Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Rolls-Royce 102EX

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the ultimate 21st-century expression of wealth on the road. Yes, there are more expensive cars and you can gold-plate a Veyron if you fancy, but nothing simultaneously exudes as much class and gives as little consideration to such mundane concerns as economy as the Phantom. It's big, it's luxurious, and when you're inside it, nothing outside matters.

Interesting, then, that Rolls-Royce have developed the 102EX: an electric Phantom. At the moment it's a £3m one-off prototype, but it will, in all likelihood, become a reality. A cynic might suggest that it's a desperate attempt to lower the average C02 emissions of R-R's range - which, frankly, they could do with - but it's not as if the company's ever been unwilling to embrace progressive technology. And an amped drivetrain makes more sense for a Phantom than a lot of other cars; the huge cost of the batteries is sort of swallowed by the overall huge cost of the car itself, while weight concerns are sidelined in a car that's already the size of a small house. The impressive 388 electric horses are more than enough for plutocratic wafting; a further benefit is the single-gear delivery, meaning that gear-change jolts won't spill your Krug.

It's silent, posh, swift, opulent, and non-existent. What self-respecting billionaire would settle for less...?

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