You would be hard pressed to find a more iconic symbol of automotive excellence than the Spirit of Ecstasy. Adorning the hood of every Rolls-Royce automobile and almost all of its consumer product, the Flying Lady, as she is colloquially known, has been part of the brand's heritage since 1911, a mere 5 years after Rolls-Royce came into existence. To put it mildly, she is ingrained into the DNA of the brand.
The Spirit of Ecstasy, originally called the Spirit of Speed, was fashioned from a piece called the Whisper and is based on a real person and represented a secret love affair by Charles Robinson Sykes. The woman at the soul of the sculpture was Eleanor Velasco Thornton. Sykes once said that the sculpture was showing that road travel is her supreme delight.
When Torsten Muller-Otvos, the CEO of Rolls-Royce Motorcars since 2010, announced a change it came as somewhat of a shock. The design change comes ahead of the new concept all-electric Spectre. The reason was simply put as being more aerodynamic, as well as more in line with Syke's original drawings. Since we don't have the drawings we'll have to take their word for it, but I don't really see anything Rolls-Royce creates as impressing any wind tunnels in the near future.
The new design will not instantly change current products, but will adorn new models from Spectre forward. Yet, we will still ask, why change perfection?
What do you think? Should Rolls keep its current mascot or should they change everything? I guess the buyers will decide.