One of the more unique features of moderns Rolls’ is the new illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy. The silver statue of the flying lady has adorned the hood of Rolls-Royces for a century and is instantly recognizable as the face of the brand. So you might imagine that some Rolls customers would like to spotlight, quite literally, the iconic symbol. Which is why many Rolls customers opt for the illuminated version of the ‘Spirit, which features a frosted finish that allows it to be lit from underneath, thus created a really interesting glowing look. Except, European customers will no longer be able to order the illuminated version and current owners with said version will have to have theirs replaced.
New European Union regulations actually permit the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy, as it now violates certain light pollution laws. Because of this, Rolls-Royce has had to remove the option from its cars and dealerships are now telling customers that it can no longer be had. Current Rolls owners with the option also have to bring their cars back to the dealer to have the illuminated version replaced with a standard version, which will be free of charge. Additionally, customers will either receive a full refund of the cost of the illuminated Spirit or a different additional option.
“We are in the process of putting a package together. We shall write to make an offer of a full refund, a replacement silver-plated Spirit of Ecstasy, or another option from our list.” a Rolls-Royce spokesperson said.
This seems like a silly regulation to begin with but even if light pollution laws are really cracking down, does an illuminated grille statue standing less than six-inches tall really create enough light pollution to be a problem? Also, who’s going to enforce this? Are cops going to be pulling over cars with lighted grille ornaments? And who’s to say that customers aren’t going to keep the illuminated Spirit after having it replaced and then put it back on themselves afterward?
Personally, I find the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy a bit tacky and unbecoming of a Rolls-Royce. That said, it’s an option that has a lot of fans, as a lot of customers actually do choose it, so I can see why those customers are upset.
[Source: The Daily Mail]