By Bennett Oghifo
The Rolls-Royce brand has imagined what its lineup of ultra-luxury vehicles will look like over the next 100 years.
Putting together a vehicle that is purely visionary is new to Rolls-Royce, which has never built a concept car in its 112-year history. Now it has rolled out the VISION NEXT 100 concept, trying to answer some key questions, like what is the future of luxury and how will Rolls-Royce fit into that framework.
Customization will be a large part of its future, like it is today, with Rolls-Royce saying that its future customers will be able to commission their cars as genuine one-off creations.
While details are scarce, Rolls-Royce says that the concept is built on a lightweight platform that uses an all-electric drivetrain for power. Composite materials and advances in production will also allow new “creative possibilities” for Rolls-Royce.
Inside, this concept features Macassar wood, hand-twisted silk carpet and soft silk upholstery, while plenty of sunlight is let in through a massive panorama window. Since it is fully autonomous, the steering wheel and instruments have been replaced with a large central timepiece.
Besides being able to drive itself, the Rolls-Royce concept has virtual intelligence that will be able to fulfill all of the passenger’s needs. It appears as a digital representation of the Spirit of Ecstasy, Rolls’ famous hood ornament, and is named Eleanor Thornton, after the model that inspired the famous logo.
Eleanor will work to learn everything about its passengers, including their favorite restaurants, routes and even art. Using voice interaction, she will work to tailor every drive to its passengers’ needs.
And to make sure that every arrival is a grand arrival, a red carpet will be projected onto the ground every time someone is getting out of the car.
“With the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 we were very mindful not to dwell on the past. We wanted to be as innovative as possible and at the same time transcend the design history of the marque,” said Giles Taylor, design director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Meanwhile, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is getting a final goodbye with the Phantom Zenith Collection. As promised, the British automaker has released details on the final special edition of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, as the open-top luxury car is being replaced with the new Rolls-Royce Dawn. The Zenith Collection will celebrate its history and is limited to 50 units, all of which will become collectors’ pieces considering every car is spoken for.
To create the Rolls-Royce Phantom Zenith Collection, the company’s Bespoke design team studied how the car augments the lifestyles of the brand’s discerning customers. Starting with the split-tailgate, Rolls-Royce has added a glass shelf, housed within the rear section of the tailgate. As a companion to a perfect touring day’s picnic, the shelf is effortlessly deployed, serving as the perfect place for champagne. There is also a champagne fridge that is large enough to hold two standard bottles and eight Rolls-Royce glasses.
Customers were also invited to complete their collection with a special Bespoke version of the Rolls-Royce Picnic Hamper.
Entering the cabin, the Phantom is treated with a central fascia drawer that houses a priceless memento signifying each car’s status as one of the last ever.
Inside there’s a removable polished aluminum case that has been laser engraved with the car’s unique identification number. Making it even more special, the company is including a single piece of the Phantom Assembly Line from the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England.
That piece of the assembly line will be unattainable by any other means and located on it is an expression of coordinates, stating the exact part of the assembly line that the metal was extracted from.
“As we begin to write a bold new chapter in Rolls-Royce history, I am delighted to present a Bespoke Collection that so elegantly celebrates two of the world’s rarest and most celebrated luxury goods: Phantom Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé. Phantom Zenith Collection motor cars speak of the marque’s unrelenting commitment to setting and advancing the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged.” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.