After 111 years The Spirit of Ecstasy is Redesigned for Better Aerodynamics

The Iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine is recreated for Rolls-Royce’s all-electric future, the forthcoming all-electric Spectre is marque’s most aerodynamic product yet. Simultaneously, Muse, the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, announces jury for Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge and Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge sees artists create works in textile, inspired by figurine.

The figurine has been redesigned with a lower, more dynamic stance that more closely resembles the sketches created by her original creator, illustrator and sculptor Charles Sykes, in the early twentieth century. Her physical form also serves as a representation of The Expression, a visual device that is part of the marque’s new visual language. The redesign contributes to a drag coefficient (cd) of just 0.26 in early prototypes, product of 830 combined hours of design modelling and wind tunnel testing.

 

“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.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

About Her Stance

Her stance is the most noticeable alteration. She used to stand with her feet together, her legs straight, and her waist tilted.
She’s a true goddess of speed now, braced against the wind, one leg forward, torso tucked low, eyes fixed on the road ahead. These improvements boost Spectre’s exceptional aerodynamic qualities in both practical and artistic ways. The early prototypes of the Spectre feature a drag coefficient (cd) of only 0.26, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever made. During the product’s extensive testing methods in 2022, the figure is predicted to improve.

Lost Wax Casting

While all figurines are cast using one of the oldest known casting techniques, known as ‘lost wax casting’ or ‘cire-perdue,’ each is finished by hand and will vary slightly from one to the next. This subtle, ephemeral human aspect presents an intriguing contrast to the exact, highly built motor car she stands on, as well as continuing a long Rolls-Royce history – until 1939, the mascots were manufactured and polished by Charles Sykes himself.

Depictions Over Time

Changes to the Spirit of Ecstasy have been made throughout her 111-year existence, albeit they are rather uncommon in the modern period. She’s been depicted in a variety of sizes and materials, as well as momentarily kneeling. The new design produced for Spectre will be utilised on all future models; however, the current design will be used on Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, Dawn, and Cullinan, as well as their Black Badge alter egos, if applicable.

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