The Spirit of Ecstasy has been an icon of automotive design for over a century, ever since Charles Sykes was commissioned to design her 111 years ago. After all this time, the Spirit of Ecstasy is about to get a redesign for the modern era, for the upcoming all-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre.
“The Spirit of Ecstasy is the most famous and desirable automotive mascot in the world. More than just a symbol, she is the embodiment of our brand, and a constant source of inspiration and pride for the marque and its clients. Like our brand, she has always moved with the times while staying true to her nature and character. In her new form she is more streamlined and graceful than ever before – the perfect emblem for the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created, and for gracing the prow of our bold electric future.” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Now redesigned for the Spectre, the Spirit of Ecstasy is not only more aerodynamic than ever before but it’s also closer to the original design than ever. It’s shorter now, standing 82.73 mm tall, versus the previous Spirit’s 100.01 mm. Her robes, which resemble wings, are now sleeker and more aerodynamic. And her stance is completely different. The previous Spirit’s legs and feet were together, with her legs straight, and bending at the waist. Now, one leg is bent at the knee, in front of her body, with her body tucked low to evoke images of speed and performance.
Being Rolls’ first ever EV, an emphasis was made on aerodynamics for the Spectre and it has a coefficient of drag of 0.26 g, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever made. While the new Spirit might not make the Spectre that much slipperier, it certainly helps. Each figurine is made using on of the oldest casting methods in history but it’s then hand polished, which is why there are minute deviations between each Spirit of Ecstasy.
“111 years ago today, the Spirit of Ecstasy became an official part of Rolls-Royce. Yet, she has come to represent a spiritual direction for our brand. Her form perfectly captures the marque – she leans forward, expressing our relentless pursuit of progress, and her dress gracefully flows in the wind, echoing the serenity of our products in motion. For Spectre and beyond, she becomes lower and more focused; braced for unprecedented speed and the exciting future her presence will define.”
This isn’t the first time the Spirit of Ecstasy has changed. Throughout her long history, the Spirit has changed several times, ranging from size changes to pose changes. This one, though, is the biggest change yet. All subsequent Rolls-Royce models will also get the new Spirit of Ecstasy as they’re updated.
So few cars have proper hood ornaments anymore but Rolls-Royce is still one of them. More than that, the Spirit of Ecstasy potentially the most iconic and the most beautiful of them all. Now, with its latest redesign, the icon is evolving for the modern era.