For each of 2014's major motor shows, Rolls-Royce has offered something special: a collection of limited edition cars that showcase the company's capabilities when it comes to craftsmanship, detailing and bespoke personalization. And this year's Mondial de L'Automobile in Paris is no exception.
Inspired by the architecture, color palettes and friction between old and new that define the world's greatest cities, the Phantom Metropolitan Collection will be strictly limited to just 20 commissions.
"I can think of no more fitting location than Paris to debut this remarkable new motor car. This is a city that echoes Rolls-Royce's very special brand promise in perfectly combining the timeless and modern in a manner that celebrates the art of the master craftsperson," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "Our customers across the globe delight in challenging our designers and craftspeople to create true, one-of-a-kind pieces of automotive art. This latest Collection serves to showcase the extraordinary scope for Bespoke personalisation afforded to every patron of the marque."
The new collection pays homage to the world's greatest metropolises though incredibly intricate marquetry worked into a stylized city skyline motif that adorn the Phantom's rear picnic tables and dashboard panels. Each repeat of the design is made up of over 500 individually shaped pieces of wooden veneer, shaped, treated and laid by hand, taking days to complete.
The rich browns of the woodwork are expertly offset by a specially created muted Aetherius grey leather tone for the seats. A shade Rolls-Royce says was created to match that of the modern city and which also features a 6,800-stitch motif of a skyscraper.
The finishing interior touch is the first ever Rolls-Royce center console clock to feature a rotating bezel. The ring lists 24 of the world's greatest cities -- including Paris -- and their time zones.
The car's exterior color Darkest Tungsten is also a new addition to Rolls-Royce's existing 44,000 color palette but of course customers can specify whichever finish they want.
Demand for customization is a growing trend globally, whether it's a special decal or an entirely new shade of red applied to the exterior, and the trend is just as strong among buyers of Fiat 500s, Opel Adams and Minis as it is among clients of Bentley, BMW and, of course, Rolls-Royce.
The company says that almost every flagship Phantom that leaves its production facility features bespoke customization, as do 90 percent of Wraith and 80 percent of Ghost models.