Little did they know, that an encounter at The Midland Hotel, Manchester would alter the course of automotive history. May 4, 2019, marked the 115-year anniversary of the meeting between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce who set on a journey to handcraft ‘the best car in the world’.
Since their first 10hp machine made its debut at the Paris Salon, the company has been synonymous with luxury and has transformed materials, technology, and manufacturing methods. “We are deeply conscious of our heritage: it is a tremendous privilege to be continuing and building on work that began 115 years ago,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls‑Royce Motor Cars.
From coachbuilding to the triumphant return in the form of ‘Sweptail’ – never-to-be-repeated silhouette and individual interior touches, including a champagne cooler specifically proportioned to hold only a bottle of Dom Pérignon ’73 – the company proudly delivered 4,107, the highest annual total in its history, to customers in over 50 countries in 2018.
While 2,000 skilled men and women are employed at the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ head office and manufacturing plant at Goodwood, West Sussex – the only place in the world where the company’s super-luxury motor cars are hand-built – to meet the global demand for its product they developed a platform for all new models. The Architecture of Luxury is comprised of an aluminum spaceframe that can be scaled to fit different applications while using new production processes to deliver the company’s signature Magic Carpet Ride.
The company also offers a Black Badge, the response to a select group of discerning clientele, who request one-of-a-kind cars to match their luxurious lifestyle. The subset within a subset of individuals have been drawn to Rolls-Royce’s unique allure, yearning to innovate, create and advance in car design. The marque’s Bespoke designers and engineers create alter egos of the standard models: darker, edgier, with more power and torque and enhanced driving dynamics which are individually crafted to each owner.
Since the Rolls-Royce Phantom four-door sedan was the first product offered for sale in 2003, the company has expanded its line to two-door coupes, convertibles and four-door sedans. Following a 12,000-mile odyssey through some of the world’s most challenging terrain, in partnership with National Geographic, Rolls-Royce debuted the Cullinan super-luxury SUV in 2018.