The Rolls Royce Phantom will not see a plug-in hybrid version, but go straight to a fully electric luxury vehicle in the near future.
The word is that Rolls Royce, will introduce an electric version of the Phantom sometime in the future. This announcement from Autocar comes more than six years after the British automaker teased the idea of an EV concept at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show.
The Phantom EV Concept (at the time) displayed a large 71-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. With two motors producing 590lb-ft of torque, this concept was said to reach 60mph in just under 8 seconds. At the show, Rolls Royce debuted its electric Phantom concept called the 102EX (video below); however, the company decided not to go through with a production model.
In an interview with Automotive News, CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös supported that decision through a practical explanation.
"“Buyers of the $380,000 Phantom and $245,000 Ghost models often live on the outskirts of major cities and may not accept an electric car’s 100-mile range.Let’s wait and see what our customers are telling us, but hybrids have a certain capability to deliver both electric driving combined with a normal combustion engine, and that might be a solution”"
Despite that statement, Rolls Royce is apparently changing its mind due to the implementation of stricter pollution regulations.
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Thus, the British luxury brand is planning to produce an electric Phantom despite the lack of consumer demand – a risk that may very well pay off. After all, pollution has become particularly problematic in Asia, where some of its cities may soon prohibit internal combustion engines together.
Müller-Ötvös told AutoCar that, “I haven’t seen a single cheque landing on my desk saying ‘build me one’” [But] We will go full electric, we don’t do any interim steps.”
Looking toward the future, Rolls Royce is apparently planning to make even more bespoke cars. For the 2018 model year, buyers of the new Phantom can customize artwork underneath the glass on the dashboard to suit their unique tastes. Who knows, in the future the automaker could give customers more control over the car’s digital displays and enable bodywork customization using 3D printing.
“For me, the future of luxury is that you have to get more and more bespoke,” said Müller-Ötvös.
We look forward to hearing more about the upcoming electric Phantom, and seeing how it measures up to other EVs on the market. Stay tuned!