When Rolls-Royce Motor Cars began manufacturing at Goodwood, it produced only one model: the original, 7th generation Phantom. The first completed motor car was handed over to its new owner in a special ceremony one-minute past midnight on the 1st of January 2003.
Since that historic moment, no fewer than 20 different models and variants have been created and handmade at Goodwood – equivalent to one for every year. Today’s Rolls-Royce model family reflects two decades of continuous innovation and progress in design, technology, materials and methods as the marque seeks to satisfy its clients’ ever-changing needs, tastes and desires.
A Bespoke Family Affair
Phantom, and its siblings Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé, were followed by the more approachable Ghost, which became the best-selling model the marque has ever produced since its foundation in 1904.
The product family grew further with Wraith (2013) and Dawn (2016), respectively the most powerful and seductive models in the marque’s portfolio; they were joined in 2018 by Cullinan, the ‘Rolls-Royce of SUVs,’ which is now ranked among the world’s most desirable and in-demand luxury products.
Except for Phantom, all models in the current product family are available as Black Badge variants. Created for a new breed of client who desired a more subversive, rebellious expression of the Rolls-Royce brand, this permanent Bespoke series now represents more than a third of the marque’s total output.
Since 2003, the Home of Rolls-Royce’s design and engineering teams has produced several experimental motor cars. In keeping with tradition, these were given the ‘EX’ designation, used until the 1950s by Rolls-Royce engineers to maintain secrecy during testing and development, and the distinctive red-on-silver ‘RR’ badge. Never intended for series production, they were fundamental to creating some of the most technically significant and commercially successful products in the marque’s history.
Two Coachbuild masterpieces representing the ultimate expression of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke capabilities also grace the list. Individually commissioned and entirely hand-built, they echo the coachbuilding traditions of the marque’s early years while employing the latest in contemporary design, engineering, manufacturing and craft techniques to create true works of art.
Spectre: First Electric Rolls-Royce
The first 20 years at Goodwood have culminated in the launch of Spectre. The first all-electric Rolls-Royce in history, this landmark motor car also marks the beginning of a new technological era, in which every new Rolls-Royce model will be fully electric from 2030 onwards.
With series production yet to begin, Spectre is not strictly among the 20 cars produced between 2003 and 2023, but you can read all about the Spectre in Part II of our Rolls-Royce Series. Divine in its design is the next evolutionary step in the model family’s development and the technical and philosophical foundation for all that will follow.
This remarkable period in the marque’s history has created countless deeply personal, complex and beautiful expressions of the marque’s motor cars. While it is nearly impossible to edit a selection of the best of the last twenty years, we include some truly exemplary examples in this story.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Communications, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and multiple digital lifestyle blogs. She is a content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist in the luxury lifestyle niche. She is a regular content contributor to Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Boulevard English & Chinese editions, Indulge, and Montecristo Magazine. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she is honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. [email protected]
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