You may be pleased to hear that this week I’m not going to talk about electric cars, emissions or even the electric revolution. What I am going to talk about is the shots Rolls Royce CEO took at Bentley this week. Age old rivals Rolls and Bentley have been battling it out for the king of luxury for decades. But it’s a war that for the past ten years Rolls have been winning and Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes puts it down to the fact that Rolls Royce aren’t taking the base for its cars from lesser manufacturers.
It’s true the Bentley of today has taken the Audi Q7 and put a new set of clothes on it to call it the Bentayga, but this is the first major shot heard from Rolls in a long while. Most car companies will remain polite about their competition saying things like, “we enjoy the competition and wish them every success” meanwhile behind the scenes they are plotting every way to put them out of business.
Mueller-Oetvoes made these comments at the European launch of the new Rolls Royce Phantom VIII, saying: “We are not using mass-manufactured body shells. That limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively. You don’t want a camouflaged Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce.” What this means is that all new Rolls Royces will have their own bespoke underpinning rather than sharing them with the likes of the BMW 7 series which was the basis for the original Ghost.
Rolls are calling this new idea the ‘Architecture of Luxury’ and can be seen in the Phantom VIII, new SUV the Cullinan and future generations of the Ghost, Dawn and Wraith. In a press release about the new Phantom VIII whilst not mentioning them by name Rolls went as far to say, “No future Rolls-Royce will be of monocoque construction as used by mass-manufacturers and some mass-luxury brands.”
Rolls are determined to be the only Luxury car brand there is even if it means tearing down their competition with hurtful words. Bentley are transitioning away from the Audi platform over to the Porsche platform but seems to refuse to make a fully bespoke luxury car of their early years, Bentleys market has changed, the Continental GT is proof their aim is footballers not Lords and Ladies.
What do you think of the luxury battle between Bentley and Rolls Royce, let us know in the comments.
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So the Rolls Royce Phantom will finally cease production at the end of the year and will end the run of a car that has been going since 2004. The Phantom was one of the last truly luxurious cars, now a luxury car is just full of leather and technology. The Phantom was one of the old breed that was just simple wood and leather, built to an unbelievably high standard, the Phantom will remain an icon. To celebrate the end of production Rolls Royce have sold 50 special edition Phantoms, known as the Zeniths.
So how do you make an uber luxury car even more luxurious, well Rolls have added a larger fridge capable of taking two bottles of Champagne, a glass shelf for the rear tailgate, and to put a cherry on top a bespoke version of the Rolls Royce picnic hamper. Badges have also been added to signify each cars build number, and another set of badges giving the exact location it was built in the Goodwood Factory. Each Zenith is available in either coupe of drophead form and whilst prices haven’t been revealed it will be more than the £338,616 of a standard Phantom coupe. Sadly all 50 of the Zeniths have been sold thus signifying the end of the Phantom, but it is certainly a special send off for a very special car.
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Photos courtesy of Autocar
So Rolls Royce has decided to make a 4×4, what the hell. It seems that no car company can do what I want them to do at the moment. BMW have started to damage the Rolls name now. First the Wraith, I can guarantee Charles Rolls and Henry Royce would never have allowed a ‘sporty’ Roller. And now with a 4×4 on the way they must be turning in their graves.
Rolls used to be a maker of bespoke luxury cars, cars that were unrivalled both in comfort and attention to detail and it seemed that BMW would continue that philosophy when they brought back the Phantom way back in 2003. It was, and still is a class leader in luxury automobiles.
It feels as though these cheap facsimiles are tarnishing Rolls Royce’s legacy I don’t believe the Ghost, Wraith and this new 4×4 will be remembered in 50 years time, the Phantom however will.
Rolls Royce are also avoiding calling the 4×4 an SUV despite the fact that is clearly will be, and will be competing with Bentley’s new SUV the Bentayga which is to be released later this year. The engine for the new 4×4 will likely be an adapted version of the 6.8 litre V12 from the Phantom.
What I really hope is that the new 4×4 won’t be just a rebodied X5 like the Ghost was a rebodied 7 series that would truly be the final nail in the coffin.