Rolls-Royce unveils experimental four-seat coupe at Geneva show
By Mike Hanlon
February 27, 2006
February 28, 2006 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled a second experimental car, 101EX, at the Geneva show today. It has been hand built to explore a potential design direction for a future coupe model. Experimental manufacture of motor cars and engines has long been a Rolls-Royce tradition. In 1919 the 1EX was produced, based on a Silver Ghost chassis. It was the first in a long line of EX cars that spanned almost 40 years, ending with the 45EX in 1958. The experimental car unveiled for the marque’s centenary in 2004 was named the 100EX. 101EX uses the same lightweight aluminium construction that was developed for the Phantom, although the body is shorter by 240mm. A full four-seat coupe, twin coach doors add to the car’s rakish good looks and streamlined coupe profile.
"It is a very modern car, a 21st century design that respectfully nods to the past but focuses indisputably on the future," said Ian Cameron, Chief Designer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The roofline is lower than the Phantom’s, with a shallower glass area. Streamlined styling starts at the front with the famous grille, discreetly reclined, and extends back across a brushed aluminium bonnet and windscreen surround. The rest of the sleek bodywork is finished in dark tungsten. New 21-inch forged aluminium wheels complete the exterior look.
Inside, the cosseting interior has been designed for elegance and maximum comfort for all four occupants. Machined aluminium, fine leather and rosewood and red oak veneers are used throughout. Slimline bucket seats offer outstanding comfort for front passengers while the exceptionally spacious rear seat delivers intimate comfort for two. Privacy is assured by the sweeping C-pillars.
The design team has experimented with interior lighting on 101EX, and the car features a ‘starlight headliner’ made up of hundreds of fibre optic cables to give the impression of a star filled night sky.
Ian Robertson, Rolls-Royce Chairman and Chief Executive, said, "101EX employs the same engineering philosophy as the Phantom, balancing high technology with hand craftsmanship. It illustrates the position of strength from which we operate and points the way for potential new models."
Currently there are no plans to develop a production version of 101EX.