The Silver Spirit was launched as a replacement to the longstanding and celebrated Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. Considered as the first among the modern Rolls Royce models, it was obviously aimed for super-rich car enthusiasts or those big shots who believed that luxurious BMW and Mercedes Benz models were no match to the magnificence of a hand-built Rolls Royce.
This British saloon car was manufactured by Rolls Royce Motors in Crewe, England. It’s launching in 1980 marked the SZ Series’ entry into the market, with the Rolls Royce Silver Spirit as its first model. This saloon took pride in being the first car to be fitted with the retractable Spirit of Ecstasy, a hood ornament exclusive to Rolls Royce models.
1980 - 1989: The Mark I Silver Spirit
The first generation of the Silver Spirit, which was revealed in 1980, was also the first model in the SZ Series, thus forming the basis for the Silver Dawn, Flying Spur, Park Ward, and Touring Limousine. While this was a new model, the Silver Spirit wasn’t entirely new. It shared not only the Silver Shadow’s basic design but also its 6.75-liter V8 engine and the THM 400 3-speed automatic transmission that was outsourced from GM.
1989 - 1993: The Mark II Silver Spirit
The second-generation Rolls Royce Silver Spirit (Mark II) was unveiled at the 1989 Frankfurt Motor Show. Modifications for this generation were mainly done on the suspension, including the introduction of the Automatic Ride Control as well as the fully automatic system, which could be activated by adjusting the dampers on all the four wheels in real time. Fuel injection and ABS also became standard. Another update for the Mark II Silver Spirit was the modernization of the interior, with the additional “bulls-eyes” ventilation outlets on the fascia.
1993 - 1996: The Mark III Silver Spirit
The 1993 model year was marked by the introduction of the third-generation Rolls Royce Silver Spirit, which received powertrain improvements and cosmetic upgrades. Power output was boosted by using a new design of cylinder heads and intake manifold. Also new for the Mark III Silver Spirit were dual airbags and independent adjustment for the rear seats. There were also modifications on the active suspension system, which helped improve its reliability.
1996 - 1998: The Mark IV Silver Spirit
Though the design revisions for the final Silver Spirit was made starting in the autumn of 1992, it wasn’t introduced in the market until late 1995 for the 1996 model year. Marketed as the New Silver Spirit, this Mark IV model received a Zytec engine management system, updated integrated front and rear bumpers, as well as new 16-inch wheels.
For 1997 model year, all models were built on the standard long wheelbase, though the limousine models offered extra-long wheelbase. A Garrett turbocharger was also added on all models. Production of the Rolls Royce Silver Spirit stopped as the 1997 model year ended, making the 1998 models the last Silver Spirits in the market.