The concept is an electric-powered car conceived to preview styling, packaging, electronic and engineering ideas being pursued by the famed British car maker for inclusion on future models.
It was revealed at Chelsea’s Round House in London alongside the Mini Vision Next 100 concept, a compact four-seater. Earlier this year, the BMW Vision Next 100 concept was displayed, showcasing its vision for the future of cars.
The futuristically styled Rolls-Royce is based around a lightweight carbonfibre structure, and is powered by a zero emissions drivetrain with two 250kW electric motors – one positioned at the front and the other at the rear, providing the big concept car with a total of 500kW. The drive is channelled to all four wheels – towering 28-inch items featuring intricate chromed spokes and housed within individual guards.
From the wheelbase to the body design, Rolls-Royce says the concept can be tailored to suit the needs of customers.
At 5900mm in length, the Vision Next 100 is 184mm shorter than today’s Phantom Extended Wheelbase. However, it provides seating for just two on a sofa-like bench seat, which is positioned at the rear of its rakish cabin.
The front end is dominated by a vertical grille bookmarked by free standing wheel arches either side, while the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy, made from hand-cut lead crystal and illuminated from the inside, stands proud of a long, sweeping bonnet that extends for over 2500mm.
Because it is a fully autonomous car, the concept’s interior does not have a driver’s seat, steering wheel or instruments, which creates a 'completely new sense of space', according to Rolls-Royce. The only instrument remaining is a central analogue clock below the panoramic window. Materials inside the concept include Macassar wood, hand-twisted silk on the floor and soft silk upholstery.
Giles Taylor, head of Rolls-Royce design, said: “Our brief to ourselves was to go well over the horizon and not to be restrained by near-term future styling."
Entry to the car is via an automatically operated rear-hinged door and roof that hinges skywards. Occupants can stand up in the car once the roof opens before stepping out, creating what Rolls-Royce refers to as a grand arrival. Light projections on the ground then create a “red carpet” effect .
The concept also offers the occupants a 'virtual personal assistant', which controls the vehicle and appears on the full-width transparent OLED display.
“The more time the virtual assistant, or as we like to describe it virtual chauffeur, spends with the occupants, the more it learns about his/her interests and needs,” said Taylor. “It can, for example, suggest favourite restaurants, interesting routes or visits to galleries.”
Using speech, passengers can also call the assistant to tailor their journey.
Without a traditional combustion engine taking up space at the front, bespoke luggage can be stowed underneath the bonnet of the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 via panels either side, which automatically open behind each of the front wheels to reveal stowage compartments.
Luggage can be stowed in the front of the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100, with a mechanism opening a hatch in the side of the car.
Rachel Burgess and Greg Kable