sâmbătă, 18 iunie 2011
Rolls-Royce 102 EX (2011)
This is the Rolls-Royce 102EX. Also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric, it swaps V12 petrol power for a massive block of batteries and electric motors to create perhaps the least-likely EV conversion ever.
Does the Rolls-Royce 102EX work as a viable EV luxury limo? Read on for CAR's drive of the 102EX to find out...
It’s worth starting with the question of why Rolls-Royce is building an electric car. This is not, the firm is very keen to stress, a ‘green’ concept. This is not about environmental sustainability. It’s far more important than that: it’s about the sustainability of Rolls-Royce as a business. Its customers don’t ask it for more environmentally-acceptable cars. It’s not that they don’t care. If they want a Tesla or a Leaf or a Prius they’ll just buy one; they don’t look to Rolls-Royce for green solutions, and as one of a fleet of cars don’t drive their Phantom or Ghost far or often enough to be bothered by its consumption.
But this is a problem for Rolls-Royce, which knows that one day the oil will run out, and that it needs to be ready with an alternative to petrol V12s that its customers find acceptable. You’d have thought that near-silent, vibration-free electric motors that deliver all their huge torque instantly would be ideal; in the quest for perfect refinement, imagine being able to take the noise, vibration and harshness of an internal combustion engine (even a silky Rolls V12) out of the equation altogether. But a Rolls-Royce is more than a luxury good; it’s meant to be a supreme piece of engineering too, and the firm is remarkably candid about being unsure how important an actual engine is to its reputation for engineering. That’s why it has built the 102EX. And it seems quite prepared for its customers to hate it.