Rolls-Royce mulling limited-edition carbon fiber models

Exclusive models would enable the company to increase its revenues.

A new report finds Rolls-Royce is looking into tapping parent company BMW's newly-acquired expertise in carbon fiber in order to launch a line of lightweight limited-edition models and allow customers to order their car with a bespoke body.

The British firm will take advantage of the falling price of carbon fiber to let its customers make modifications to the exterior design of the Ghost, Wraith or Phantom in order to obtain a more exclusive car. The modifications could be as minor as adding a rippled hood or as thorough as fitting the car with a brand new body. The chassis, the inner body panels and the engine will not be customizable for safety and emissions purposes.

Ordering a Rolls-Royce with a unique carbon fiber body will significantly increase its price but over 90 percent of new Rolls-Royces are built with at least one customer-specified bespoke feature so the automaker believes the demand exists.

Rolls-Royce will also use carbon fiber to create lucrative limited-edition models, a concept applied by Lamborghini with the Veneno. The exclusive models will enable Rolls-Royce to increase sales without resorting to launching a SUV, which some members of the company's top brass fear might dilute the Spirit of Ecstasy's image.

If the carbon fiber program is given the green light, the first limited-edition models are likely several years away.

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