The most high-tech Rolls-Royce since FAB1 has hit the road, with a prototype of the road tested for the first time.
The 102EX Phantom is Roll-Royce's first crack at making an electric car, and it's probably the most luxurious 'leccy jalopy yet to draw charge. The BBC has taken the Phantom out for a spin and it lives up to its ghostly name, drifting along in "spine-tingling" silence.
The Phantom sports a socket for charging the car from the mains, but it also comes with an induction plate. The plate sits on the floor of your garage, and you park the car over it. The battery then draws power from the plate via the magic of induction charging. It's not as fast as charging with a cable -- a full charge can take up to 20 hours -- which could be an issue because of the size of the Phantom's enormous battery.
The 71kWh battery is probably the largest yet fitted to an electric car, and gives the luxury motor a range of 125 miles. The speed is capped at 100mph, but it'll hit 60mph in 8 seconds despite weighing an elephantine 2.7 tonnes.
It's an experiment at the moment, as Roll-Royce isn't even sure its hoity-toity customers give a hoot about this environment nonsense. If it ever does go into production, an electric Rolls will be suitably expensive: Rolls-Royce reckons electric cars can be as much as twice the cost of a normal car. It's testing the waters before production by inviting 500 existing Roller owners to take the Phantom for a spin.
What do you think of the Rolls-Royce 102EX Phantom Experimental Electric? Can electricity and luxury mix? Park your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook wall. Right, we're off -- bring the car round, Parker.
Photo credit: Automobile