Rolls-Royce has built a new concept car that is the embodiment of the future of high-end design. In addition to all the performance and design elements one would expect, the car boasts both a virtual chauffeur and a virtual assistant. The automaker is looking to own the electric ultra-luxury car segment but it has encountered its share of difficulties along the way. In 2011 a vehicle called the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE) also known as the 102EX was launched. This was Rolls-Royce’s inaugural journey into zero emission electric power-trains. The 102EX was sent to the MIRA research facility in Warwickshire for a series of tests. The car then went on tour in Asia, North America and the Middle East. However, the project came to a screeching halt after potential customers complained about the cars lack of range and other issues.
The new car is intended to help its parent company BMW celebrate 100 years of auto making. The car is called 103EX or “Vision Next 100.” (BMW has also released a car using the same name). The 103EX is a concept car that blends lavish luxury with modern elements like an electric power-train and autonomous driverless chauffeur.
The body of the 19 foot (5.9-metre) electric Rolls Royce is made out of composite and it is unlike anything the automaker has ever made or for that matter anything else on the market. Visually the first thing that you notice about the vehicle is that the front wheels are housed in their own fairings and separated from the body. Inside the Vision there is no steering wheel or manual controls. Instead there is a massive OLED display at one end, and a giant couch-like bench seat at the other.
This car does far more than just drive in style, it has a brain that helps it to function as both a chauffeur and a virtual assistant. The car can use its AI capabilities to navigate traffic, make restaurant reservations and help organize its owners schedule. The built in virtual assistant can even learn by interacting with its owner.
This is the car for those who like to make an entrance. Called the Grand Arrival, the forward facing door opens and a section of the roof lifts up to make ingress and egress easier. The car also illuminates a high tech red carpet like pathway.
Of course as with all Rolls Royce vehicles it has high end design touches like Macassar wood, silk, and wool. The car is far more than just intelligent elegance, it is even more than a state of the art power-train on an advanced chassis. Each car is tailor designed to each individual customer.
Although details of the power-plant have not been released, any electric engine would be superior, environmentally speaking, to their current gas guzzling emissions spewing V12 engines.
Rolls-Royce Group is banking on a sustainability strategy. The company is serious about having a positive economic, social and environmental impact. They are also keenly aware that this is about remaining competitive and ensuring the survival of the brand. As explained in a Rolls-Royce group sustainability strategy document:
“Sustainability will help improve our reputation, generate new revenues and
reduce costs and risks and help deliver competitive advantage and long-term value in financial, social, environmental and ethical terms, all of which is inherent to our corporate strategy.”