A new Rolls-Royce program offered through a partnership between European design house Bengala Automotive and U.S.-based Vitesse AuDessus is working on models that will be the first in the automotive industry to feature bespoke carbon fiber as an aesthetic offering. According to Rolls-Royce, the material is a compressed carbon matrix that is similar to the Forged Composite® carbon fiber developed by Lamborghini and Callaway. The materials are available for Rolls-Royce’s Phantom Coupé, Phantom Drophead Coupé, Wraith, Dawn, and Ghost.
“Forged carbon fiber is an extraordinary development for the automotive industry,” said Bengala Owner and Design Chief Shoghi Saeidnia. “To the casual observer the material serves a purely utilitarian purpose. As a designer I was inspired by the mosaic-like motifs and felt that the aesthetic could be elevated.”
Newly revealed photos of the models show that the hood, roof, pillars, front fascia insert, radiator grille, and rear decklid have all be fitted with the new material. Vitesse AuDessus says every removable body panel of the Wraith can be replaced with bare carbon counterparts that are created with whatever weave, tint, and finish that you specify.
The program is also offering another first in the industry: forged carbon fiber wheels. Vitesse AuDessus says the forged carbon fiber wheels are lighter and denser than titanium and “offer a clear engineering advantage over their metal alloy counterparts.” They believe forged wheels also offer better manufacturing lead-times when compared to traditional carbon fiber layup. The availability of fast-curing resins makes it possible to produce a set of wheels in minutes, as opposed to days.
“Carbon fiber wheels are the clearest and best performance choice as they dramatically lower unsprung weight,” says Vitesse AuDessus CEO Stefany Sanchez. “The only failing is in the complicated production process and long manufacturing lead-times. Forged carbon wheels solve this problem and open the doors to a wide range of future applications.”
Vitesse AuDessus says lead-time for the carbon fiber parts is 3-4 weeks, and is 4-6 weeks for the wheels, depending upon specification. The company will ship the parts worldwide.