Saturday, May 9, 2015

Inside Rolls-Royce, An Automotive Lifestyle POV

"Spirit of Ecstasy" iconic Rolls-Royce hood adornment. Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

Inside Rolls-Royce, An Automotive Lifestyle POV
By: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications for the The Motorsports-Report - May 9, 2015

For people drawn to luxury motoring, style or design the event to attend this Saturday evening in Los Angeles was at the swank, hip SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Present by Rolls-Royce the event was entitled ‘Inside Rolls-Royce’.  Our invitation was a preview for the Motor Press Guild; the largest group of professionals in Automotive Journalism and Public Relations. Gregory O’ Shea Experiential, Manager added several Roll-Royce owners to our group to give us their perspective, some owned classic models others current models.

“Inside Rolls-Royce” was presented in the manner of an art exhibit by our knowledgeable tour guide in from the UK, Lars Klawitter, General Manager, Bespoke. As it turned out an art exhibit format is the perfect manner to display the many unique accouterments combined in Rolls-Royce motorcars. 

Lars Klawitter General Manager, Bespoke (with wood and extended arm). Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

The taking the spotlight at the entry was a Wraith ‘Inspired by Film’ finished in Sliver and Jubilee Silver with handcrafted solid silver ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ a top of its grill. Those colors being two of the 44,000 in their color palate for customer to select. .

Exterior of Sliver Wraith ‘Inspired by Film’ - Image Credit: Rolls-Royce

This Wraith edition celebrates the acceptance of the film ‘And The World Stood Still’ by the British Film Industry into its National Archives. The film won a Gold Award at the 26th International Visual Communications Association Awards. BFI Senior Curator, Patrick Russell “We selected it for preservation as an outstanding award winning example of modern corporate promotional film making…” Wraith ‘Inspired by Film’ also celebrates their long association with the film industry, one that has prominently featured Rolls-Royce models in the iconic films Goldfinger, The Thomas Crown Affair and The Yellow Rolls-Royce to highlight a just a few.

Thomas Crown Affair's Two-door 1967 Rolls Royce Sliver Shadow with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Image Credit: Phantom Wick via tumblr

Interior of Wraith. Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

This film was used to introduce Wraith as the most powerful and technologically advanced Rolls-Royce in history. Wraith’s power comes from a 624bhp twin-turbo  V-12 capable of 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. This puts Wraith’s performance in the exotic sports car field.

RR V-12 Motor. Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

Wood Samples - Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

The rare and exotic woods used to create the dash and the interior trim’s warmth where on full display.  Sam, a young talent in a nearly lost art form, is one of the few craftsmen that can take a customer’s vision and bring it to life.  Sam spoke about how these seductive interiors develop through the imagination of owners and craftsman’s expertise that can include adding a family crest or logo into the veneers.

Sam behind wood sample. Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

Custom Woodwork - Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

This exhibit is an interactive multi-sensory experience focused on engineering, design and craftsmanship.  The motion capture technology allows guests to become the statuette on top of the grill by creating themselves as the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ on screen.

Trinh’s flowing moves creating the "Spirit of Ecstasy" as she feels herself to be.

A public showing is also offered. I see the public showing as a smart PR move to give an everyone an understanding of what goes into creating these most luxurious of motorcars.  If people appreciate the craftsmanship, the exotic materials or design they will tend to also have a favorable view of the owners, not as just wealthy but as people of unique style and ways of expressing it.  Others may show their personal tastes with a Renoir or Picasso in their homes while some fill their garages with mobile-art like the Wraith.

Wood dash interior of Wraith. Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

Gravity Seed Soap Box Car - Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

With the public showing Rolls-Royce is also thinking long-term by having a dedicated children’s area along with interactive displays intended to engage children’s participation, exciting them and educating.

Following afternoon tea and the tour Trinh and I spent quality with time with Gerry Spahn and Elizabeth Williams of the US Communications department gaining insights on the latest models.  The feature that I found most interesting is the Rolls-Royce Satellite Aided Transmission System. 

The system is unique to Rolls-Royce Motorcars. SAT acts as a navigator does in a rally car by calling out the turns and degree of difficulty ahead of time.  Except in this case SAT does without someone in the passenger seat.  Using GPS mapping the system collects data based on location and current driving style and selects the appropriate gear from its ZF 8-speed transmission ahead of the turn to a degree that the driver isn’t aware it’s being done. Driver and car remaine poised at all times for the road ahead. I imagine that this system in addition to its safety factor would have the benefit of making the driver more skilled and feeling additional confidence.  Mr. Spahn agreed and added that system also saves fuel. 

Brewster/Springfield Rolls-Royce Automobiles - Image Credit: Dicken Wear

Motorsport-Report Publisher, Dicken Wear joined us later.

Any Rolls-Royce event is of interest to Dicken since he is able to trace his family’s  involvement with Rolls-Royce back to the 1920’s when his grandfather (J.S. Inskip) Managed the Springfield, MA. USA Rolls-Royce factory, and built the bodies for Rolls-Royce. 

During World War II the Inskip Engine Shop in New York City would rebuild the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines used in the Spitfire fighter planes after they were shipped across the Atlantic. After servicing the engines, they would be shipped back to the UK where they would be put back into service for the war effort. After the war, the Inskip operation became an Importer, Distributor, and Dealer for Rolls-Royce/Bentley Automobiles.

Brewster/Springfield Rolls-Royce Automobiles - Image Credit: Dicken Wear

The pedigree of Roll-Royce is as long as the industry itself and goes back to 1904, with the stated intent to build the finest motorcars.  Sir Henry Royce summed up the founding principles as ‘Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better.  If it does not exist, design it’.

Pick you adjective Best, Most Exclusive or as Rolls-Royce states, the ‘Pinnacle of Motorcars’.  So successful has the company been in creating its Brand that their history of accomplishment could sever as their advertising campaign forever….

Directly following the closing of the exhibit Rolls-Royce will host its dealers for their annual meeting.  Everyone should be in an upbeat mood after the companies fifth consecutive year of record sales, now topping 4,000 automobiles annually. The United States is its most important market representing thirty percent of global sales.  There are thirty-six US franchised retailers and interesting enough and only the thirty-six Rolls-Royce US employees.  The staff had a New York introduction of the Wraith ‘Inspired by Fashion’ edition just the night before and flew in today for the Wraith model ‘Inspired by Film’ edition. 

The challenge then is to continue to make the Rolls-Royce band relevant for today’s market and in the future. Fortunately more people are newly wealthy because prosperity is coming to previously underdeveloped nations in the form of mineral deposits, oil or in the case of China realizing Capitalism is a more effective way to grow their economy than Communism. Judging by the current direction, strong dealer body and design expect to see Rolls-Royce rack up another century of success.

We were there to be enriched by the experience of Roll-Royce Motorcars, their charming hosts and educated by knowledgeable craftsmen, all done in the exquisite surrounding of the SLS Hotel.

Mission Accomplished.


RR Ghost in White - Image Credit: James Groth, Miles Ahead Communications

As I am writing this article I got a text from good friend Kevin showing his new Rolls-Royce Ghost.

Talk about a conquest sale, Kevin has been driving an Audi R8, Lambo, or Porsches along with riding Ducati motorcycles for decades ... and today he sends me a photo of white Ghost parked next to a new, bright orange and black, four-door Mini. Looking forward to a night out with them in their Ghost…

TAGS: Roll-Royce Motorcars, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Rolls-Royce Satellite Aided Transmission System, Wraith, Lars Klawitter, Bespoke, SLS Hotel, James Groth, Motor Press Guild, Gregory O’ Shea, Dicken Wear

1 comment:

  1. Great article, and a beautiful car looking forward to a business lease .