Sept 2 2006 - 101EX is the latest experimental model to come
The 101 EX is hand-built to explore a design direction for a
modern coupe. Following the same uncompromising approach employed
for the Phantom, the new car is an engineering-led design wrapped in
a sleek, rakish coupé body.
101EX shares its state-of-the-art, lightweight, aluminium space
frame chassis technology with the other Rolls-Royce models, albeit
in a body that is shorter overall. Power comes from the Phantom’s
advanced, direct-injection, 6.75-litre V12 engine, which delivers
unstressed, effortless performance.
there are no plans for 101EX to be put into production. It is an
experimental car that explores future design directions, a showcase
for the innovative design and high-tech architecture that pervade
the quintessential modern Rolls-Royce car.
|| 453 HP@
|| 531 lb-ft @
Acceleration 0-60 mph
handsome, low-slung body of 101EX has been created by the
Rolls-Royce design team under the direction of chief designer Ian
Cameron. While the space frame technology has been borrowed from the
Phantom, 101EX is shorter and lower than that model: the wheelbase
is 250 mm shorter and overall length is down by 240 mm. All body
panels, therefore, are new.
101EX is powered by the same 6.75-litre engine as the Phantom. Using
advanced direct fuel injection with variable valve lift and timing,
the V12 combines power with outstanding combustion efficiency.
Designed to develop massive low-down torque, it delivers 75 per cent
of its maximum pulling power at just 1000 rpm, giving the smooth,
unstressed performance associated with Rolls-Royce.
is a very modern, 21st century interpretation of a classic Grand
Touring coupé,” says Rolls-Royce chief designer Ian Cameron.
unique exterior design features a discreet, streamlined grille,
complete with Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, that flows seamlessly back
into the aluminium bonnet and windscreen surround. LED sidelight and
direction indicators complement the round xenon driving lights.
elegant coach doors, hinged at the rear, allow easier access to the
101EX interior than conventional front-hinged doors and add
considerably to the handsome profile. Each door closes at the touch
of a button.
seven-spoke, 21-inch, forged aluminium wheels are used on the car,
making them as tough and as lightest as possible.
cosseting 101EX interior has been designed for elegance and maximum
comfort for all of its occupants, featuring machined aluminium, the
finest leather and exquisite rosewood and red oak veneers. Even the
side and rear windows have wood surrounds.
interior uses traditional materials in a modern way,” says Alan
Sheppard who, together with Charles Coldham, was responsible for the
car’s interior design. Front slim-line, bucket-style seats offer
outstanding comfort. Rear seating is exceptionally spacious for a
coupé, with privacy ensured by the sweeping C-pillars.
is a response to the interest expressed by current and potential
Rolls-Royce clients in a coupé,” says Rolls-Royce chairman and
CEO Ian Robertson. “It is an experimental car only, but one
designed and engineered to a high standard. It radiates refinement,
performance and presence.”
the company’s second experimental car in 24 months, following
100EX, which was seen at Geneva in 2004 and marked the company’s
Centenary. “It shows that Rolls-Royce continues to operate from a
position of strength, and that we are keen to explore new directions
for the brand,” adds Robertson.
first experimental car, 1EX, was built in 1919 and based on the
styling of 101EX is more driver-focused than that of the longer
Phantom. According to Ian Cameron, “It is a less formal car, more
streamlined, more about the individual.”
Phantom is an awesome driver’s car, a vehicle that has amazing
performance and handling with exceptional refinement, whilst the
styling accentuates the spacious cabin - it is a luxury saloon,
after all. 101EX is dominated by its long bonnet and the inherent
power of the V12 lurking beneath. The cabin, although still
spacious, is more intimate and the exterior styling reflects
this,” explains Cameron.
is a very modern car, a 21st century design that respectfully nods
to the past but focuses indisputably on the future.”
roofline is lower than the Phantom’s and the glass area shallower.
The streamlined styling extends to the famous grille, which is
discreet and slightly reclined. “The whole shape is dynamic. It
sits low to the ground and has tight proportions,” says Cameron.
contrast to production Rolls-Royce cars, 101EX’s body is made of
carbon-fibre composite, albeit over the same lightweight aluminium
construction seen in the Phantom. The bonnet and windscreen surround
are finished in brushed aluminium, while the door handles and large,
oval exhaust tail pipes are hewn from solid aluminium.
elegant, rear-hinged coach doors are unique to Rolls-Royce. The
driver and passengers step in rather than fall in backwards, as
demanded in a conventional two-door coupé. The doors close
automatically at the touch of a button. Grab handles are ideally
placed in the rear to assist exit.
finished in dark tungsten, with matching carpets. Smoke grey leather
with navy blue accents finishes the interior.
contemporary look, straight-grained rosewood and red oak veneers are
used. This handsome polished wood is also used to frame the windows
in a modern interpretation of a coach-built tradition.
waistline of the car is high, accentuating the cocoon-like nature of
the cabin and the car’s strength and safety, yet the frameless
doors and pillarless body give excellent visibility. The four seats
are elegant and simple. Front bucket seats are leather-upholstered,
richly padded but slim. They are noticeably contoured to offer
superb support.In the rear is a cosier interpretation of the
Phantom’s lounge seat, a curved sofa that Sheppard describes as
“intimate for two yet superbly comfortable on long journeys”.
‘boulevard lighting’ provides a hospitable glow at night. In
addition, the extraordinary ‘Starlight headliner’ uses fibre
optics embedded in the leather headlining to give the impression of
a star-filled night sky. Controlled by a dimmer, it can exude a soft
glow or be raised to reading-light levels.
storage space includes a parcel shelf cabinet and wood-faced rear
seat stowage areas. Front door pockets tilt outwards to aid access.
The luggage compartment is large and trimmed in leather to match the
cabin. RR monogrammed umbrellas are stowed beneath the boot lid.
car is a technological tour de force, reflecting the extraordinary
engineering offered in the production Phantom,” says Ian Cameron.
“Yet, as with the Phantom, there is a real sense of the human
involvement - the hand-crafted nature of every Rolls-Royce which
gives each one a personality of its own.”
Rolls-Royce Phantom, 101EX uses state-of-the-art technology. It is a
no-compromise, engineering-led vehicle, developed to a much higher
level than a typical concept car
starting point was not what ‘could’ be done, but what
‘should’ be done”
the finest systems, materials and engineering ideas can go into a
Rolls-Royce car,” says Helmut Riedl, Rolls-Royce director of
engineering. “This is the philosophy behind all of our
101EX abounds in examples of engineering excellence. The space frame
chassis offers an unmatched combination of high strength and minimum
weight. The Rolls-Royce coach-door philosophy facilitates graceful
entry and exit. In addition, the space between 101EX’s double
floors allows for the wiring harness and other components to be
routed away from the cabin, improving insulation and refinement.
V12 engine is made from aluminium. It uses four valves per cylinder
and twin camshafts per cylinder bank, and features fully variable
valve-lift control and variable valve timing. This most advanced of
V12 engines also employs direct fuel injection, to improve
performance and fuel efficiency. At 1000 rpm, the engine is already
producing just over 75 per cent of its peak torque figure.
electronically-controlled, six-speed automatic transmission features
‘shift by wire’ technology, so there is no mechanical linkage to
the gear selector.
front suspension uses double wishbones; at the rear there is a
multi-link system. Air springs offer unmatched comfort and
automatically adjust according to the vehicle’s load.
the same engineering attitude that was behind the innovative Phantom
has been used for 101EX,” says Ian Robertson. “It is a
no-compromise approach using what is ideal, not what is convenient.
In 101EX you will find a marvellous blend of high technology and
craftsmanship - of engineering and personality. A blend that has put
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars back at the pinnacle of motoring.”