IF your car can drive itself, you may as well be sitting in the lap of luxury, right?
Thankfully, Rolls-Royce is now embracing the fully-electric and automated-driving experience, revealing the Vision Next 100 in London overnight.
This is fantastic news for those that don’t want to get behind the wheel, and are too cheap to hire a chauffeur, but need to get to Harrods pronto!
The images released are just a drop in the ocean of possibility for future Roller owners, with the manufacturer envisioning the concept will return it to its coach-making heritage.
The concept is aimed at the richest Rolls-Royce customers that desire a completely customised, bespoke body and interior built to their exact desires. The models will be fully-autonomous and use electric running gear.
The 28-inch wheels, despite being modern pieces of art constructed from 65 individual pieces of aluminium, will be hidden behind spats.
The concept, which was unveiled in London, was a result the firm giving its designers free-reign. They returned with a 5.8-metre retro-tastic vision of the future.
Rolls-Royce design boss Giles Taylor says the Vision Next 100 is “a truly revolutionary, highly authentic exploration of the future of luxury mobility”.
“With the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 we were mindful not to dwell on the past,” he added.
“We wanted to be as innovative as possible and at the same time transcend the design history of the marque.
“In the spirit of the great coach-built cars of the past, Rolls-Royce will create the chassis of the future, hand-built from the most advanced materials and powered by a zero-emissions powertrain,” he said.
“Advanced manufacturing technologies will enable customers to involve themselves even more in the design of the shape, size and silhouette of their personal Rolls-Royce vision.
“The future customer will commission his or her own concept. Rolls-Royce will design and manufacture this personal vision of each customer and make every Rolls-Royce a unique bespoke masterpiece.”
How they intend to get around crash-testing regulations with significant changes to bodywork for each individual car remains to be seen. Just don’t expect the Vision Next 100 to be produced in very high numbers.
Rolls-Royce will also install some personality to the on-board computer, with the voice of Eleanor taking care of passengers.
The name is inspired by the model for Charles Sykes’ original 1911 Spirit of Ecstasy, Eleanor Thorton, which still stands proud at the front of every Roller.
The artificial intelligence system will be the passengers’ chauffer, personal assistant, tour guide, and head of safety – the computer controls the safety features.
Eleanor will also direct the car to charging stations on its own.
Power will be all-electric, but details more than that remain scant.
“It has a blend of a futuristic, powerful, zero-emission drivetrain and advanced suspension that sees the vehicle almost skim across the road surface,” Rolls-Royce said.
“As a V12 combustion engine is most unlikely to exist in the future, one can only surmise how this Rolls-Royce will be powered. A hint may appear in the Grand Sanctuary that is the interior of the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100.”
Standing 1.6-metres tall, the Vision Next 100 will ensure passengers make a grand entrance, with the doors opening in a way to allow occupants in and out without bowing their head or bending their backs.
The interior is decked out with a silk-clad sofa, thick-pile woollen carpet, and a massive OLED screen. Subtle.
Cost? More than you can afford.