OEM INTERVIEW | ROLLS-ROYCE
With an eye towards
autonomous mobility, Rolls-
Royce unveiled its 103EX
concept in 2018, which
offers a glamorous glimpse
of how its wealthy patrons
could be transported in the
future. Rejecting the popular
idea that road users will all
be transported in identical
mass-produced pods, Rolls-
Royce revealed a future where
customers can create bespoke
luxury vehicles powered by
a zero emissions, all-electric
drivetrain. The marque’s idea
claims that through advanced
it will enable customers to
completely personalize the
shape, size, and interior of
www.electrichybridvehicletechnology.com // July 2019 // 99
working on this and exploring lots of new
technologies to make it a success,” he adds.
The next gen customer
At a BMW Group NextGen event held earlier
in 2019, it aimed to highlight upcoming
technology, reveal future concepts and address
future trends, with every brand under the
BMW umbrella revealing plans for the next 10
years and beyond.
Increasingly levels of autonomy seemed to go
hand-in-hand with the advance of powertrain
electrifi cation and it is a topic that reaches as
far as Rolls-Royce, which has an equally strong
standpoint on the subject.
“Autonomous driving is being explored but
like electrifi cation, we will introduce it when it
is at a level that we think works for the brand.
So, we are talking full Level 4 or beyond, when
it is truly autonomous for our clients,” explains
“You have to remember that all of our clients
have access to a chauff eur and in the case
where they want to be driven, it is no problem.
Autonomous tech needs to be eff ortless, the
client has to be able to sit back and enjoy a book
without interruption from the system to take
over. This simply isn’t good enough,” he adds.
Although still very much traditional in their
buying habits, the average age of the current
Rolls-Royce customer is steadily declining and
the marque has had to react to shifts in tastes.
The latest generation of vehicles benefi t
from the latest infotainment and connectivity
technology developed by BMW, albeit handled
in a much more delicate and subtle manner.
Müller-Ötvös states that customers still don’t
want interiors ‘covered in big screens’ but
instead prefer their cars to be more like an
‘oasis of calm’.
of luxury, which
That said, the production line at
Goodwood, which still involves
a vast amount of hand-built and
highly specialized processes,
underwent a signifi cant
technological shift when it made
the jump from a two-line to
single-line system in 2017.
“The idea of electrifi cation isn’t
one we had yesterday, it is something we
have been thinking about for a long time.
The new architecture of luxury, which fi rst
featured on Cullinan, was designed with
electrifi cation in mind.
“Also, when we converted the production
line from a two-line system to a one-line
system, we considered what we might need if
we were to go fully electric and we are prepared
to go that way. Of course, it still needs some
changes. I would be blowing smoke if I said
everything could stay the same, so we might
see after we launch the fi rst EV some changes
to the line,” Müller-Ötvös explains.
A sustainable future
A shift towards electrifi cation and the
latest on-board technology might be
a marathon, not a sprint for the
3. The design of the
102EX charging port
proudly shows off the
incorporating a glass fl ap
4. The 103EX all-electric,
envisions a future where
vehicle luxury is bespoke