What do an Australian tree frog, Hawaiian flower and exotic butterfly have in common? They all provide the colour inspiration for Rolls-Royce’s latest commissions, surely the brightest – and bravest? – collection of cars this year.
The green, red and purple trio of Wraith, Dawn and Cullinan has been dubbed the Neon Nights collection. They have been ordered by customers in the US but Rolls-Royce says three more of each model will be made at Goodwood – for Rolls owners keen to stand out from the crowd.
The neon-effect paint finish applied to each of the cars takes its cue from colours in the natural world. The Wraith’s lime green luminosity mimics that of the Australian green tree frog. The solid red finish of the Dawn draws its inspiration from the flowers of ‘Ōhi‘a lehua, an evergreen tree native to Hawaii, while the Cullinan’s purply blue is based on that of the Periander metalmark butterfly found across Central and South America.
Inside, the special models are just as distinctive. Each gets a neon-glowing graphic across the dashboard along with bespoke colours and trim.
Ironically the vibrant Neon Nights cars are only available with the Black Badge models. “Any pre-conceived notion that Rolls-Royce’s Black Badge variants all have to be black is comprehensively laid to rest,” says Sami Coultas, the Rolls-Royce designer who came up with the idea after seeing the luminous frog on a trip to Australia.
We like the lime green Wraith but are not sure sure about the Cullinan. One thing you have to agree with Rolls-Royce on though is that these are truly Black Badge models true to the ethos of “daring to be different”.
Rolls-Royce did a similar thing last year with a pastel-coloured range of Ghost, Wraith and Dawn – which the company says was such a success the colours became part of the bespoke palette. So who knows, a luminously lime green Rolls-Royce may just be the future…