Rolls-Royce "Year of the Dragon" – Special Edition in Honor of Lunar New Year

"Rolls-Royce Motor Cars leads the luxury sector in creating products inspired by international cultures and traditions, incorporating designs, motifs, materials, and colors that resonate and hold real personal significance for our clients. These unique creations, inspired by the Year of the Dragon in 2024, celebrate the international reach and influence of Chinese culture that transcends national boundaries. Therefore, these magnificent vehicles are intended for clients located on three continents. These creations are a powerful expression of our respect for Chinese culture, but also a contemporary, minimalist statement in line with the trends we observe among luxury enthusiasts worldwide." - Jonathan Sims, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presents four magnificent "Year of the Dragon" creations to mark the Lunar New Year starting on February 10, 2024. Designed and handcrafted at the Rolls-Royce home in Goodwood, these rare and beautiful creations - three Phantom Extended models and one Cullinan - celebrate Chinese culture through unique artistry. Just as Chinese culture transcends national boundaries, the destinations of these unique vehicles stretch across the globe.


The designs draw inspiration from the dragon, a resilient and international symbol of power, success, and prosperity. For the "Year of the Dragon" creations, the Rolls Royce Bespoke Collective has created a modern, minimalist expression of the dragon that has not been seen before on Rolls-Royce vehicles, while retaining fidelity and respect for the original form.

Rolls-Royce "Year of the Dragon" – Special Edition in Honor of Lunar New Year



Three unique creations themed "Year of the Dragon" include fascinating panels with highly contemporary artworks reinterpreting the form of the dragon. Each individually hand-painted by a dedicated Rolls-Royce artist, they represent a distinctive exploration of the color red, which symbolizes prosperity and happiness in Chinese culture. Each of the three artworks is the result of more than two weeks of meticulous work.


To create this complex, three-dimensional motif, the artist used multiple shades of red, applied layer by layer in four individual steps. First, the initial contour of the symbol was painted using the "feathering" technique to create a flame effect, as if the dragon were surrounded by fire, reflecting its celebratory character. Then, three layers in darker shades of red were added, where the artist introduced more details and depth into each illustration. Each of these colors was individually mixed from different proportions of red, white, yellow, and brown: the process of developing this phase alone took three days. The four layers combine to create a 3D effect so realistic that the artwork appears as if carved into the car's body.


To achieve such fine details, the lacquer was carefully applied after each layer of paint. Lacquering is a delicate process, especially on a white background, as any imperfection - such as an accidental speck of red, for example - would become immediately visible. The Rolls-Royce brand artist meticulously cleaned and finely polished each finished layer before each lacquering stage.

Rolls-Royce "Year of the Dragon" – Special Edition in Honor of Lunar New Year



The dragon motif subtly extends through the interior of the car. It is elegantly depicted in Phoenix Red stitching on the headrests of each of the four seats, providing a bold contrast with the seat leather, which is displayed in either Black or White. To create a dynamic appearance of the dragon, giving the impression of continuous movement, craftsmen had to precisely align the direction of the stitching and adjust the thread density. Strategic variation of the stitching angles along the tail enhanced the overall flow, creating a sense of fluidity in design. Each stitch has 5,449 stitches and requires about 20 hours of work to complete.


In the three creations, the rear Piano Black picnic chairs include a minimalist representation of the Chinese zodiac engraved in stainless steel. The names of the animals representing each year are written in traditional Chinese calligraphic script, with the dragon highlighted in gold: the central motif of the dragon is also depicted in the same form. For the fourth vehicle, a unique artwork with a dragon motif is engraved in Piano Black veneer in stainless steel.

Rolls-Royce "Year of the Dragon" – Special Edition in Honor of Lunar New Year

The most dramatic expression of the mythical creature is the unique Starlight Headliner, specially created for these creations and the result of three months of design and development work. Above the driver's and front passenger's seats, 677 individually set 'stars' of optical fibers form an abstract dragon motif, surrounded by another 667 lights - the manual installation of all took over 20 hours. The car destined for the Rolls-Royce Private Office Shanghai features a unique expression of the unique Starlight Headliner, which includes red 'stars' as a bold and modern reference to the symbolism of the color red in Chinese culture.


Each Phantom Extended creation is finished with a Gallery artwork, carefully protected behind a pure glass application. Made of carbon fiber, it evokes dynamics and movement, complementing the dragon artwork. The interior is finished with unique wool carpets, perfectly coordinated with the leather trim.

Rolls-Royce "Year of the Dragon" – Special Edition in Honor of Lunar New Year



Designers of the unique creations created unique colors for different models: two-tone Cherry Red with Crystal finish over Selby Grey with Crystal finish for the Cullinan; and two-tone Silver and Cherry Red or Monolith Black with Crystal finish for the Phantom Extended creations.


All four cars feature a unique decorative line, hand-painted in Phoenix Red, which subtly incorporates the dragon motif. Each dragon is oriented to face to the right, symbolically representing the East - the direction of the rising sun.


"Our goal was to create a modern interpretation of the dragon by capturing its essence as a symbol of power. The design evokes a sense of movement and energy, expressing the dragon as a driving force, all with depth and complexity that reflect its commanding soul and presence. It was an inspirational journey for our Bespoke collective; our craftsmen added their subtle touch and character to the dragon's expression, showing how one design can be transformed through different media and craft techniques." - Rebekah Davis, designer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce "Year of the Dragon" – Special Edition in Honor of Lunar New Year