EU REGULATIONS have banned the optional illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy from Rolls-Royce cars.
The £3,500 extra has had its lights turned off by legislation prohibiting glow-in-the-dark ornaments in cars as part of a wider crackdown on light pollution.
Rolls-Royce removed the illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy from its options list after the EU regulation came into effect in 2019. It is now contacting customers to inform them that icons installed in previous years now need to be removed. The Goodwood-based company is offering a refund on the extra, along with a silver-plated Spirit of Ecstasy as a replacement.
A spokesperson for the company told the Daily Mail: “Sadly, we are telling our customers that we will by law have to disconnect their Spirit of Ecstasy.
“We are in the process of putting a package together. We shall write to make an offer of a full refund, a replacement silver-plated Spirit of Ecstasy, or another option from our list.
“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.”
The regulation, UNECR48, refers to “uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the installation of lighting and light signalling devices.”
The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed that illuminated bonnet ornaments are now banned under EU regulations, by which the UK remains bound until December 31. Countries outside the EU, however, can still have their ornament on at full blast, and it is unclear whether the law will change once the UK has left the EU entirely.
The illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy first appeared on the 103EX, a pure electric, autonomously driven, 19.4ft-long concept car unveiled by Rolls-Royce in 2016 as part of its vision for the company’s future. The marque then made it available as an optional extra on its production cars. As Rolls-Royce switches focus to a ‘post-opulent’ aesthetic, however, it’s possible a glow-in-the-dark ornament may not have been sitting on the grille for much longer anyway.