Rolls-Royce is going to great lengths to ensure your luxury chariot doesn’t look just like your neighbour’s, and owners have a vast personalisation palette from which to create their own automotive jewellery. From time to time, the British carmaker also creates limited-edition specials, the latest being the new Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis Private Collection.
The luxury sedan has been given an exterior and interior makeover inspired by a solar eclipse (ékleipsis is the ancient Greek word from which “eclipse” is derived) and is limited to 25 examples worldwide. Launched on 14 October to coincide with the annular solar eclipse visible in parts of the western hemisphere, the car explores the interplay of light and darkness during the moment when the moon obscures the sun.
“With Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost Ékleipsis we draw inspiration from a total solar eclipse: a seldom-seen and spellbinding phenomenon that reflects the rarity and beauty of Rolls-Royce Private Collections,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “In capturing the magic of this celestial alignment, our bespoke collective of designers, engineers, and craftspeople once again elevated contemporary craftsmanship with a landmark series of exquisite details that project the marque’s culture of ambition and excellence.”
The moody light cast by a total solar eclipse is captured in the car’s Lyrical Copper exterior, which appears dark until it catches the light to produce a dramatic iridescence. Mandarin-orange highlights adorn the pantheon grille, brake calipers, and pinstripes along the car’s flanks, inspired by “the pulses of sunlight witnessed as the eclipse progresses”.
Inside, the animated starlight headliner adds a sense of theatre. Upon closing the doors and starting the engine, the fibre-optic “stars” on the ceiling darken and a gleaming circle of lights appears to represent the bright corona around the lunar silhouette during an eclipse. The animation remains visible for seven minutes and 31 seconds — the longest possible duration of a total solar eclipse. Once this time has elapsed, the full constellation of stars in the night sky is restored. That’s some attention to detail, and the special ceiling animation took Rolls-Royce a year to perfect.
Capturing an eclipse’s twilight effect, the bicolour leather seats have unique artworks made with over 200 000 perforations. The black mandarin leather is perforated to reveal a contrasting colour beneath. The illuminated fascia is also adorned with 1 846 laser-etched stars in a symbolic timeline of a total eclipse, while a bespoke timepiece incorporates a 0.5ct diamond that recalls the “diamond-ring” effect around the moon during an eclipse. It is the first time a gemstone has been integrated into the clock’s bezel in a Rolls-Royce, and the clock is finished with an etching on its dark aluminium surround, revealing the bright metal underneath.
Finishing touches include illuminated treadplates, umbrellas with mandarin piping concealed in the coach doors, and a unique car cover bearing the Private Collection’s wordmark.
Rolls-Royce doesn’t reveal the price of the Ékleipsis, but it should be a significant premium over the standard R14-million Black Badge Ghost. All 25 have been sold.
• From the 2023/2024 edition of Wanted Watches, Jewellery and Luxury.