Eclectic Meets Electric: Rolls-Royce 102EX Phantom

Throughout its existence, Rolls-Royce has relied on the use of internal combustion engines in propelling their automobiles to the highest of heights in luxury motoring. The 107-year of building vehicles to the ultimate zenith of uncompromised luxury, Rolls-Royce’s history has gravitated to gasoline. Even as modern trends seek a new definition of luxury through more compact sizes and alternative powertrains, British luxury badge Rolls-Royce was never seen on a provocative design study until the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Experimental concept car Rolls-Royce 102EX Phantom reveals what could be the grandest electric car ever produced.

Composing the form of the production-going Rolls-Royce Phantom sedan, the 102EX project car major notable difference is found through underneath the enormous 229.7 inch body. Gone from under the Rolls-Royce’s bonnet, the 6.7 liter V-12 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission is replaced with a more experimental propulsion. The 102EX Phantom EE (Experimental Electric) features an all-electric transplant consisting of two electric motors and a Lithium-Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese-Oxide battery. Rolls-Royce contacted British-based Lotus Engineering for the outfitting of this zero-emissions electric powertrain. Foregoing the 453 horsepower which would be been on tap if the V-12 gasoline engine was retained, each electric motor produces 145 kilowatts of energy collecting in moving the converted Phantom EE with 389 horsepower. Projected charging time for the Rolls-Royce 102EX Electric’s lithium ion battery is estimated at 8 hours on a three-phase power supply.

Balancing the electrical power hardware in the engine compartment and behind the rear seat, Lotus Engineering maintained 50:50 weight distribution on the Rolls-Royce 102EX Phantom EE sedan promising some rather impressive performance. According to Lotus Engineering, 0 to 62 mile per hour acceleration is under 8 seconds inside Rolls-Royce’s 102EX concept car. Behind strong but silent acceleration, this Rolls-Royce achieves an electronically-limited top speed of 160 kilometers per hour (just under 100 miles per hour). Slightly subdued compared to the production Phantom model, the Rolls-Royce 102EX concept’s powertrain achieves quiet, graceful movement befitting the product’s ‘Phantom’ name.

In classic Rolls-Royce manner, the electric-powered concept sedan continues to feature fine interior and exterior details few automobiles would dare to replicate. A painstakingly applied 16-coat paint scheme over the Phantom’s aluminum body blends a compound called Atlantic Chrome into the gentle blue exterior. A ceramic nano particle said to be up to 80,000 times thinner than a hair, the 102EX Phantom EE is given a highly reflective shimmer. Special outer design attention was also directed at the electric recharging port. Located on the passenger side of the rear roof pillar, a five-pin socket is accompanied by tri-coloured LED lighting behind a clear access door. Rolls-Royce is also said to be testing a version of induction charging which requires no physical contact through the electrical recharging process.

Inside, the Atlantic Chrome treatment is found within the dash dials, a battery charge indicator appropriately takes the place of the fuel gauge. Unique wood veneers and leather is chosen by Rolls-Royce for the Phantom EE suiting the more environment conscious theme. Using a upholstery called Corinova leather, vegetable-based tanning is brushed on the providing a colouring which is not only petroleum free but recyclable.

Shown at the Geneva Motor Show without true intentions of production, the 102EX Phantom EE concept demonstrates that Rolls-Royce could be connecting with its history more than some would believe. Amusingly enough, that co-founder Henry Royce humble beginning involved working as an electrical engineer.

Information and photo source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

About The Author

Admiring automobiles ever since childhood viewership of the TV show Knight Rider, Chris Nagy grew as an enthusiast enroute to become an automotive and motorsport writer. Drawn to the rich world of motoring, Chris discovers charm everywhere in the industry from supercars like the Bugatti Veyron to a Kia Soul. Car design, engineering, performance and the passion itself fuels his daily existence.

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