Company CEO tells Autocar that the Phantom will skip hybrid and go full-electric, with seamless autonomy to come
4 December 2017

Rolls-Royce is likely to launch an EV version of the new Phantom, according to CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, but there will be no hybrid model. 

“We will go full electric, we don’t do any interim steps,” Müller-Ötvös told journalists at the launch of the new car in Switzerland. “Emissions-free is emissions-free.” 

Müller-Ötvös admitted that electrification isn’t being demanded by the brand’s well-heeled clients – “I haven’t seen a single cheque landing on my desk saying ‘build me one’” – but will likely be enforced by legislative changes, especially in Asia where the company predicts some cities will soon ban internal combustion completely. 

Müller-Ötvös confirmed there will not be a ‘Black Badge’ performance version of the Phantom – “It’s not right for that car” – and that Rolls-Royce has no plans to offer BMW’s semi-autonomous CoPilot system. He said the brand is waiting for more sophisticated ‘hand off’ systems, “when it is advanced enough that it is a real effortless experience for customers…not needing to keep your finger on the steering wheel”. 

Rolls-Royce is also keen to offer much more bespoke content in its cars, potentially including the ability to customise digital screen displays and even to alter bodywork through 3D printed components. “Our long-term goal is to print bigger parts,” Müller-Ötvös said. “Maybe even bodies are possible... 

“For me, the future of luxury is that you have to get more and more bespoke.”

Related stories: 

Rolls-Royce Phantom review 

Our Verdict

Rolls Royce Phantom 2018 review hero front

The eighth-gen Rolls Royce Phantom is the second of the company's modern era. Is it still a world-beater?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Join the debate


4 December 2017
Many Rolls Royce owners find it easy to make their cars very effectively autonomous by employing a chauffeur.

4 December 2017

It is one of those cars where it makes complete sense, why have all that V12 goodness if they drown it out completely. Makes sense for the type of car this is and what it catters for.

4 December 2017

Theres no such thing as an "emissions free" car, zero emissions at tailpipe maybe, but not emissions freee, the sooner someone stops car companies saying this sort of nonsense the better.

XXXX just went POP.

4 December 2017

Power stations in the countryside cause far fewer air quality problems than petrol/diesel vehicles in city centres, that's the issue. Soon many big cities will start banning petrol/diesel vehicles

5 December 2017

Tell that to my Nissan LEAF, powered exclusively by solar power.

4 December 2017
As far as I know no one will ban hybrids. You may not run its engine on the City but the electric motor will take care of it.

4 December 2017

It’s a shame that a manufacturer that tries to be “the best in the world” at luxury should have to electrify a platform built around a giant V12.  Accommodating batteries and motors gives you much more flexibility, so a clean sheet design would be best.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week