Rolls-Royce 103EX Vision Next 100 concept reveals the future of luxury

The Rolls-Royce crystal ball has revealed the future of super-luxury cars and it looks a lot like the EX103 Vision Next 100 concept

Rolls-Royce has provided a unique insight into what the ultimate luxury car might look like over the next century with a new EX103 Vision Next 100 concept.

The model was unveiled as part of an event celebrating owner BMW’s centenary held at the Roundhouse in North London, and sits alongside similar futuristic models from BMW and stablemate MINI.

Described as the first ‘purely visionary’ concept in the brand’s 112-year history, the model is clearly recognisable as a Rolls, and at 5.9 metres long, is broadly the same length as a Phantom.

• Best luxury cars to buy now

The concept’s body work almost completely encases its wheels, giving the impression that they're floating a few inches off the ground. The curving roofline and pinched rear end are classic sports car and probably the sportiest thing seen on a car carrying the Rolls-Royce badge in living memory. In profile, the uncompromisingly vertical Rolls-Royce nose is evident while the shoulderline steps up dramatically over the rear wheels to accentuate that powerful stance.

The entire roof of the car hinges upwards when the door is opened so passengers can simply step inside and sit down with no ungainly ducking. If you’re looking at that rakish rear wondering where your luggage is going to fit, Rolls has incorporated a large boot space behind the front wheel.

It’s based on an advanced lightweight platform with a high-performance electric drive that features two 250kw motors on the front and rear axles. But the wheelbase and even the design of the body can be specified by the customer, taking personalisation to new, unprecedented levels.

Four key pillars of luxury

The Vision Next 100 seeks to address Rolls’ customers’ needs in four key areas. The Personal Vision strategy will allow buyers to commission their own entirely individual Rolls based on a hi-tech chassis powered by a zero emissions powertrain.

MINI Vision Next 100 Concept revealed

The Grand Sanctuary promotes the idea of the interior as a personal retreat, and there is no compromise in luxury, as witnessed by the Vision Next 100’s use of Macasser Wood and hand-twisted silk. A huge panoramic window is claimed to give outstanding visibility, while the sense of space is heightened by the lack of a driver’s seat - the car is designed to waft along autonomously.

The third pillar is described as the Effortless Journey. Passengers are guided by a virtual assistant, represented in a digital Spirit of Ecstasy, which appears on a full-width transparent OLED display. This learns the preferences of the owner, and advises on journeys and points of interest accordingly.

• BMW Vision Next 100 concept car

Finally there’s what Rolls is terming the Grand Arrival. This showcases exterior highlights including Crystal Water paintwork, a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy illuminated from inside and light projections that create a virtual red carpet for occupants to walk on.

Giles Taylor, Design Director Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “With the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 we were very mindful not to dwell on the past. We wanted to be as innovative as possible and at the same time transcend the design history of the marque.”

Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW group design, added: “In celebration of the pioneering spirit, the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 has been designed as the ultimate expression of the future of super-luxury mobility. It is an enlightening vision of the fascinating possibilities of Rolls-Royce in future.”

Do you think Rolls-Royce is headed in the right direction? Let us know in the comments section below…

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