Launched at the Geneva Motor Show last year as a marketing exercise, the Rolls- Royce 102 EX electric vehicle program has now been officially shelved.
The reason? After being sampled by more than 500 people across the globe, feedback from existing Rolls customers and those in the market for bespoke luxury sedans was essentially unanimous – they didn’t want it.
Rolls-Royce understandably took a great deal of pride in putting together this car, a machine that, utilizing a 1,452 pound battery pack and twin electric motors elevated the concept of whisper quiet refinement and effortless acceleration to the next level. Sadly, a real world range of less than 100 miles and a charging time of approximately eight hours were deemed “unacceptable,” by customers, for this class of car according to Rolls’ CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
In fact, despite these lean times, those who have it apparently still want to flaunt it, meaning there is still a ready market for big V12 gasoline engines in this segment. “People love 12 cylinders,” said Müller-Ötvös in an interview with Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman. Even arch rival Bentley is actively promoting 12-cylinder engines, CEO Wolfgang Durheimer not only declaring that “12 cylinder technology is sexy,” but that “I’m quite sure we will find customers that appreciate it.”
That said, despite feedback from Rolls customers regarding the 102 EX Müller-Ötvös isn’t ruling out alternative propulsion for future Rolls-Royce models, it’s just that when a new application manifests itself it likely won’t be pure electric.
“I’m a clear believer that Rolls-Royce needs to look into alternative drivetrains,” remarked the Rolls-Royce CEO. “But I desperately want to make sure I have all customer insights into the project to make sure we understand the customer’s desire.”
Can you say plug-in hybrid?