BMW is spending the year celebrating their 100th anniversary, but that doesn't mean they aren't spreading the love to their other brands. Today in London, Rolls-Royce revealed the 103EX concept – their own version of the Vision Next 100 ideal.
Rolls predicts a world where "each and every Rolls-Royce will be a unique work of art. Shape, size and silhouette." An ideal where every single car they make can be as bespoke as the buyer's chequebook allows. Their pathway to achieve this is to start with an advanced lightweight electric platform, which looks a lot like the skateboard platform GM showed about 15 years ago, and is modular to allow for the scaling of width and length. What this means is that the coach-built style common to Rolls of the early 20th century could make a return. You start with the platform, and attach a body to it from there.
The 103EX is a two-seat coupe with a massive door hinged in the center of the roof. The door pivots upwards and allows the driver to stand upright before exiting gracefully. No more pivot, twist, or unseemly scooch under the steering wheel. The body is stunning, with an upright grille lit with LEDs and massive outrigger wheels that are half covered in spats and half gleaming with lights. The car is nearly six metres long, with much of that is in the nose, and the tail rises up to meet the descending roofline. This is an electric vehicle, so there is no engine under that long bonnet. Instead there is custom luggage that motors out on an electric tray. Finishing off the exterior is a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy lit with LEDs.
Inside is a silk-upholstered chesterfield with seating for two and the floor is silk carpeting. There is a full-width screen for the entertainment system unbroken by a need for gauges or a steering wheel. Because this is an autonomous vehicle – after all, many of the original Rolls-Royce motorcars were autonomous. For the owner at least. If this is what the future is going to look like, I can't wait.