Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sneak Peek: Rolls-Royce 102EX Concept

You know things are getting serious with EVs and looming emissions standards when Rolls-Royce announces it has begun testing an all-electric vehicle. Called the 102EX, the one-off Phantom is being billed by the automaker as ‘the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment’ and will serve as a rolling lab for the brand.

The EV Phantom, which is set to hit the stage at the 2011 Geneva auto show, has been produced in large part to see what its extremely well-heeled clientele would make of an all-electric Roller (and more importantly, would they buy one). After Geneva, the 102EX will set out on a world tour where its customers will be able to experience the car’s attributes firsthand.

At this point, Rolls has no plans to build the 102EX. While it appears to be serious about deploying an alternative powertrain into its vehicles, it says it will only move forward if it can deliver the proper experience for its buyers. One thing’s for sure, the 102EX will be even quieter on the road.

“I must be convinced that any alternative drivetrain we choose for the future delivers an authentic Rolls-Royce experience,” said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös in a statement announcing the effort. “It must be a technology that is right for our customers, our brand and which sets us on a sound footing for a sustainable future.”

Rolls officials say any Phantom EV would have to have enough range between charges to satisfy customers and an ability to perform as intended in any weather condition. Oh, and it needs to work perfectly, all the time. The automaker has even launched a Web site at www.electricluxury.com as a way for people to debate whether electric luxury is ‘perfection or compromise.’

We’ll know more about the 102EX including the details of its powertrain on March 1, the first day of the Geneva show.

Thanks to: Motor Trend