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Little Classics News: 18 February 2015

Rolls-Royce Look Back to Look Forward

Classic Rolls-Royce Climbing a typical Alpine pass

Today Rolls-Royce has ignited a lot of debate on the interweb about a whole new vehicle being designed – a new all-terrain Roller.

At this stage they are still being very secretive about details, but that’s fine, we don’t really talk much of modern stuff on here anyway. However, what interested us are the references to the classic cars from their past, with their ability to tackle some serious terrain. Honours included the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials.

Radley on the Pordoi pass June 1913

Rolls Royce have also sent out images of some of these tough historic trials to reflect this heritage (as seen here), but this also suggests there is still a way to go before we start seeing much more of the new beast.

Charles Freeston in classic Rolls-Royce

For those of you interested, here is the open letter from the chairman and the chief executive of Rolls-Royce:

Open letter from Rolls-Royce

The launch of Phantom in 2003 marked the beginning of the renaissance of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Since then, we have set a new benchmark for what a super-luxury car should be – unique, hand-crafted, beautiful and rare. Often imitated, Phantom has never been equalled and continues to be hailed as ‘The Best Car in the World’ by our customers and media alike.

Twelve years later, after the introduction of successful new models like Ghost and Wraith, Rolls-Royce stands proudly at the pinnacle of British luxury manufacturing, confirming our custodianship of this precious marque.

Now we have reached another seminal moment in Rolls-Royce’s 111-year journey.

Radley RR Alpine

Today we confirm that we are developing an all-new Rolls-Royce with exceptional presence, elegance and purpose:

  • A car that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain
  • A car that meets our customers’ highly mobile, contemporary lifestyle expectations
  • A Rolls-Royce that is as much about the pioneering, adventurous spirit of Charles Rolls as it is about Sir Henry Royce’s dedication to engineering and innovation
  • A car that appropriately reflects Rolls-Royce’s brand promise of effortless luxury
  • A high-bodied car, with an all-new aluminium architecture
  • A unique new motor car worthy of carrying the Spirit of Ecstasy into the future
  • This new Rolls-Royce will be Effortless ... Everywhere.

Many discerning customers have urged us to develop this new car – and we have listened. At Rolls-Royce Motor Cars we are uniquely focused on the desires of our customers and are driven by our own thirst to innovate. So we challenged our engineers and design team, led by Director of Design Giles Taylor, to create a different and exceptional new car.

This car will embody all the values and capabilities that drove our two Founding Fathers to secure Rolls-Royce’s reputation, early last century, by taking top honours in rigorous overland adventures such as the Scottish Reliability Trials, the London to Edinburgh event and the Alpine Trials.

Rolls-Royces conveyed pioneers and adventurers like Lawrence of Arabia across the vastness of unexplored deserts and over mountain ranges. In other parts of the world including Australia, India and the Americas, Rolls-Royces carried their owners over challenging terrain with absolute reliability and comfort.

History sets our precedent and our future calls us to action.

This new journey begins now. We will take our time in developing and perfecting this new concept in luxury. We will include our customers, enthusiasts and media along the way and will keep you informed of our progress.

Until then, rest assured, we are creating a motor car in the greatest traditions of our marque.

Sir Henry Royce famously said: “When it does not exist, design it”.

We are doing just that.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, Chairman

Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, Chief Executive



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