Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective has revealed a modern, minimalistic expression of the dragon never previously seen in its cars.
Rolls-Royce is celebrating the Lunar New Year with four ‘Year of the Dragon’ bespoke commissions – three Phantom Extended and one Cullinan.
Designed and hand-crafted at the home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, these creations are “a celebration of Chinese culture through bespoke artistry. Just as Chinese culture transcends national boundaries, the destinations for these cars span the world,” noted the car maker in its announcement.
It added that the commissions draw inspiration from the dragon, an enduring and international symbol of power, success and prosperity.
For the ‘Year of the Dragon’ Bespoke commissions, the Rolls Royce Bespoke Collective created a modern, minimalistic expression of the dragon never previously seen in a Rolls-Royce.
Jonathan Simms, head of Bespoke, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said,“Rolls-Royce Motor Cars leads the luxury sector in creating products inspired by international cultures and traditions, incorporating designs, motifs, materials and colours that resonate with and have real personal meaning for our clients.
“These bespoke creations, inspired by the Year of the Dragon in 2024, celebrate the international reach and influence of Chinese culture, which transcends national boundaries. Hence, these magnificent motor cars are destined for clients based across three continents. These creations are both a powerful expression of our respect for Chinese culture, and a contemporary, minimalist statement in line with trends we see among luxury consumers worldwide,” added Simms.
Rolls-Royce celebrates a cultural icon
The luxury car maker announced that each of the four cars showcase a fascia panel adorned with highly contemporary dragon artworks, hand-painted by a dedicated Rolls-Royce artist. The vibrant red hues symbolise prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.
The bespoke commissions are unique and feature different shades of red for the different models: a duotone Cherry Red with Crystal finish over Selby Grey with a Crystal finish for the Cullinan; and a two-tone Silver and Cherry Red or monolithic Black with a Crystal finish for the Phantom Extended motor car commissions.
All four commissions feature a bespoke coachline, hand-painted in Phoenix Red, that subtly incorporates a dragon motif. Each dragon is orientated to face right, which symbolically represents the East – the direction of the rising sun.
Intricate painting process
To create these intricate motifs, the artist utilised multiple layers of red paint, meticulously applied over a period of two weeks.
The initial outline of the dragon symbol was painted using a unique ‘feathering’ technique to mimic a flame effect, representing the dragon’s celebratory nature. Subsequent layers added depth and detail, with each color individually blended for a realistic 3D effect.
Delicate lacquering process
After each layer of paint, lacquer was meticulously applied to enhance the detailing. This delicate process required meticulous attention to detail to ensure a flawless finish.
Any imperfection, no matter how minor, would become instantly visible on the white background. The artist painstakingly cleaned and sanded each layer before applying the lacquer.
Minimalist interior suite
The dragon motif extends discreetly into the car’s interior, with elegant Phoenix Red stitching on the headrests providing a bold contrast against the Black or White seat leather.
Each embroidery comprised over 5,000 stitches and took approximately 20 hours to complete. The rear Piano Black picnic tables feature minimalist representations of the Chinese zodiac calendar, with the dragon motif highlighted in gold.
Each Phantom Extended commission is completed with a Gallery artwork crafted from carbon fiber, complementing the dragon motif.
Bespoke lambswool carpets, perfectly color-matched to the leather trim, add a touch of luxury to the interior.
The price of the bespoke commissions has not been revealed by the luxury auto manufacturer.