At almost 6,000 pounds, it takes a 6.75-liter V-12 to move a typical Phantom model to Rolls-Royce's satisfaction. But could this big car be driven by an electric power train, without compromising the luxury or driving experience? The 102EX, or Phantom Experimental Electric, is a concept designed to answer that question.
To drive the heavy Phantom, Rolls-Royce fitted what it says is the largest battery pack ever installed in a passenger car. This pack uses 96 lithium ion pouches and drives two electric motors at the rear wheels. The total power of this system is 290 kilowatts.
A charging port sits on the left C pillar of the 102EX, suitable for a J1772 electric car charger. But Rolls-Royce also includes an inductive pad underneath the car, so it can be parked over a charging pad. Charging takes 8 hours, although Rolls-Royce does not specify what source achieves this time.
The badges on the car use red letters for the two Rs, as did the first Rolls-Royce models. Black letters are used in current production cars. The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament is made of a translucent material, which glows blue from an internal lighting source.
Decked out in wood, leather, and metal, the cabin of the 102EX is as opulent as any Phantom model. The electric drive system should provide even smoother acceleration than the gasoline engine, contributing to the comfort of the passengers.
The controls and instrument panel are largely unchanged from a typical Phantom. The column shifter is the same, giving the driver the simple choices of R, N, and D. The 102EX accelerates to 60 mph in under 8 seconds, according to Rolls-Royce.
As in the production Phantom, the left gauge monitors the car's available power, but in the 102EX there is also a notable battery symbol. The former fuel gauge also shows the level of battery charge. The 102EX's range is 125 miles.