Rolls Royce stays busy at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show by breaking the stereotype of high-end luxury cars. The Goodwood-based company revealed to the world their first electric vehicle. In a concept form, the one-off 102EX is built atop the Phantom bodystyle and will serve as a test bed to gather data which will be crucial in future decisions around electric models going into production.
Rolls-Royce started with a Phantom and added 16 coats of special paint. The final decision was to use a highly reflective paint with ceramic nano particles to give off the shine of a metallic silver. The final four coats of paint are called Atlantic Chrome, and Rolls-Royce says the paint color becomes more impressive with more light.
The Spirit of Ecstasy gets a blue shade as well, as a sign that it sits on the hood of an electric vehicle. For the 102EX, she’s made of Makrolon.
The 6.75-liter V-12 was replaced by a massive 71-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery housed within the aluminum spaceframe. Rolls-Royce is using large-form NCM pouch cells, or lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese-oxide to be exact. Due to its experimental nature, the 96 cells are separated into 5 modules (38-, 36-, 10-, 8-, and 4-cell units) and arranged in such a way that the overall battery takes on the shape of an engine and transmission.
The battery weighs 1,411 pounds.
The battery outputs 850 amperes at 338 volts to two electric motors linked to a rear transaxle. The single-speed gearbox takes each motor’s 145 kilowatts (194 horsepower) and sends up to 388 horsepower to the rear wheels. Given its electric nature, the two motors will have up 590 combined pound-feet of torque on demand. The 0-60 mph time is quoted as being under 8 seconds, and there’s a governed top speed of just under 100 mph. A quite impressive performance for such a massive vehicle, around 3,000 kilograms.
The driving range is said to be up to 124 miles. In order to charge the battery, a three-phase charger would need 8 hours, while a single-phase (presumably 220/240V) would take 20 hours. Wireless charging is being trialed as well.
Inside, the company uses an experimental Corinova leather tanned with all-natural vegetable oil.
102EX will serve as a working test bed for a global tour that takes in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. Through test drives, owners will be given the opportunity to experience an alternative drive-train technology and to feedback their experiences, thoughts and concerns directly to Rolls-Royce.