Electric Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX Rejected by Consumers, Automaker Says


  • Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX Picture

    Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX Picture

    The electric Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX is back from its failed world tour. | April 30, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • The Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX, an experimental car billed as the world's first battery-electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment, has been rejected by consumers.
  • "We expected it to be better received, but no one wanted it," said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos in an interview.
  • In the long term, Muller-Otvos sees a plug-in hybrid as a more appropriate choice for Rolls-Royce buyers.

LONDON — The Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX, an experimental car billed as the world's first battery-electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment, has been rejected by consumers, the automaker told Edmunds.

"We expected it to be better received, but no one wanted it," said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos in an interview here on Monday.

The experimental car, which had been on tour as a "test bed" since its unveiling at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, barely interested luxury buyers. They told Rolls-Royce they didn't like its range or recharging time.

In the long term, Muller-Otvos sees a plug-in hybrid as a more appropriate choice for Rolls-Royce buyers, especially if countries like China or the U.S. introduce zero-emission city centers. The prototype gave consumers an idea of what an electrically propelled Phantom felt like to drive.

At the time of the Geneva unveiling, Rolls-Royce said it was seeking clarity "on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future." The Phantom 102EX then embarked on a world tour that included such spots as Singapore and New York City.

Phantom buyers may be among the most conservative in the world. They like the fact that the Phantom doesn't change much, Muller-Otvos said. He noted that last year's relatively modest Series 2 updates are going over well because the car didn't change radically. Sales are stable at 800-900 a year. The next-generation Phantom is more than three years away.

When the redesigned Phantom debuts, it will keep its aluminum-spaceframe construction.

Muller-Otvos predicts that Rolls-Royce will be among the last automakers to continue to offer a V12 engine, a mainstay of the Phantom.

Edmunds says: The Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX was the wrong vehicle to foist on the car's extremely old-school clientele.

Comments

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    Rolls Royce should have heeded Julian Casablanca's/Andy Samberg's warning "Imagine in your mind a posh country club The stuffy old money where the poor get snubbed The spread is bland, sauerkraut and boiled goose There's no way these people, will ever cut loose" And included a better boombox

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