For all the attention electric cars have generated over the years, one niche group has never dared to tread those waters out of fear that they would compromise the luxurious and old-world lineage these brands are so often associated with. Well, it looks like one luxury automaker is prepared to dive into uncharted waters after Rolls-Royce announced that the brand will be developing an all-electric version of the Phantom.
The car, which has been dubbed the Rolls-Royce Phantom Experimental Electric (EE) or the 102EX, was recently revealed at the Geneva Motor Show and will serve as a test vehicle for the brand to gather as much relevant data as possible with the hopes of determining whether jumping through the electric car world will prove to be a worthy endeavor.
According to Rolls-Royce, the extensive testing done on the 102 EX, which comes with a revolutionary wireless charging system called ’induction charging’, will also cover a number of public test drives for potential customers to give them the opportunity to experience the company’s alternative drivetrain technology first-hand and provide that all-important customer feedback. Rolls-Royce explains ’induction charging as a technology that allows the car’s battery to be charged by just parking it over special pads buried in the ground. This process uses magnetic coupling instead of a regular cable with a 90% efficiency.
UPDATE 03/03/11: This review has been updated with the Rolls-Royce Phantom Experimental Electric 102EX’s specs, as well as new images.
UPDATE 07/04/11: The Rolls-Royce Phantom Experimental Electric 102EX isn’t headed for production, but that hasn’t stopped the British luxury maker from proceeding with the testing phase for the electric Phantom. According to Rolls-Royce, the tests have nonetheless given important data on the workings of the car’s battery and management systems, important elements considering that despite its concept status, the Phantom 102EX could still end up in production down the road.
Exterior and Interior
The Phantom 102 EX’s exterior will be finished with an exclusive paint color - Atlantic Chrome - that no other Rolls model has. This ’Atlantic Chrome’ color is comprised of 16 coats of a highly reflective finish that uses ’ceramic nano particles’ resembling silver paint and giving the luxury car a chiseled and wet impression. The same Atlantic Chrome color will also appear in the vehicle’s dashboard dial.
Apart from wireless charging, the Phantom 102 EX also has a number of other charging options, including a plug and five-pin socket. This filler has three colored LED lights in the clear cover to denote the car’s charging status.
Inside the 102 EX, Rolls Royce outfitted it with a leather upholstery that they claim to have undergone a ’vegetable tanning’ process. Adding to this method is another interior finish that Rolls Royce describes as a ’distinctive aluminised foil weave’.
Powering the Rolls-Royce Phantom Experimental 102 EX is the largest car battery pack in the world: five modules of lithium cells weighing 640 kg, capable of powering the car to travel a range of 125 miles on one charge. This battery pack will then deliver steady amounts of power - a total of 375 horsepower and 800 Nm of torque - through the car’s two electric motors that have been mounted on the rear sub-frame. The car is then coupled with a single-speed transmission with integrated differential. The electric luxury car will carry a top speed of 100 mph with a 0-60 mph time of under 8 seconds. If you’re curious to know, the standard 6.75-liter V12 Phantom can hit the same tact in just 5.7 seconds.
It’s a one-off concept that’s not in Rolls Royce production plans...at least not yet. But should the 102 EX end up as a production car, all that new technology that it comes with will result in a jaw-dropping price tag of $1.6 million.
As much as we want to find a car that can suitably line up with the Phantom 102 EX, there simple isn’t any. This is the first all-electric luxury car to come out of the wood-work and when you combine that with all that technology and the price tag it comes with, then you really have a car that’s truly a one-off.
Powerful engine for an electric car
Awesome aesthetic design
It’s a Rolls-Royce
No plans of production yet
It costs $1.6 million