Don’t ask Corey Lewis about the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, as you’ll get a rundown of all the things wrong with it. Mainly, that it lacks grace and its flanks appear too tall.
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but Giles Taylor, the design chief behind the revamped ultra-lux sedan and recently introduced “high-bodied car” (Cullinan SUV) isn’t sticking around to craft another vehicle. Taylor’s leaving the company, placing the brand’s design future in limbo.
Rolls-Royce isn’t saying much about Taylor’s departure, only that the automaker’s head of design left to “pursue alternative business interests.”
“Taylor will leave the business with immediate effect,” the automaker announced Friday. “An announcement with regard to a successor will be made in due course.”
Taylor got his design start at Citroën in the early 1990s, moving on to Jaguar in 1999. There, he guided the flagship XJ sedan through its most significant redesign to date. An opportunity at Rolls-Royce arose in 2011 and Taylor jumped ship again.
With the second-generation Phantom, Taylor and his design team transformed a very traditional, very upright sedan into a slightly more modern version of itself. Unlike the current and previous-generation Jaguar XJ, there’s no mistaking the new Phantom for anything other than a Phantom. In creating the Cullinan, which borrows heavily from the new Phantom, Rolls-Royce ensured the automaker remains viable in the face of evolving consumer tastes.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Taylor at Rolls-Royce, however. As reported by Automotive News, the design boss clashed with executives over the brand’s future design direction. Taylor felt the move towards electrification called for major changes, but company brass — as far as we know — remain undecided.
“Aesthetic and spiritually we are in another transition with electric power, I believe we have to register externally the brand has changed,” he told the publication in March.
A source tells Automotive News that Taylor’s departure was amicable, and that he’ll remain in the automotive realm.
[Images: BMW Group]