Rolls-Royce may be looking to revive a name from its past for an upcoming luxury car. The automaker recently filed a trademark application for the Seraph name with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office.
First spotted by CarBuzz, the application was filed Feb. 9 and covers “automobiles and their parts.”
If the name Seraph sounds familiar, that’s because Rolls-Royce sold a sedan called the Silver Seraph between 1998 and 2002. Largely overlooked today, it’s mainly significant as one of the last models jointly developed by Rolls-Royce and Bentley (it’s twinned with the Bentley Arnage), before the two automakers entered the custodianship of BMW and Volkswagen, respectively.
1999 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph
BMW influence was already apparent in the Silver Seraph, as it used a 5.4-liter V-12 from the German automaker’s 7-Series luxury sedan. Once BMW obtained full control of Rolls-Royce, work began on the seventh-generation Phantom, which replaced the Silver Seraph in 2003.
It’s unclear what plans Rolls-Royce might have for the Seraph name. Automakers often trademark names they don’t plan on using immediately. It’s a way to reserve names for possible future use, or to maintain control of names that are significant to the brand, as is likely the case with recent Ford Thunderbird and Toyota Celica trademark filings.
Seraph isn’t the only name from Rolls’ past that might make a comeback. The automaker also recently filed trademark protection in Germany for the name “Silent Shadow,” a play on the historic Silver Shadow name. It would be a fitting name for the electric car Rolls-Royce is reportedly developing, as silent powertrains are an EV signature. Perhaps Rolls will keep the theme going with an all-electric Silent Seraph?