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Rolls-Royce 103EX Concept


Its 20 ft long and it is self-driving, I am talking about the Rolls-Royce 103EX Concept. The concept presents Rolls-Royce’s vision of how the future of luxury automobile industry will look like around 25 years from now. The model was developed to commemorate the parent company’s (BMW) 100 years presence in the automobile industry. It follows the BMW Vision Next 100 Concept which was unveiled earlier in the year.

Like many new concepts, the Rolls-Royce will be powered by an electric drive-train as the future of conventional engines continues to look uncertain. However, the concept caught many by surprise when the automaker revealed that the car was fully autonomous for a brand synonymous with chauffeur-driven cars.  Read along to get a peek into the future as Rolls-Royce sees it:

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Rolls-Royce 103EX Concept Exterior

I have never seen something like this from Rolls-Royce; in fact, I never thought the automaker could produce something like this. Though the model looks very futuristic, it is easily recognizable as a Rolls-Royce. This is courtesy of its gigantic Pantheon grille, long hood and the signature Spirit of Ecstasy emblem. It’s rather amazing that the automaker overlooked the current model’s design language and went further back to the 1920s to draw some inspiration for the model.

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The model is however dominated by futuristic designs such as the unconventional front fenders which appear to ‘swallow’ the model’s 28-inch wheels. This design was drawn from models of the 1920s and then tuned to look futuristic. It makes the model look as if it is floating.

The grille and headlights sit high to give the model a commanding stance. The headlights are nearly flat and horizontal while the grille looks vertical. Except for the futuristic fenders, the rest of the features look more conventional as they are adopted from early models.

At the rear, the model sits higher above the ground. The lower section is similar to what race car diffusers look like. The rear is also characterized by a fastback roof which is made with dark glass. The roof is designed as an aircraft canopy which is hinged to the left. The roof usually opens such that passengers can stand inside the vehicle’s cabin. To complete the look is a bespoke Crystal Water paint finish.

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Rolls-Royce 103EX Concept Interior

Unlike vehicles of today, the Roll-Royce 103EX Concept comes with a single reverse-hinge door on the left. To get inside, both the door and the canopy opens and a step emerges from the running board. The step is illuminated by a red, carpet-like lighting. This gives passengers a grand exit. It features a simple cabin which looks like a lounge but with a single couch.

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The cabin also features Macassar wool on the side panels. A huge OLED screen is mounted on the place where the dash and steering wheel are located in a conventional car.  The screen is used as the infotainment system to manage information on your destination as well as your schedule. The cabin is fully autonomous and there is no need for a chauffeur any more.

You would think that the couch is wrapped in premium leather; well, the automaker thinks leather will be an understatement in future. Instead, the seat is wrapped in ivory-colored silk which the automaker also used on the 2015 Phantom Serenity. There is also a seep-pile ivory wool carpet.

Fine leather is a however used on the sides of the huge screen. The model has an extra luggage compartment under the hood where a V-12 mill would sit in a conventional vehicle. This compartment slides open on the left side via the touch of a button.

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Engine and performance

Being a futuristic concept one that predicts the not so near future, the vehicle doesn’t have a drive-train to go with it. However, Rolls-Royce said that they believe that V-12 conventional engines will not exist in future.

The automaker believes that eclectic drive-trains will be central to achieving zero emissions in future automobiles. As such, the automaker plans to use electric drive-trains on its future models probably sourced from the parent company, BMW.  Electric drive-trains of the future will be capable of matching if not exceed the current output by the V-12 engines.

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Where can I see the model?

The model along with other BMW Vision Next 100 models, i.e. BMW Vision Next 100 Concept and the Mini Vision Next 100 will be showcased at Santa Monica, California in October 11 through to October 16th . During this event, the automaker will debut the final Vision next 100 from their motorcycle division, the Motorrad.

Personally, I don’t think this is a befitting concept for a brand that is supposed to be elegant in appearance and still maintain a commanding aura. Furthermore, I don’t think most of it features will even be used in future . Good thing, the model is not planned for production.

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