To celebrate the BMW Group’s 100th anniversary, Rolls-Royce has taken the wraps off its Vision Next 100 concept car, which it says “defines the future of luxury mobility”.
Codenamed 103EX and effectively previewing a product 100 years ahead of its time, Rolls-Royce says the autonomous concept anticipates the mobility demands of the luxury customer of the future.
With the Vision Next 100 concept, the brand says it “rejects the notion of anonymous, utilitarian and bland future modes of mobility”. Instead, Rolls-Royce reckons the concept represents “effortless, autonomous, spacious and beautiful luxury mobility”, with each vehicle as personal as each individual customer.
Indeed, Rolls-Royce believes the concept is but one example of a number of possible personal visions of the future, saying that a customer’s taste will influence the exact design of his or her Rolls-Royce and how it will be configured.
So, it drives itself, right? Well, yes. The Vision Next 100 concept features a virtual assistant and chauffeur named Eleanor, who advises her owners on itineraries, schedules and options before they leave their residence, reminding them about appointments and tasks and making suggestions to ease any anticipated impediments.
Rolls-Royce admits that a V12 combustion engine is “most unlikely to exist in the future”, adding that the concept – which measures 5,9 metres in length and 1,6 metres in height – instead uses a “futuristic, powerful, zero-emission drivetrain” and advanced suspension that sees the vehicle almost skim across the road surface.
Inside, the cabin features handcrafted fine-line Macassar wood panelling, sweeping across the interior from the coach door, and continuing around behind the OLED screen and up beside the second passenger.
The centrepiece, though, is obviously the sofa. Clothed in the “most opulent fabrics” (silk and wool, it would seem), it gives the impression of floating within the cocoon of the cabin. And it’s from this perch that one would likely say: “Home, Eleanor … and don’t spare the, er, horses”.