Rolls-Royce downsizes ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ bonnet emblem for EV efficiency

The ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ bonnet emblem is perhaps Rolls-Royce‘s most defining feature, but don’t be surprised if the one on your next Rolls looks a little different from what you remember it to be. In the name of efficiency for its future EVs starting from the Spectre, the British ultra-luxury carmaker has now redesigned the iconic emblem to make it just that bit more aerodynamic.

As a result, the new Spirit of Ecstasy now stands a little shorter than before, measuring 82.73 mm tall compared to the previous 100.01 mm, while the overall shape is also slightly more rounded off to reduce drag and pierce the air more gracefully.

Interestingly, the remodelled emblem – with a more “dynamic stance” – actually brings it much closer to the original Spirit of Ecstasy drawings made by her original creator, illustrator and sculptor Charles Sykes, in the early years of the 20th century.

The most visible change in the remodel is the ornament’s stance. Previously, the Spirit of Ecstasy stood with her feet together, legs straight and tilting at the waist. Now, Rolls-Royce calls her a “true goddess of speed”, with one leg forward and body tucked low to brace for the wind.

Rolls-Royce also says that “her physical form represent The Expression”, which supposedly is a “visual device that forms part of the marque’s new visual language”, whatever that means.

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Although rare, this isn’t the first time that the iconic bonnet ornament was redesigned in its 111-year lifespan. According to Rolls-Royce, the Spirit of Ecstasy has been made in various sizes and materials, and even briefly in a kneeling position.

The new Spirit of Ecstasy will debut on the fully-electric Spectre in 2023, and used on all future models. However, the current design will still remain on the Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, Dawn, and Cullinan, alongside their Black Badge counterparts.


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