The International Geneva Motor Show is one of the “Big Five” car shows in the world. This year Rolls-Royce accented its bespoke or custom-made capabilities at the Geneva show. The luxury vehicle house presented three themes: fashion and tailoring, engineering, and jewelry. To demonstrate how jewelry applies to motor transportation, the company featured a one-of-a-kind vehicle, the Rolls-Royce Ghost Elegance. The element of jewelry in the “Elegance?” The car paint was mixed with the powder of 1,000 crushed diamonds.
To create Elegance, the Rolls-Royce craftspeople started with a base 2017 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase Edition. That model’s base price is $356,385 U.S. — the only time we’ll mention price because the diamond paint and other options clearly amounted to quite a bit more, but no one’s talking. The extended Ghost measures 219 inches long and 77 inches wide and has a 5,665-pound curb weight — which counts fuel, oil, and other liquids but no passengers. Power comes from a 563 hp V-12 engine that can scoot from zero to 60 in 4.9 seconds and is governor-limited to a top speed of 155 mph. Should it matter to the bespoke market, fuel consumption based on U.S. standards is 12 mpg in the city and 19 mpg for highway driving.
In describing “elegance” as a theme, Rolls-Royce quoted Coco Chanel, “Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.”
Clearly, the anonymous person who ordered the car we now know as Elegance has the future in hand, at least to the degree that Rolls-Royce committed to the task of producing a paint mixture that allowed the diamonds to reflect light while remaining undetectable to the touch. Testing the diamonds for the best size and shape of the powder to mix with paint took two months — can’t you just imagine the conversation while they were at it?
To create the final look, the Rolls-Royce craftspeople created a unique paint process that included an extra final layer of lacquer to protect the diamond powder during the studio’s hand-polishing stage. The entire car isn’t diamond-encrusted, just the top part, which according to the company, “glistens like no other.”
Other finishing details for the Ghost Elegance include hand-painted accents on the exterior, open-pore Tudor Oak veneer, black seats in the front “chauffeur’s cockpit,” Selby Grey leather lounge seats in the back, lambswool carpeting, and gray, black, and red tartan door linings. Possibly the tartan pattern might be a clue to the owner, but we didn’t go there.
In all, the Rolls-Royce Ghost Elegance makes a statement that was only emphasized by the car’s featured appearance at the Geneva show.