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Rolls-Royce holds first public exhibition

[SINGAPORE] The most expensive bespoke Rolls- Royce in the world, a diamond-studded Extended Wheelbase Phantom, was commissioned by a Singapore buyer last year. It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that the Republic is the ultra-luxury brand's third biggest market globally for customised cars.

This was revealed at its $1-million exhibition at Gardens by the Bay, where Rolls-Royce is showcasing its brand, design, craftsmanship and bespoke services to the public here for the first time today.

With new products like the sportier Wraith coupe and Ghost saloon, Rolls-Royce believes this is the correct time to connect with a new and younger audience.

"We want to broaden the reach of Rolls-Royce," explains Paul Harris, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars regional director for Asia Pacific. "We will always remain exclusive but we are not untouchable."

Called the Icon Tour, it features artisans flown in from the Goodwood factory to demonstrate their skill in creating the paint, wood and leather finishes for a Rolls-Royce automobile.

"These will allow an understanding of the car and why it costs more," says Mr Harris. With so much expertise in embroidery, wood trim and coachlines, Rolls-Royce caters to those buyers who want their cars to be extra special. And they are the overwhelming majority.

Mr Harris adds that 90 to 95 per cent of all their cars sold are bespoke. "Personalisation is absolutely critical for our clients."

Abu Dhabi is the company's top market for bespoke cars, followed by Australia.

For the Singaporean owner's Phantom EWB, a UK-based jeweller supplied the 446 diamonds that were inlaid in the veneers of the partition wall. Rolls-Royce declined to reveal the final price tag but a standard Phantom EWB ranges from $2.1 million to $2.5 million here.

Also being unveiled at the Icon Tour is the Ghost V-Specification, a limited series of Ghost and Ghost Extended Wheelbase saloons. With 593 hp - up 30 hp - the V-Spec is the most powerful four-door Rolls-Royce. It is available with five special exterior colours, 21-inch part-polished wheels and an exclusively designed clock, among other details.

The Icon Tour, which opened yesterday for VIP guests and ends after today's public exhibition, will move on to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.