The illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy, an option on Rolls-Royce’ cars, is no longer available as it breaks EU rules on light pollution.
Unlike the regular silver-plated Spirit of Ecstasy, the illuminated version has a frosted effect and “creates a striking impression, projecting a crown of light”. But no more.
Despite cars starting to look like Blackpool illuminations, with headlights that can light up the moon and full width light bars that make it seem like you’re following a low-flying UFO, it seems the glowing Spirit of Ecstasy falls foul of EU regulations on light pollution.
According to the Daily Mail (although the glowing symbol is still listed on RR’s website) it’s not been able to sell it on any of its cars – from Phantom to Ghost, Cullinan to Wraith – since early 2019, although this has only just come to light (yes, we know).
The EU directive which turned off the lights on the bonnet of RR’s cars is Regulation 48 – ‘UNECR48′ – which deals with Type Approval for lighting and light signalling, and the UK’s Department of Transport has confirmed that illuminated bonnet ornaments aren’t permitted.
It seems Rolls-Royce is having to get in touch with all EU and UK buyers of cars with the glowing ornament to disconnect it and refund the cost (£3,500).