Rolls-Royce timed the release of its newly designed badges during the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. Three Rolls-Royce vehicles -- the Phantom Series II Drophead Coupés -- donned the new badges, which replaced the traditional double R-R badge that the carmaker’s units had been sporting since 1904.
The new grille badge features the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy with patriotic Union Flag supplanting the traditional flowing gown of the Graceful Little Goddess. The steering wheel centre of the coupes includes a traditional laurel wreath and torch, with the self-righting wheel centres featuring the words ‘London 2012’ surrounded by the Olympic motto, ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius,’ which means “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”
The badges are then complemented by distinct tread plates that mark each car as ‘One of Three.’ These plates could be perhaps the most collectable yet unobtainable Rolls-Royce Bespoke items ever produced. The coupés, finished in glorious English White, silently carried three coveted British artistes during an event entitled ‘A Symphony of British Music.’
The artistes remained hidden from public eye as the coupes crossed the auditorium, before being exposed as each convertible roof descended. Phantom Series II Drophead Coupés were piloted by specially-trained Rolls-Royce employees. The badges were designed by the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Design Team.
“I am delighted that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars was invited to take part in celebrating the success of the Games and it is appropriate that we should recognise this occasion with a fitting tribute,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive. “These unique cars were hand built at the Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood by our dedicated and passionate workforce and the whole team can take great pride in their part in making history for our company.”
According to Ian Cameron, director of design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the Phantom’s design is just like popular piece of classical music. While a classic musical piece carries the possibility of various interpretations over time, it does not lose its essential melody. In the same manner, the Rolls-Royce Phantom continuously delights an audience and its familiar melodies are its classic design cues, which one can trace through model generations and which an orchestra of craftspeople brings to life. These craftspeople, who work at the Goodwood, England-based Home of Rolls-Royce, give attention to every single fine detail of each car.
Familiar themes start with the Spirit of Ecstasy, which adorns each Phantom model's Pantheon grille as it leans into the wind in a fluttering gown. Also, all members of the Phantom family sport a long rear overhang as well as a classic 2-to-1 wheel-to-body height.
The Phantom’s thin-rimmed steering-wheel resembles the Phantom II’s and Phantom III’s elegantly engineered multifunction helms, while further cues that come in the form of organ-stop plungers and bulls-eye air vents hint at past masterpieces.
Moreover, 21st-century design cues continue to please owners and those who admire a Rolls-Royce from afar. These design cues include the interlocked Rolls-Royce double-R monogram in the hubcaps that stay upright at all times as well as coach doors that feature a soft close function and that house Teflon-coated umbrellas for a grand disembarkation, whatever the weather.