For years, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been at the pinnacle of style, class and design. What people may not be aware of is the company’s dedication and connection to art. The iconic luxury car company continued its expansion into the art world for a good cause in September, teaming up with famous British artist Marc Quinn.
The production line of Rolls-Royce in the founding location of Goodwood, West Sussex, England provided the stage for the company’s “Evelina Art for Allergy x Dine on the Line” philanthropy event where a generous £1.7 million was raised through an auction to support allergy research by Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
“Rolls-Royce was introduced to the charity Evelina London via connections in the art world,” says Jessica Persson Conway, manager of Art Programme & Philanthropy. As the largest allergy service of its kind in Europe, Evelina London provides specialized care to children across the country who suffer with an allergic condition.
De Pury led the successful night featuring Quinn’s mesmerizing work. ©2019 David M. Benett.
“Marc is a world-renowned contemporary artist,” Conway continues. “Rolls-Royce has great respect for his work and particularly admire his Iris paintings, which is the subject chosen for this collaboration.”
Everyone locked eyes on the big prize of the night, a Phantom designed with one of Quinn’s pieces from his collection entitled “We Share our Chemistry with the Stars.” The ongoing collection features large, colorful paintings of irises from eyes.
Art auctioneer Simon de Pury, who led the vivacious auction compared the artwork to that of the psychedelic Phantom V owned by John Lennon, calling it “the 21st century equivalent.”
Phantom is the apex model of Rolls-Royce and the company, encompassing the luxurious experience of driving and owning a Rolls-Royce.
“The car has been the canvas of some of the most extraordinary expressions of bespoke craftsmanship,” Conway says. “The Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective work hand-in-hand with patrons around the world to bring unique and highly personalized creative visions to fruition.”
The prized Phantom featuring Quinn’s artwork. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The winning bidder of Quinn’s creation won the opportunity for the artist himself to create his own bespoke artwork featuring the iris of the bidder’s daughter, using the Phantom as the canvas. The drivable work of art raised an outstanding £888,000.
Rolls-Royce’s affiliation with art stems from its beginnings as a company, with the different models of cars becoming an “expression of creative will.” Conway noted that for over 100 years the bonnet, or front-hood, of each car is “graced with the Spirit of Ecstasy, a figurine created by sculptor Charles Sykes.”
The “Spirit of Ecstacy” by sculptor Charles Sykes. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
In 2014, the company founded the Rolls-Royce Arte Programme, an initiative made up of commissions with leading artists and institutions. Recently, the company announced a new vision for the program called Muse.
“Muse will further Rolls-Royce’s relationship with art through two new biennial initiatives, the Dream Commission and the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge,” Conway says.
The company also prides itself with its devotion to philanthropy, emphasizing how events, such as “Dine on the Line,” bring important attention to charity organizations.
“Patrons of Rolls-Royce are often highly successful, noteworthy individuals, many of whom are major philanthropic donors,” Conway says. “It gives us great pleasure to introduce the Rolls-Royce network to such a worthy cause.”
Aston Martin is once again wowing drivers with two new vehicles that have all the pizazz and none of the pollution.
The luxury carmaker held its inaugural Electric Future event in late June to showcase two all-electric models — The Rapide E and Lagonda Vision Concept — at Aston Martin Mayfair in London.
Relaunched as the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand in 2018, Aston Martin’s Lagonda line aims to leverage the latest advances in electrification and autonomous driving technologies while maintaining “a unique niche in the market,” says Marek Reichman, chief creative officer at Aston Martin Lagonda.
Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept.
“We set ourselves an ambitious target to be the world’s first luxury electric brand,” he says. “[Lagonda] is for the high-end luxury customer who wants to explore and be autonomous while remaining mindful of the impact they are having on the enviro-ment. Lagonda will achieve this but it will also delight the people who get to enjoy its unique internal environment.”
Aston Martin Rapide E.
The Electric Future featured the Rapide E, the company’s first electric sports car, as well as the Lagonda Vision Concept, the latter of which first turned heads at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018. The sleek vehicle’s four-passenger interior doubles as a stylish space, with cashmere interiors and swiveling fronts seats. The Vision Concept is designed as a self-driving vehicle, and it’s expected to enter production around 2022.
Meanwhile, the Rapide E has already delighted drivers across Europe and Asia, making a flashy debut in Morocco and Shanghai in spring. With a design that was based on its V12 predecessor, the Rapide AMR, it’s no surprise that the Rapide E clocks in at a max of 155 mph — all on an 800-volt battery.
The car boasts twin electric motors that produce 610PS and 950Nm of torque, allowing it to zip from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, and can manage the jump from 50 to 70 mph in 1.5 seconds.
On the inside, the car’s digital gadgets include a sleek display for battery and energy information, and Aston has also developed a smartphone app to monitor the car’s battery life and parking spot, among other features.
According to John Caress, vehicle line director, the Rapide E drives a little more than 200 miles on battery power alone, which can then be recharged from 0 to 80 percent in just 35 minutes — so you’re back up and on the road in no time. It’s expected to enter production at the end of the year, with a limited run of 155 vehicles.
Aston Martin Rapide E interior.
Aston Martin Rapide E charges at its electric port.
“Rapide E is proof of Aston Martin’s commitment to its Second Century Plan. Having an electric powertrain is no longer just a vision for our company, it’s reality. We are producing fully electric vehicles which will form part of our future strategy that will culminate when the first Lagonda vehicle enters the market,” he says.
Pricing is not yet available for these models. Explore all Aston Martin vehicles at astonmartin.com.
All photos and featured photo courtesy of Aston Martin.