For the diamond-coated Rolls-Royce Celestial, the stars are far from the limit

With all the SEMA news, you might have forgotten about the Dubai Motor Show.

Rolls-Royce sure hasn’t. And anyone who sees its latest ode to opulence isn’t likely to either.

It’s called the Celestial Phantom and it features an interior illuminated to resemble the night sky with no less than 446 diamonds set into the doors, privacy divider, and center console.

So what’s with all the bling? Rolls-Royce is honoring the 10th anniversary of the first Phantom delivery, and they wanted to do something a bit special. Apparently special in Roller speak means a kings ransom in diamonds.

But that’s not all; the Celestial gets its name from the distinctive night sky headliner. The thousands of fiber optic lights hand-woven into the roof are arranged to perfectly mirror the stars that shown on midnight January 1st 2003 – the day the first lucky customer took delivery of their Phantom.

However, the Rolls-Royce factory is located in Sussex so some gray wool evoking winter overcast would have been more appropriate.

Given that this is a Roller, a mere pound of diamonds and a planetarium headliner would be a bit passé. So, to satisfy the truly discerning customer, Rolls-Royce has included a custom set of crystal and china. Now that’s more like it!

Now monarchs from the Queen of England to the King of Saudi Arabia can host high tea without ever leaving the comfort of their limos.

Speaking of Saudi Royalty, the Dubai Motor Show is the perfect place for this reveal. Rolls-Royce brass know that so many of their cars are sold in The Kingdom and the Emirates that Rolls-Royce employee’s paychecks should probably be written in Arabic.

Or to put it another way: the very British-sounding CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos says, “The Middle East is the largest market for Bespoke in the world and in celebration of this we sought to create something truly special for the Dubai International Motor Show.”

If this is the sort of crazy opulence you get when catering to the Middle Eastern luxury market, then bring it on!


Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…

Waymo boosts robo-taxi plans with new service center in Arizona

Waymo has announced plans for a facility in Phoenix, Arizona, that will help to service, maintain, and grow its fleet of autonomous Waymo One cars. The vehicles operate as part of the company's robo-taxi ridesharing service.

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.