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Rolls-Royce Changes its Mind on Phantom EV

Automaker won't make a hybrid version

Automaker won't make a hybrid version

Rolls-Royce will likely introduce an electric version of the Phantom, reports Autocar. The news comes more than six years after Rolls-Royce experimented with the idea in a concept car.

An electric Phantom concept debuted at the 2011 Geneva auto show, but ultimately, the automaker decided not to follow through with a production version. In an interview with Automotive News that same year, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös lamented the concept’s 100-mile (160-km) range could prove impractical for many Rolls customers who live on the outskirts of major cities.

Rolls-Royce is apparently rethinking this strategy, thanks to stricter pollution regulations. This is a particular issue in Asia, Rolls says, where it predicts some cities will soon prohibit internal combustion engines. Thus, the automaker is mulling a Phantom EV despite a lack of customer demand. “I haven’t seen a single check landing on my desk saying ‘build me one,’” Müller-Ötvös told Autocar recently.

Years ago, Rolls-Royce hinted it could introduce a hybrid Phantom. But it seems that is no longer in the cards. “We will go full electric, we don’t do any interim steps,” Müller-Ötvös said.

The Phantom EV concept packed a huge (for the time) 71-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Two motors produced a combined 590 lb-ft of torque on demand, and 0-60 mph was quoted at under 8 seconds.

Rolls-Royce is looking to make its cars even more bespoke in the coming years. On the new 2018 Phantom, buyers can customize artwork set underneath glass on the dashboard, but in the future, the automaker could give buyers the chance to customize the car’s digital displays. The automaker could even enable customization of a car’s bodywork via 3D printing.

Source: Autocar, Automotive News (Subscription required)