Ollie Marriage05 September 2013

Revealed: Rolls-Royce Celestial concept

A demonstration of RR’s bespoke workmanship skills. Looks twinkly…

Do you love the night sky, all those twinkly stars and far-off galaxies? Do you want to know exactly what it was like if you peered up at the heavens from Goodwood on the south coast of England at midnight on the 1st January 2003? Of course you do. And now there's a way.

 

You go to the Frankfurt motorshow next week, speak nicely to the burly chap on the Rolls-Royce stand who's there to dissuade the hoi-polloi from fondling the Spirits of Ecstacy and sit in the back of the new Celestial Phantom. Above your head is the night sky from that very time and place - the significance being that it was the day the very first Phantom was delivered, signaling Rolls' resurgence under BMW's stewardship.

Tasteful? Necessary? That's not really the point here. What this headlining (made up of a thousand fibre-optic lights hand woven into the ceiling) represents, is a demonstration of what Rolls-Royce's craftsmen are capable of. This is a concept in the purest sense of the word, literally a set of ideas, a theme, applied to a car. The general impression it's designed to convey is that you can go to Rolls and say ‘I've got this idea, you're going to think it's very silly, but...' and they can make it happen.

Of course, the Celestial Phantom Extended Wheelbase wouldn't be much of a concept if the ideas didn't stretch beyond the headlining. So what we also have here is dark paintwork that features glass particles (to enhance the sparkle, we assume) and ‘Dusk' leather that ‘alludes to the inky quality of a cloudless night sky'. The clock in the partition between front and rear features a diamond at each quarter, the wheel centres have been engraved, so has the glassware in the picnic set (with a celestial motif), while the Spirit of Ecstasy is gently uplit.

Best of all, the lid of the rear drinks compartment has been specifically designed to reflect the stars in the headlining, so you don't even need to risk neck-strain while admiring the stars of that night sky a decade ago. Although you will, of course, be admiring a mirror-image...

Anyway, interweb, it's the what's possible we're inviting you to admire here. You've got to admit that Rolls is capable of some rather stunning flights of fancy.

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