Rolls-Royce Phantom EE Concept -- Geneva Auto Show

By Editors on March 4, 2011 7:37 AM

The car initially teased as the 102EX turned up in Geneva as the Rolls-Royce Phantom EE -- for Experimental Electric -- Concept. Although some details are still being finalized, this elegant electric vehicle (EV) version of the Phantom four-door -- “the first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment” -- will serve as the focal point for comment and debate as to whether current and prospective owners are prepared to embrace a Rolls-Royce with this green of a character.

In place of the standard 453-horsepower/6.7-liter V12 and a six-speed automatic transmission, the one-off Phantom EE gets its motive force from a pair of motors that make a total of 290kw (389 horsepower), sufficient to take the car from 0-60 mph in less than eight seconds. The motors are energized by the largest battery pack ever fitted into a modern EV. It consists of a 71kWh lithium-ion battery pack that consists of 96 pouch-style cells. What Rolls believes is the biggest battery ever installed in any EV will provide enough juice for about 200km (124 miles) of real-world range and can be fully recharged in about eight hours. In keeping with its super-lux character, the Phantom EE has been designed to accomplish that process using a cable-less drive-over inductive charging system that matches a receiving element located on the underside of the car with a transfer pad that can be positioned anywhere on or in the ground.

In a more traditional vein, the Rolls-Royce Phantom EE Concept wears specially formulated “Atlantic Chrome” paint that incorporates nano-size particles of chrome in a brilliant 18-layer finish. In addition to its bespoke instrumentation, the Phantom EE’s opulent interior also features special Corinova leather upholstery that uses a vegetable oil tanning medium to bring out a richer, more-natural look in the grain pattern.

CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos noted that: “With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drivetrains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future.” Following its appearance at the auto show, this experimental one-off is set to spend the next year touring every major R-R market, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. The automaker also is soliciting opinions at on whether the idea of whether electric luxury is “perfection or compromise” at