Company CEO tells Autocar that the Phantom will skip hybrid and go full-electric, with seamless autonomy to come
Rolls-Royce is likely to launch an EV version of the new Phantom, according to CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, but there will be no hybrid model.
“We will go full electric, we don’t do any interim steps,” Müller-Ötvös told journalists at the launch of the new car in Switzerland. “Emissions-free is emissions-free.”
Müller-Ötvös admitted that electrification isn’t being demanded by the brand’s well-heeled clients – “I haven’t seen a single cheque landing on my desk saying ‘build me one’” – but will likely be enforced by legislative changes, especially in Asia where the company predicts some cities will soon ban internal combustion completely.
Müller-Ötvös confirmed there will not be a ‘Black Badge’ performance version of the Phantom – “It’s not right for that car” – and that Rolls-Royce has no plans to offer BMW’s semi-autonomous CoPilot system. He said the brand is waiting for more sophisticated ‘hand off’ systems, “when it is advanced enough that it is a real effortless experience for customers…not needing to keep your finger on the steering wheel”.
Rolls-Royce is also keen to offer much more bespoke content in its cars, potentially including the ability to customise digital screen displays and even to alter bodywork through 3D printed components. “Our long-term goal is to print bigger parts,” Müller-Ötvös said. “Maybe even bodies are possible…
“For me, the future of luxury is that you have to get more and more bespoke.”