Understanding Rolls-Royce's Architecture of Luxury

2020 Rolls-Royce lineup 7 photos
Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
Rolls-Royce PhantomRolls-Royce PhantomRolls-Royce CullinanRolls-Royce CullinanRolls-Royce CullinanRolls-Royce Architecture of Luxury spaceframe
Perfection is defined by a state of completeness, flawlessness, or supreme excellence, and in the automotive industry, it is defined by one brand, Rolls-Royce. The latest generation of cars produced by the British manufacturer strives to live up to that and it all begins with the spaceframe chassis architecture, the building block of every modern-day Rolls-Royce.
When BMW AG purchased the Rolls-Royce Motors brand name and logo from the original company in 1998, they set out to continue developing and building the highest quality luxury vehicles.

The first modern model was the Phantom, released in 2003, and it was a work of art that rose to the highest level of quality and elegance while also reestablishing the brand in the modern era. Since then, the company has widened its range of cars end even released its first SUV, the Cullinan, in 2018.

The latest generations feature the same architecture, which was developed by Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers, and craftspeople, who demanded the freedom to build new products from the ground up rather than use preexisting BMW platforms that limited their creative possibilities.

The result is a flexible, scalable spaceframe developed entirely in-house by the Rolls-Royce engineers to serve as the base of all current models. It can be resized, reshaped and different power and drivetrain layouts can be fitted.

Rolls\-Royce Architecture of Luxury spaceframe
Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
The base material for the Architecture of Luxury is aluminum, which was chosen for its lightweight properties and has a higher acoustic impedance than steel, thus preventing more external sound to pass into the cabin.

The architecture is built to further improve the acoustic properties of the material by deliberately avoiding traditional designs and instead, using extrusions and complex internal structures to eliminate flat, resonant surfaces while also increasing the rigidity of the chassis.

It uses some of the largest cast aluminum joints ever matted to a chassis, combined with double-skinned bulkhead and floor sections that drastically insulates sound while also increasing the resonance of the sound inside the cabin.

The Bespoke Audio system used in Rolls-Royce cars gets its exceptional low-frequency performance at this architectural stage by incorporating a resonance chamber into the body’s sill section, which effectively turns the car’s frame into a subwoofer.

Rolls\-Royce Cullinan
Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited
Engineers started to develop the Architecture of Luxury in 2014 but the first production Rolls-Royce that was built around it was the eight-generation Phantom, a car that is described by owners and critics alike as the best car in the world.

The flexibility and scalability of this brilliant architecture are best showcased in the Cullinan SUV. The base components were reconfigured, and the resulting spaceframe is higher and shorter, with redesigned overhangs that allow the Cullinan to clear steep departure and approach angles.

Traction and handling in the first Rolls-Royce SUV are impeccable both on paved roads and rough terrain due to the increased stiffness of the spaceframe.

The future looks (and sounds) good for the British manufacturer as all future Rolls-Royce cars will be built on this innovative architecture that enables engineers to further develop and create the automotive equivalent of perfection.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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