New EU laws have banned Rolls-Royce's glowing Spirit of Ecstasy
The EU Big Brother strikes again
EU rules have been dictating every move in our lives for a few years now and when I say 'our lives', what I actually mean is the way we buy and use cars. Almost every regulation the EU commission comes up with has to do with one of two things: pedestrian safety or emissions. I suppose banning the glowing Spirit of Ecstasy in Rolls-Royce has very little to do with the former and something to do with the latter BUT, this is what the EU said, also aims to "crack down on light pollution".
Rolls-Royce had to remove the £3,500 option because it no longer complies with EU Regulation 48 'UNECR48 "concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the installation of lighting and light signaling devices". The DoT and the UK's VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency) sent out a note to confirm that "Illuminated bonnet ornaments are not permitted by the EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval". Rolls-Royce has indeed confirmed that it's no longer producing the glowing version of the emblem and even though the option is technically still available with a 'price on request' tag, customers who've already ticked that box when building their cars, will receive a full refund.
As a consequence, it seems the company thought it best to just get rid of this option altogether, even for non-EU customers. A spokesperson for Rolls-Royce said that in February 2019, the company "sent out our dealers a bulletin saying we were removing the option of an unlit Spirit of Ecstasy. It came off the options list. Sadly, we are telling our customers that we will by law have to disconnect their Spirit of Ecstasy. We felt it our moral obligation. We sold this option in very good faith. We are forced to retract it now through no fault of our own".
If you already own a Rolls-Royce with the glowing Spirit of Ecstasy - it was available for the Cullinan, the Phantom and the Wraith - you might want to hold on the car. Who knows, it might become a future classic.