There’s no confirmation for when we’ll see the Rolls-Royce Silent Shadow, but we do know it’s comingby Robert Moore, on
It’s been a few months since we’ve discussed just what Rolls-Royce is going to do as it transitions into the future where electricity must replace fuel, and outside of concept cars like the 2011 Phantom Experiment Electric 102EX and the 2016 Rolls-Royce 103EX Vision 100, the company hasn’t shown us anything of substance. Now, however, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that it is, in fact, developing an EV, and the name is going to sound very familiar.
Remember the Silent Shadow Trademark Filed by BMW?
Back in January of 2021, we discussed how Rolls-Royce’s EV plans were starting to materialize as parent company BMW filed a trademark which resurfaced when Autocar learned that there was a battery-powered Phantom prototype floating around BMW’s Munich R&D hub. The Silent Shadow name was a play on the old Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, like the one seen in this very old article I dug up from the bowels of Topspeed. At the time, Rolls-Royce would only admit that it was was skipping hybridization to zoom straight into full-on EV. CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, confirmed this by saying
“We need to make smart decisions on where we invest our money. It may be okay for bigger companies to go into hybrids and all sorts of different technologies. We needed to make a certain decision."
Fast forward to today, five months later, and Ötvös has confirmed to Automotive News Europe that a creatively named model is, in fact underway. He stopped short of sharing too many details, but he did say that it will be a “brand-new Rolls-Royce, rest assured.” Which is good news considering the company hasn’t learned how to do anything new in a long time. Even the Cullinan is little more than a Phantom with elevated suspension and a taller roof. Of course, this is from the same company that says its customers are too good for semi-autonomous technology, so take that “brand-new” comment as you will.
As for when we’ll see this new Rolls-Royce EV, Ötvös, says only “that is still a secret.” However, we do know that it’s highly likely the new EV will borrow battery technology from the BMW iX thanks to the $3.2 billion battery supply deal that Bimmer has with Samsung SDI. With the same battery technology, the Rolls-Royce EV could be good for around 300 miles of range, but what’s really more important is that the silent nature of EVs will vibe very well with a brand like Rolls-Royce. In fact, it’s the one worry the company doesn’t have to share with other automakers like McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and even parent company BMW, who’s cars are always expected to emit a specifically beautiful soundtrack.
“Electrification fits perfect with Rolls-Royce -- it's torquey, it's super-silent. We are not known for roaring loud engines and exhaust noises whatsoever, and that is a big benefit.”
So, end the end, the transition to electrification could end up being a lot easier on Rolls-Royce than it is a lot of other high-end automakers. The big thing for Rolls will be to nail as much range as possible while keeping decent performance because nobody wants to have a car that costs well into the six-figure range, exudes luxury from every crevice but needs to be plugged in more often than not.