Royce 100 EX
dates : 4th July 2004
8th July 2004
for perfection in everything that you do. Take the best that
exists and make it better. When it doesn't exist, design it.
That was the company credo given by Sir Henry Royce a century
ago, when Rolls Royce was founded in England at the beginning
of the twentieth century.
And this experimental Rolls-Royce 100 EX could well lay claim
to living up to those ideals.
Based on an aluminium space-frame chassis with a steel and
aluminium convertible body, the 100 EX is the first
experimental car to be built by Rolls Royce since its
take-over by BMW in 1998.
Rolls Royce makes the distinction between an experimental car
and a concept car. This experimental car is a fully-functional
car, rather than a show car embodying concepts that may never
be used in production.
The 100 EX is based on the Roll-Royce Phantom sedan, the first
BMW-managed Rolls-Royce model.
But it is some one hundred and sixty five millimeters shorter
than the Phantom, substantially lower, and embodies a strong
nautical theme in its styling.
Designed by BMW's Design Studio in California, the car is the
first convertible since the Corniche models of over a decade
And as California is the home of the convertible, the
Rolls-Royce management felt it was appropriate that an
experimental convertible had its conceptualisation in the land
of surf and sun.
The nautical theme is shown in the use of aluminium on the
bonnet and on the cockpit surrounds. This is carried through
by the use of bleached teak decking inside and outside the
Aluminium billet is used on the windscreen frame and also on
the waste rail that runs around the car.
The bonnet is created by milled aluminium, and topped off by a
solid silver Spirit of Ecstasy radiator mascot.
The radiator grille has also been given a more 21st century
look and more sporty than the dominant grille seen on the
latest imposing Rolls-Royce Phantom.
The convertible soft-top is crafted from an advanced fabric
using woven wire fibres, giving it great strength. The hood is
lined with cashmere in the interior.
An interesting feature of the boot area is that it features a
split opening. The lower half can be lowered like a tailgate,
and this too is lined with teak decking, creating a sort of
picnic table area.
Another interesting theme is the hinging of the doors. These
are hinged at the rear, giving the car the famous
"suicide door" look popular in the 1930s.
Mahogany wood is used for the interior wood trim, along with
Curzon leather in some eye-catching colours.
Powering this imposing car, with its 21-inch aluminium-machined
wheels, is a nine-littre v16 engine.
This is naturally aspirated, rather than using a turbocharger
or supercharger. Rolls Royce feels that this large-capacity
engine is more in keeping with its reputation for effortless
power. It uses a six-speed automatic gearbox.
While many of the slightly fussy themes of the 100EX will be
discarded, it is almost certain that a car based on this
experimental version will make it into production.
Since the demise of the Corniche nearly two decades ago there
has been a strong demand for an open-air Rolls Royce.
Car Torque is