Automotive

Rolls-Royce's first pure concept car puts the future on notice

Rolls-Royce's first pure conce...
The Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 resembles a catamaran on wheels
The Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 resembles a catamaran on wheels
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The Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 resembles a catamaran on wheels
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The Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 resembles a catamaran on wheels
The Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 is the company's first concept vehicle
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The Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 is the company's first concept vehicle
The Vision Next 100 is powered by two 250 watt engines which allowed the designers to create an even more streamlined vehicle
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The Vision Next 100 is powered by two 250 watt engines which allowed the designers to create an even more streamlined vehicle
The body of the Vision Next 100 features an all glass clamshell top
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The body of the Vision Next 100 features an all glass clamshell top
The silhouette of the Vision Next 100 is in clear contrast to the Rolls Royce's of today
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The silhouette of the Vision Next 100 is in clear contrast to the Rolls Royce's of today
Arrive at your destination and the doors open automatically
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Arrive at your destination and the doors open automatically
Without a combustion engine, the engine compartment now becomes an automated luxury compartment
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Without a combustion engine, the engine compartment now becomes an automated luxury compartment
The wheels are handmade from 65 individual pieces of aluminum
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The wheels are handmade from 65 individual pieces of aluminum
Despite the futuristic design, there's no mistaking the Rolls Royce grill and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament
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Despite the futuristic design, there's no mistaking the Rolls Royce grill and Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament
The iconic logo leaves no question that this concept is still a Rolls Royce
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The iconic logo leaves no question that this concept is still a Rolls Royce
Interior seating is confined to a single silk-covered sofa surrounded by wood paneling and wool carpet
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Interior seating is confined to a single silk-covered sofa surrounded by wood paneling and wool carpet
The Vision Next 100 interior is more lounge than automobile with the OLED screen providing all of the necessary information and entertainment
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The Vision Next 100 interior is more lounge than automobile with the OLED screen providing all of the necessary information and entertainment
Rolls Royce has designed the Vision Next 100 as its vision of the future of luxury travel
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Rolls Royce has designed the Vision Next 100 as its vision of the future of luxury travel

Concept cars are meant to push the edges of what's possible, but the Rolls Royce Vision Next 100 (codenamed 103EX) has taken that idea to a level that most other brands could only hope to achieve. Revealed earlier today at the London Roundhouse, Rolls Royce's first-ever pure concept in its 105-year history is a fully autonomous vehicle that for all intents and purposes is a rolling luxury living room.

Paying homage to the company's heritage of creating luxurious and handcrafted vehicles, Rolls Royce describes the Vision Next 100 as more than a means of transport; it's both a sanctuary and a statement.

Let's start with the fact that the Vision Next 100 is designed without the need for a driver. There's no steering wheel, dashboard or anything resembling a way for a passenger to take control if necessary. Clearly, Rolls Royce is envisioning a world in which autonomous vehicles are the norm.

The seating arrangement is a silk-covered sofa ensconced in Macassar wood paneling and trim, and deep-pile wool carpet with room for two, possibly three adults. An OLED screen gives you information about your trip, destination and more than likely the people you'll meet when you arrive. Heading on a longer trip or bored with what's going on outside? Watch a movie.

The Vision Next 100 interior is more lounge than automobile with the OLED screen providing all of the necessary information and entertainment
The Vision Next 100 interior is more lounge than automobile with the OLED screen providing all of the necessary information and entertainment

Rolls Royce has done away with the behemoth V-12s that power today's models. Instead, two 250 kW electric motors, one mounted inboard between the two front wheels and the other inboard between the rear wheels, quietly propel the Vision Next 100 and its passengers.

Considering the vehicle comes in at 5.9 meters (19.4 ft) in length and 1.6 meters (5.2 ft) high, it may need every watt those two motors can generate.

The wheels are handmade from 65 individual pieces of aluminum
The wheels are handmade from 65 individual pieces of aluminum

Resembling a catamaran on wheels, the Vision Next 100 body is a combination of metals and an all-dark glass top. The 28-inch wheels are hand-made from 65 individual pieces of aluminum.

Hearkening back to a time when passengers of horseless carriages were able to enter and exit without having to stoop to avoid hitting their head, the Vision Next 100 incorporates a clamshell-style hinged roof that automatically rises from the left to allow passengers to exit fully upright. A footstep deploys from the side of the car and a red light illuminates the way.

There's very little on this concept that isn't automated, and much of it is controlled by the Rolls Royce version of Siri called Eleanor, a nod to Eleanor Thornton who was the inspiration for the Spirit of Ecstasy figure that adorns the hood of every Rolls Royce.

On command, Eleanor would be able to deliver the Vision Next 100 to your door, plot your course, and ensure the vehicle arrives at the correct destination.

The body of the Vision Next 100 features an all glass clamshell top
The body of the Vision Next 100 features an all glass clamshell top

BMW has clearly made good on its efforts to continue positioning Rolls Royce as an exclusive premier luxury brand after a back and forth with Volkswagen in the late '90s and early 2000s over who owned what elements of the marque. Since gaining full control over the brand, BMW has silenced most skeptics with the Rolls Royce Phantom, Ghost, Wraith and the recently introduced Dawn.

The future in which a vehicle even vaguely resembling the Vision Next 100 could be viable may be some years away, but as with any concept, it will be interesting to see which elements of this one end up in a Rolls Royce – sooner or later.

To get an even better sense of the Rolls Royce Vision Next 100, take a look at the video.

Source: Rolls Royce

21 comments
Derek Howe
nice commercial. The wheels being half hidden looks a little weird...But I suppose I think that because I've never seen it done before. The rims themselves look very nice, and the interior was beautiful. That's a future I would like to see.
Imran Sheikh
like everything in this Concept except wheel cover and cap(fan shaped). wheel covering. needs to have more ground clearance & Circular. At first i thought wheel fan Caps shape was gonna suck air in, but its not. not unless it gets dirty. also the Noise created by the fan shape will be Annoying. Although it will always require "Driving Manual Override" in Extreme scenarios like Attacks , Riots and Extremities
myale
Wondering how they will stop water from ruining that interior if it is raining, when that roof folds opens. Enclosed wheels have yet to make it onto a design as the maintenance issue, has always been a problem - perhaps like drag racing where you have a lift body or perhaps Rolls Royce will automate the maintenance so when park it in your automated garage an automated mechanic /programme sorts everything.
GrahamWyles
Oh brave new world That has such features in it.
Sergiuss
Haute couture in a prêt-à porter world.
f8lee
It seems to me that when self-driving cars are the norm, the entire concept of owning what essentially becomes a mundane transportation device will pretty much go away - if it's just a matter of "sitting in the cocoon and waiting to get there" then who's going to be impressed with the guy in the next chair on wheels? Do people select flights based on the aircraft being used by a given airline? Not so much. Sure, the 1%-ers today have their G9s and so forth, but there are values in private aircraft for those who can afford them (carbon footprint be damned) - infinitely flexible routes and schedules, mainly. I doubt that any similar kind of snob appeal will translate to ground based transport, though, because if the basic activity is to "call up a vehicle to pick me up and take me over there" and everything is essentially chauffeur-driven (well, by robotic chauffeurs) then whose ego will be stroked by having a different looking bus?
Bob Flint
Won't make it out of the assembly line with little or no evidence of suspension, fender to ground clearance what a fantasy for the rich who have there backside sucked to the seats as the restrain system's are lacking.
James P Pratt
Looks like a well-designed battering ram. :)
Ron Olson
Sorry, but I think that it's butt-ugly and a half. This crate will be a long way off, probably after I'm worm food.
ei3io
With only left side for access it works only for the left hand traffic or else you step into traffic everywhere else but for the lefty's countries,, or they make two totaling mirror opposite vehicles,,,