Friday, November 18, 2011
Since her first appearance in 1911, the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine heralding every Rolls-Royce has spread her cape on clouds of carbon dioxide. Except in this car — the Rolls-Royce 102EX, whose wardrobe-sized bonnet covers a 1,411-lb box of batteries. It’s everything right, and wrong, with driving on electricity.
This isn’t a prototype, and Rolls-Royce has no immediate plans to rip the 6.75-liter V-12s from the Phantom-driving chauffeurs hauling the world’s grandees anytime soon. Instead, the 102EX serves as a rolling customer clinic for Rolls-Royce and parent BMW, which have shipped the 102EX around the world over the past 10 months, asking wealthy customers for suggestions of how to navigate an ever-warming world.