Interiors Exposed: How To Turn 90 Square Feet Of Leather Into A Palace


Delve into the guts of the best car in the world.

Goodwood, it’s not just the effects of Viagra, it’s also a town in England where Rolls Royce makes what it calls the best car in the world. With a 6.2-liter BMW V12 residing behind the Spirit of Ecstasy on Rolls Royce’s flagship Phantom, one can start to see how this car competes in a class of few. The Rolls Royce Phantom gets its “best in the world” designation for the sheer quantity and quality of creature comforts that are packed into the 5,840-pound car. So how does Rolls Royce begin to make such an interior?

A good place to start is with the leather seats themselves, the one place a passenger will constantly be in direct contact with. Only one out of 500 cowhides is considered good enough to touch the skin of the wealthy owners and their driver. And not just any cowhide is used, these cows were raised on the mountains of Scandinavia where climates are too cold for mosquitos to exist, meaning that these hides are unembellished by bugs and soft enough to put a dog infected with rabies at ease. Over 90 square feet of this fancy leather coats the interior of the Phantom, taking the expert craftspeople 17 days to complete.

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Next is the wood grain that Rolls Royce is so famous for. Wood species from around the world make up some of the options that customers can choose from, but nothing is really off the table at Rolls Royce. Woodworking experts specialize in taking nature’s artwork and bringing out its intricate patterns so that the over 42 wooden interior components can look good underneath their polished gleam. The resulting wood components, which take about one month to produce, make the usable interior components look like a piece of expensive furniture. Sound deadening is also a key feature for Rolls Royce, enabling the car to waft over the streets like a true ghost. Foam insulation is key here, and the Phantom gets twice the amount of insulation as a normal car.

Then, a thin layer of soundproofing material gets added just for safe measure. But since this is Rolls Royce, even that isn’t good enough, so two subwoofers get installed into resonance chambers underneath a double-deck floor to help with the noise cancellation. Most other car companies make sure that everything at eye-level is ergonomic and appealing enough to make the interior passable, but not Rolls Royce. It needs the roof to reek of craftsmanship and more importantly, hundred-dollar bills. To do this, Rolls Royce uses a pair of craftspeople to carefully perforate the leather that lines the roof and install tiny fiber optic lights in the holes to create a starry sky-like glow.

The lights take 17 hours to install and are arranged in the form of any constellation that the customer chooses. In the end, the Rolls Royce’s perfect interior comes together by marrying high-quality raw materials, expert craftsmanship, beautiful design, and engineering that takes every possible outcome into account. As excessive as it may seem, this eliminates argument that the inside of a Rolls Royce is one of the best in the world.

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