Rolls Royce Celebrates Iconic Emblem

Wed 24th Feb 2021

One of the most iconic car emblems, Rolls Royce's 'Spirit of Ecstasy' celebrated a rare anniversary amongst motor manufacturers this month.

While modern car brands such as Kia and Nissan have made radical changes to their badge in the last 12 months - the Rolls Royce icon is still going strong after 110 years.

Almost unaltered throughout her long and storied life, the Spirit of Ecstasy graces the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce motor car built at the Home of Rolls-Royce, Goodwood.

Her design was taken from a bronze statuette, entitled the ‘Whisper’, created by Sculptor and Illustrator Charles Sykes for his employer, motoring pioneer and Rolls-Royce early-adopter Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. The company's foundational connection between the automotive and art worlds continues today with MUSE, The Rolls-Royce Art Programme, a lead protagonist in the world of moving-image art.

The first Spirit of Ecstasy figurines stood a statuesque seven inches (c. 18cm) tall. Today, she is a more petite three ¾ inches (9.5cm). She is kept safely out of sight within a special housing in the bonnet until the engine starts, when she takes the stage smoothly and gracefully by a precisely engineered mechanism known as 'the rise'.

"As an emblem, the Spirit of Ecstasy represents far more than just our company and our products. To our customers, she is a potent symbol, instantly and universally recognised – of success, endeavour, achievement and standing. In her beauty, simplicity, elegance and rarity, she encapsulates everything our customers seek – and find – in their Rolls-Royce motor car," said Rolls Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös