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February 21, 2011updated 08 Apr 2021 8:18am

GENEVA PREVIEW: Rolls-Royce goes electric

BMW-owned Rolls-Royce has often boasted that the only noise you will hear in one of its cars is the ticking of the clock. Now when you stand outside you will not even be able to hear the engine.

BMW-owned Rolls-Royce has often boasted that the only noise you will hear in one of its cars is the ticking of the clock. Now when you stand outside you will not even be able to hear the engine.

The luxury carmaker revealed it has been developing the 102EX, a one-off, fully electric powered Phantom, to debut at the Geneva motor show next week.

The car will serve as a test bed to gather a bank of research data for future decisions on alternative drivetrains.

CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos, said: “”We have engineered the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment. With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drivetrains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive cars of the future.”

With 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), it is the company’s intention to carefully test the opinions and reactions to alternative drivetrain options of owners, enthusiasts, members of the public and the media.

The development car will serve as a working test bed for a global tour that takes in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. Through test drives, owners will be given the opportunity to experience an alternative drivetrain technology and to feedback their experiences, thoughts and concerns directly to the automaker.

There are no plans to develop a production version but, as one of the company’s EX models, it will serve as a benchmark for reliability and quality against customer expectations.

Muller-Otvos added: “I must be convinced that any alternative drivetrain we choose for the future delivers an authentic Rolls-Royce experience. It must be a technology that is right for our customers, our brand and which sets us on a sound footing for a sustainable future.”

Rolls-Royce is launching a website (www.electricluxury.com) this week to fuel a wider global debate seeking views on the question of electric luxury from media, VIPs and ‘stakeholders’. The site will also provide regular updates of the car’s progress while on tour.

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