Currently reading: Rolls-Royce: we set vision for luxury motoring, not Aston Martin
Rolls boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös claims rival firm has 'zero clue' about the upper segment of the car market

Rolls-Royce has claimed that it, and not Aston Martin Lagonda, has created and previewed the future of luxury through a concept car in an escalating war of words between the two companies.

At the Geneva motor show, Aston revealed the Lagonda Vision concept, which previews a radical new electric, autonomous saloon concept that’s due to make production in 2021. Rolls has today said that it came with a concept with that very brief back in 2016: the Vision Next 100, codenamed 103EX

Geneva 2018: Aston Lagonda Vision Concept previews 'radical' electric saloon

“When we revealed 103EX to the world in 2016, Rolls-Royce set the agenda for the future of luxury mobility,” said company chief Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “Since then, it has become clear that other car brands have acknowledged our vision, so much so that they have adopted most aspects, apart from the most visionary and radical. Rolls-Royce’s vision in 2016 was, and remains, all-electric, completely autonomous, completely bespoke mobility – coupled with ultimate luxury.”

Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 concept previews the future of luxury (from 2016)

Müller-Ötvös's comments and response follow Aston Martin Lagonda design boss Marek Reichman’s own comments to Autocar on how he views the current state of luxury cars and brands, including Rolls and Bentley

“Rolls-Royce and Bentley are Ancient Greece today,” he told Autocar ahead of the Geneva show. “I worked on the original Rolls-Royce Phantom. The brief was Buckingham Palace on wheels. It was important to do that to establish it. But the world has changed, and the royals have changed.”

Aston Martin design boss: 'Rolls and Bentley are Ancient Greece today'

Reichman also said “you can’t see Apple or Google executives in a Phantom” but you could in a Lagonda, and that current luxury cars were based around an imperfect package essentially carried over from the days of horse-drawn carriages.

“Look at Rolls-Royce: it’s the most luxurious car in the world,” he said. “Given its roots, its reason for being, it’s essentially still an internal combustion engine to replace a horse, a carriage and a trunk. It’s an imperfect package for luxury.”

Müller-Ötvös also responded to Reichman’s quotes to the Financial Times in an interview at the Geneva motor show.

“They really don’t understand our segment, they really don’t understand the customers,” he said. “They are in a complete different league on pricing, they have zero clue what’s going on in the upper, upper segment – zero. I am sorry to be so blunt.”

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Müller-Ötvös added that his company had always had an amicable relationship with Aston, and that he believes the comments were designed to stir interest in the company ahead of a stock market listing.

While Lagonda has production plans, the 103EX does not. However, Müller-Ötvös told the FT: “Rest assured, we are preparing ourselves, once the infrastructure is in place, and we see more and more customers wanting the cars.”

Read more

Geneva 2018: Aston Lagonda Vision Concept previews 'radical' electric saloon

Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 concept previews the future of luxury (from 2016)

Aston Martin design boss: 'Rolls and Bentley are Ancient Greece today'

Geneva 2018: More ultra-exclusive Rolls-Royce models on the way

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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brian245 10 March 2018

Rolls-Royce: we set vision for luxury

That's the best joke of Geneva coming as it does, from the manufacturer of the most hideous looking cars on the planet.

Their future concept puts me more in mind of the cyclecars of the late 1800s, so they are right onto it.

Well done BMW

Lover of cars 9 March 2018

If I had millions....

...I'd buy the Lagonda.  Stunning.  I cannot get over it.  As I don't have millions I'll aspire to the Jaguar iPace.  Both cars just changed my view of electric vehicles. 

bomb 9 March 2018

This is all a bit (Louis

This is all a bit (Louis Vuitton) handbags, isn't it..