It costs more than most of us earn in a year and comes from a company which only sold 2,711 cars last year, but the Rolls-Royce 102 EX Phantom Experimental Electric unveiled earlier today at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show has taken luxury electric vehicles to a whole new level.
Resplendent with a tan leather interior and hand-stitched detailing, the 102 EX Phantom Experimental Electric promises to provide the upmost in luxury for you (and your chauffeur, naturally).
Gone is the Rolls-Royce Phantom’s 6.75 liter, 453bhp (337kW) V12 Gasoline engine and in its place lies a 71 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack and twin water-cooled motors developing 290 kilowatts (388 bhp) of power.
Power is transmitted from the battery pack to the motors by not one but two high power inverters, situated in the rear of the vehicle.
Thanks to the way in which electric motors provide near instant torque from standstill, the 102 EX Phantom Experimental Electric enjoys 590 ft-lbs of torque, up from the gasoline Phantom’s 531.
To quickly charge one of the largest electric car battery packs every used, the 102 EX features a pair of three-phase chargers normally reserved for commercial electric delivery vehicles.
But that shouldn’t worry the sort of clientele Rolls-Royce is used to selling its cars to.
Charging one’s electric Rolls at a public level 2 charging station would be just too vulgar: charging at home in the converted coach-house purpose-built three-phase charging station becomes the de rigueur solution.
Sadly though, Jeeves won’t be polishing the new car any time soon, nor will one be making a trip to The Hamptons in it any time soon. One can dream though, by visiting the 102 EX's own website at www.electricluxury.com
Like its parent group BMW, Rolls-Royce has said the 102 EX will remain a prototype test vehicle to prove the viability of the technology before it makes any commitments to produce a commercial version of the car.
Then again, when every Rolls-Royce is primarily hand-made, we’re convinced a wealthy client somewhere could twist the luxury car maker’s corporate arm to sneak a few out without anyone noticing.