Each Rolls Royce passes through 60 pairs of highly skilled hands before it reaches its owner. Nearly every aspect of the car can be customized, from the ceiling lining, to the leather, the panel inlays, and right down to the stitching.
Buyers may choose from a variety of interior illumination, including a simple dome light, or pin light LEDs arranged to form constellations, or ambient lighting on panels and door handles.
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The hand-stitched leatherwork takes over two weeks to complete, with nine hides required for each interior. The hides are preshrunk and drum dyed for even color distribution, a softer feel, and longer life.
Each set of wood veneers comes from a single tree, creating a simple, seamless flow of flawless wood from dashboard to rear compartment. Patterns in the grain are carefully matched to make the dashboard as symmetrical as possible. Choices range from classic burrs like walnut or elm to straight-grained Malabar teak or dark wenge.
Inlays can be adorned with cross banding to combine contrasting veneers with fine inlaid boxwood beading or mother-of-pearl inlays with a piano-black finish.
The car can be adorned with anything from the classic Rolls-Royce monogram to the buyer’s own initials, family crest, or personal emblem that can be stitched at Goodwood, the company’s embroidery specialists.
“Wafting,” a word which means “to carry lightly and smoothly through air,” was popularized by Rolls-Royce as a description of its ride quality, courtesy of a direct-injection V12 engine paired to an eight-speed gearbox. The body sits atop an advanced aluminum space frame, hand welded from over 500 separate parts, with over 100 meters of weld. Sophisticated suspension technologies and the smooth power delivery combine to create the air-cushioned “magic carpet ride.” In spite of the heft, every engine is designed to leave at least 10 percent power available in reserve, which allows for easy acceleration even at high speeds.
Photograph courtesy of Roll-Royce Motor Cars
This story originally appeared on Vault Magazine Issue 12 No 4 2013.