Rolls-Royce redesigns its iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine

By Tempus | 08 Feb 2022 | Design, Speed

The brand's announcement coincides with the release of its new all-electric car, Spectre

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Rolls-Royce has redesigned its famed Spirit of Ecstasy figurine to coincide with the release of its new all-electric car, Spectre, 111 years to the day after the figurine was first registered as intellectual property.

The figurine, which was first registered on 6 February 1911, has now been remodelled with a lower, more dynamic stance that far more closely resemble the drawings made by her original creator, the illustrator and sculptor Charles Sykes. 

The new Spirit of Ecstasy stands 82.73mm tall, compared to its predecessor’s 100.01mm. Its robes, which flow behind her in the slipstream – often but erroneously characterised as ‘wings’ – have been subtly reshaped to make them more aerodynamic and realistic.

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The most visible change is the model's stance. Previously, it has stood with its feet together, legs straight and tilting at the waist. Now the figure has one leg forward, body tucked low, her eyes focused ahead. These changes have both practical and stylistic benefits, contributing to Spectre’s aerodynamic properties. The earliest Spectre prototypes have a drag coefficient (cd) of just 0.26, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce has ever created, according to the brand's official tests.

While all figurines are made using one of the oldest known casting techniques, named ‘lost wax casting’ or ‘cire-perdue’, each is individually finished by hand, so will be minutely different from figurine to figurine.

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Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said of the redesign: “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.”

Anders Warming, the brand's Director of Design, added: “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 focussed; braced for unprecedented speed and the exciting future her presence will define.” 

rolls-roycemotorcars.com