One particular characteristic of a modern-day Rolls-Royce is that it seems no two examples are exactly alike. It turns out that the exorbitantly wealthy really enjoy customizing their luxury vehicles and tailor them to their tastes—or lack thereof. Those with a particularly robust wallet can opt for the brand’s Bespoke program, where buyers have “the talents of the world’s finest automotive designers and craftspeople at (their) disposal,” Rolls-Royce gushes.
The Rolls-Royce Bespoke Chicane Phantom Coupe (what a name!), however, wasn’t specified by a customer. Instead, it’s the brainchild of Rolls-Royce Dubai’s brand manager Mohammed EL-Arishy. Proving the assertion that “inspiration for a Bespoke Rolls-Royce can strike anywhere,” EL-Arishy’s imagination was triggered while gazing at historic pictures during an assuredly expensive dinner at the Goodwood Hotel near the Rolls’ Goodwood production facility.
Rolls-Royce claims that its Bespoke Chicane Phantom Coupe is meant to evoke the history and heritage of the Goodwood racetrack, but that claim should not be taken too literally. Inside, there are no engine-turned aluminum surfaces, and there is no wooden steering wheel. The car doesn’t even have a tachometer. Instead, Rolls has chosen to fit the interior with large, sweeping carbon-fiber surfaces, and it keeps the curious “power meter,” a device that displays the engine’s available power reserve at any given moment. The chintzy Starlight headliner, sprinkled with LEDs that mimic stars in the night sky, remains—in stark contrast to the racing heritage that inspires the rest of the car.
Nearly every surface of the interior—bar the carpeting and panels rendered in carbon fiber—is upholstered in bright-red leather. While perhaps somewhat childish for a Rolls-Royce, the color choice works well with the Gunmetal Gray exterior, which is nicely complemented by matching wheels and a matte-black hood.
We know that many car aficionados in the Middle East are deeply saddened by the demise of GM’s Hummer brand, but this particular Rolls-Royce, with its sporty pretensions and ostentatious demeanor, should mitigate the sense of loss. On the other hand, those of us with more delicate taste need to realize that things could be worse. Rolls admits that it has painted a Bespoke model “perfectly matched to a favorite eye shadow.” Thankfully, it seems no two Rolls-Royces are exactly alike.