Currently reading: Future Rolls-Royce Phantom to go electric
Company CEO tells Autocar that the Phantom will skip hybrid and go full-electric, with seamless autonomy to come

Rolls-Royce is likely to launch an EV version of the new Rolls-Royce 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.”

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Rolls-Royce Phantom review 

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

Mike Duff

Mike Duff
Title: Contributing editor

Mike has been writing about cars for more than 25 years, having defected from radio journalism to follow his passion. He has been a contributor to Autocar since 2004, and is a former editor of the Autocar website. 

Mike joined Autocar full-time in 2007, first as features editor before taking the reins at Being in charge of the video strategy at the time saw him create our long running “will it drift?” series. For which he apologies.

He specialises in adventurous drive stories, many in unlikely places. He once drove to Serbia to visit the Zastava factory, took a £1500 Mercedes W124 E-Class to Berlin to meet some of its taxi siblings and did Scotland’s North Coast 500 in a Porsche Boxster during a winter storm. He also seems to be a hypercar magnet, having driven such exotics as the Koenigsegg One:1, Lamborghini SCV12, Lotus Evija and Pagani Huayra R.

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275not599 4 December 2017

It’s a shame that a

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.

Ubberfrancis44 4 December 2017

As far as I know no one will

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.
typos1 4 December 2017

Theres no such thing as an

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.

Mikey C 4 December 2017

Power stations in the

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

AaronD12 5 December 2017

Emissions free?

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