Rolls-Royce creates four 'Year of the Dragon' cars

February 6, 2024


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is presenting four "Year of the Dragon" bespoke products to mark Chinese New Year, which begins on Feb 10.

Produced at its headquarters, these custom creations – three Phantom Extended models and one Cullinan – are a celebration of Chinese culture.

The so-called Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective created a modern, minimalistic expression of the dragon.

Three of the "Year of the Dragon" cars include fascia panels adorned with modern artworks re-interpreting the dragon form.

Individually hand-painted by one dedicated Rolls-Royce artist, each is a exploration of the red colour.

To create this three-dimensional motif, the artist used multiple hues of red, applied on top of each other in four individual stages.

Four layers combine to create a 3D effect on the fascia. To achieve such detailing, lacquer was applied after each layer of paint. The Rolls-Royce artist then cleaned and sanded every completed layer before each lacquering stage.



The dragon motif extends throughout the car’s interior.

It is depicted in Phoenix Red stitching on the headrests of each of the four seats, providing a contrast with the seat leather, which is presented in either black or white.

In three of the cars, the rear piano black picnic tables incorporate a minimalist representation of the circular Chinese zodiac calendar in inlaid stainless steel.

The names of the animals representing each year are inscribed in Chinese calligraphy, with the dragon highlighted in gold: the central dragon motif is also depicted in gold.


For the fourth car, an artwork featuring the dragon is inlaid in the piano black veneer in stainless steel.

The most dramatic expression of the mythical creature is the customised starlight headliner, for the four cars.

Above the driver and passenger seats, 677 individually placed fibre-optic "stars" form an abstract dragon motif, surrounded by a further 667 lights.

The car that will be sent to the Rolls-Royce outlet in Shanghai features a unique expression of the bespoke starlight headliner incorporating red "stars".



Each Phantom Extended work is covered by glass, that runs across the fascia.

The interior is completed with lambswool carpets, which are colour-matched to the leather trim.


As for the exterior coachwork, Rolls-Royce designers created unique colourways for the different models: a duotone Cherry Red with Crystal finish over Selby Grey with a Crystal finish for the Cullinan; and a two-tone Silver and Cherry Red or monolithic Black with a Crystal finish for the Phantom Extended car projects.

All four cars feature a bespoke coachline, hand-painted in Phoenix Red, that subtly incorporates a dragon motif.

Each dragon is orientated to face right, which symbolically represents the east – the direction of the rising sun.


“Our aim was to create a modern interpretation of the dragon capturing its essence as a symbol of power. It was an inspirational journey for our Bespoke Collective to re-interpret such a significant icon; our artisans added their own subtle dimension and character to the dragon expression, showcasing how a single design can be transformed through different mediums and craft techniques,” said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars bespoke designer Rebecca Davies.