So it is no surprise that Rolls-Royce chose Auto China, held this year in Beijing, to unveil the Pinnacle Travel Phantom, a customised edition of its flagship sedan – a car intended, through elaborate marquetry, to celebrate allure of luxury travel. China spent some $125bn on travel last year, according to the United Nations-published World Tourism Barometer, making it the world’s top outbound market for the second year running.
The long-wheelbase Pinnacle Travel Phantom features a two-tone exterior colour scheme: Madeira Red over Silver Sand, with a red pinstripe intended to evoke a speeding train. Inside, seats, headliner, pillars and door inserts wear Morello Red and Seashell hides, with Morello Red lambswool floor mats.
The car’s main attraction, however, is its woodworking. Rolls-Royce claims the Pinnacle Travel Phantom’s cabin, which features 230 individual pieces of marquetry, is the most complex and intricate woodworking project its Bespoke department – which handles its customers’ most individualised requests – has ever undertaken. The hand-crafted pieces on the dashboard, door panels, cabin partition and rear picnic tables depict, again, the speeding train motif, further echoed in smoke-gray embroidery (24,633 stitches, for those keeping, er, track) on the door inserts.
All aboard a rather personalised Orient Express.