Rolls-Royce has redesigned its iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, giving the 111-year old emblem a new look for a new era. That new era is of course electric – the remodelled figurine will grace the bonnet of Goodwood’s upcoming Spectre EV.

R-R says that the figurine has been remodelled with a lower, more dynamic stance that brings her much closer to the drawings made by original creator, the illustrator and sculptor Charles Sykes, in the early years of the 20th century. It also sees her physical form represent The Expression, a visual device that forms part of the marque’s new visual language.

The new Spirit of Ecstasy stands 82.73 mm tall, compared to her predecessor’s 100.01 mm. Her robes (not wings, as many including this writer presumed), which flow behind her in the slipstream, have been subtly reshaped to make them more aerodynamic and realistic.

The most visible change though is her stance. Previously, the lady stood with her feet together, legs straight and tilting at the waist. Now, according to Goodwood, she is a true goddess of speed, braced for the wind, one leg forward, body tucked low, her eyes focused eagerly ahead.

The changes have both practical and stylistic benefits, contributing to the Spectre’s aerodynamic properties. The earliest prototypes of the EV have a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.26, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created. The Cd figure is expected to improve during the product’s testing protocols undertaken this year.

“The Spirit of Ecstasy is the most famous and desirable automotive mascot in the world. More than just a symbol, she is the embodiment of our brand, and a constant source of inspiration and pride for the marque and its clients. Like our brand, she has always moved with the times while staying true to her nature and character. In her new form she is more streamlined and graceful than ever before – the perfect emblem for the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created, and for gracing the prow of our bold electric future,” said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

The new Spirit of Ecstasy was digitally sculpted by a computer modeller working at the Home of Rolls-Royce, who has a passion for life drawing and sculpture. Their experience in the field was invaluable in developing the figurine’s elegant lifelike facial features as well as her expression, which “deftly combines focus and serenity”. The designers consulted stylists at Goodwood for their perspective on her hair, clothes, posture and expression.

While all figurines are made using one of the oldest known casting techniques, called ‘lost wax casting’ or ‘cire-perdue’, each is individually finished by hand, and so will be minutely different from figurine to figurine. As well as continuing a Rolls-Royce tradition – until 1939, the mascots were made and polished by Charles Sykes himself – this human element creates an intriguing contrast to the highly engineered car underneath.

While rare, this isn’t the first ever change to the 111-year old Spirit of Ecstasy. In the past, she has been rendered in various sizes and materials and, briefly, in a kneeling position. The new version created for Spectre will appear on all future models. The current design will still be used on today’s Phantom, Ghost, Wraith, Dawn and Cullinan.

Announced in September 2021, the Spectre will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2023. Read more on the marque’s first-ever production EV and previous experiments with battery power.

GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Spectre