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Rolls-Royce Rethinks EV Production

Rolls-Royce 102EX

Remember the Rolls-Royce 102EX concept? RR unveiled it earlier this year during the 81st edition of the Geneva Motor Show where they said that it might go into production sooner or later. However, the initial feedback was rather weak and most likely we won’t be seeing an EV from RR anytime soon.

Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, the company’s CEO, said that many of the potential buyers live on the outskirts of big cities and the car’s estimated driving range of up to 124 miles (200 km) would not be enough for the daily commute.

As a reminder, the 102EX packs a 71 kWh lithium-ion battery that is responsible for sending the power to two electric motors that generate a combined output figure of 389 hp (394 PS / 290 kW) and a remarkable peak torque of 590 lb.-ft (800 Nm). With this hardware configuration, the car is able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in “under 8 seconds”, on its way to an electronically limited to speed of 99 mph (160 km/h).

Source: Automotive News via WCF


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Rolls-Royce Celebrating Beauty for the Spirit of Ecstasy Emblem

During this period, the British automaker celebrates women’s beauty with the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its “Spirit of Ecstasy” emblem. The emblem was first crafted by Charles Robinson Sykes and adorns the hood of all Rolls-Royce models since then. So, Rolls-Royce has chosen to commission Rankin, a photographer, to create a collection of 100 individual images inspired by the Spirit of Ecstasy. In this way, he continued the tradition of inspiring Rolls-Royce’s work by the beauty of a woman, as it is said that lady Eleanor Velasco Thornton inspired the creation of the original emblem.

The collection of images “Rankin: Spirit of Ecstasy” will be exhibited in 2011 on a world tour at different art events, but also in dealer showrooms.

What is your opinion about this idea: does it capture the essence of women’s beauty and the entire symbolic meanings of Rolls-Royce’s emblem?

[Source: Worldcarfans]

Build Your Virtual Rolls-Royce Phantom Car with iPhone App

If you are a fan of the new released Rolls-Royce Phantom, you might also enjoy the news that it was also created an iPhone app, which allows you to build your own fully-customized version of this luxury car. You have 44,000 exterior color options and you can chose any color shade you want just by using the device’s camera to take a picture and then take a sample of the wanted color and apply it to the virtual Phantom car. After the exterior, you can create the interior, making the wanted choices about pipping, wood grains and all the other details.

The app can be used for free from the App Store, which is quite nice, because any iPhone user, no matter if he affords or not this luxury car for real, can have its own Roll-Royce Phantom car virtually.

So, what do you think, is this app really useful for us or for the Roll-Royce brand?

[Source: Autoblog]

Rolls Royce Introduces The LWB Version Of The Ghost

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

It really is astonishing to see that more and more automakers from all over the world are launching new models in China and some of them are even exclusive to this market. One of the latest car manufacturers is Rolls Royce and they’ve unveiled today at the Shanghai Motor Show, the long wheelbase version of the Ghost, along with several China-only Phantom and Ghost editions.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

The stretched Ghost is now 6.7 inches longer than the standard model and according to the luxury British brand, good for double the knee room. The car will be built upon order and at least this year, there are going to be only a few made, until RR can increase the production capacity in 2012.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

The heart of this model is its massive V12 twin-turbo 6.6-liter engine that produces 555 hp (563 PS / 414 kW) and 575 lb.-ft (780 Nm) of torque, allowing the car to reach 60 mph in exactly 5 seconds.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

One of the China-only models is the Phantom Drophead Coupe that has a Maiden Blue exterior paint finish with a Navy Blue and Seashell cabin, complemented by the Straight Grained Oak and Ebony.

The second model at RR’s venue in Shanghai is the Phantom Extended Wheelbase Saloon, featuring a Rhapsody Black exterior with an Ardent Red and Seashell interior finish with a Piano Black veneer.

Yet another model exclusive for the Chinese market is the RR China Edition Ghost, a model that sports a red interior which is contrasted with gold twin-coachlines, stainless steel pinstripes and gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy badging. For the exterior, customers will be able to choose from: Black Ember, Deep Garnet and Infinity.

All of these variants are part of Rolls Royce’s “Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection” of which only 100 units will be made.

Source: Rolls-Royce via WCF

Geneva 2011 – Top 10 Green Cars PART 1

The 81st edition of the Geneva Motor Show wasn’t that impressive in my opinion as there were too many concepts and very few production models. However, the list of “green” cars was quite impressive so I’ve come up with ten of the most eco-friendly cars that were revealed this March in Geneva; the order is random.

Rolls Royce 102EX EV Study

Rolls Royce 102EX EV Study

The engineers over at Rolls Royce brought to Geneva a Phantom-based EV that featured two electric motors, each of them developing 145 kW, and a lithium-ion battery that has lithium-cobalt-manganese-oxide “pouch cells” in a formation that imitates the form of a regular engine and transmission. These electric motors offer a combined power of 389 hp and a whopping 800 Nm of torque. The car can do 124 miles (200 km) on a single charge and is capable of reaching a limited top speed of 99 mph (160 km/h). It needs only about 8 seconds to do the 0-60 mph sprint.

Read more about the car here – Rolls Royce 102EX EV Study

Land Rover Range_e

Land Rover Range_e

It is a diesel-electric hybrid Range Rover that has a TDV6 3.0-liter diesel engine, combined with an electric motor. The conventional engine churns out 242 hp (245 PS / 180 kW), while the electric motors adds another 93 hp (94 PS / 69 kW), rounding up the total power figure to 334 hp (339 PS / 249 kW). The electric motor is powered by a 14.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is enough for about 20 miles (32 km) in electric mode, before the diesel engine kicks in, offering a total range of 690 miles (1,112 km). Land Rover said that the car has a fuel consumption of only 3.36 liters / 100 km and CO2 emissions of 89 g/km. Presented as a concept, the company said that they are working on a production version which should be out pretty soon.

Read more about the car here – Land Rover Range_e

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

Safe and green – this would be a short description for Volvo’s V60 Plug-in Hybrid. It comes with a standard power unit that outputs 212 hp (215 PS / 158 kW) and 324 lb.-ft (440 Nm) of torque, along with an electric motor that offers 69 hp (70 PS / 51 kW) and 149 lb.-ft (200 Nm) of torque. If you add these numbers, you get 281 hp (285 PS / 210 kW) and 472 lb.-ft (640 Nm) of torque, good enough for a 0-60 mph sprint in 6.9 seconds. On electric mode, the car can be driven for up to 31 miles (50 km). However, the car’s primary drive mode is a hybrid configuration where the 2.4-liter power unit and the electric motor work together, allowing the V60 to do a remarkable 123.8 mpg (1.9 liters / 100 km) and CO2 emissions of only 49 g/km.

Read more about the car here – Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

Renault Twizy

Renault Twizy

I was really impressed with Renault’s Twizy model, although the $9,500 price tag is a little bit too much for such a tiny car. Luckily, in some countries it might be cheaper thanks to the government incentives. You can lease the battery of the car for $62 / month for an annual distance of 4,660 miles (7,500 km). The Twizy’s maximum range is 72 miles (115 km) and a full charge takes about three and a half hours. Renault said that the costs are 15% lower in comparison to a three-wheeler scooter if we do not take into consideration the money paid for the battery.

Read more about the car here – Renault Twizy

Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer

Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer

I was surprised to find out that automakers are already taking into consideration launching hybrid race cars. One of them is Peugeot with its 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer which will make its official racing debut next year at the 2012 Le Mans endurance race. It has the same engine as the regular 908, but adds another 90 ponies thanks to the electric motor that is powered from the stored kinetic energy generated while the driver is braking. For a brief period of time, this extra oomph is released automatically to the rear wheels under acceleration.

Read more about the car here – Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 Le Mans Racer

Geneva Preview – Rolls Royce 102EX EV Study

Rolls Royce 102EX

The newest addition to the Rolls Royce EX concept series is the 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric. The company will bring it to this year’s Geneva Motor Show to gauge feedback from the automaker’s clientele, shareholders along with the general public to find out if they would like an electric-powered Rolls Royce.

Rolls Royce 102EX

The engineers used the aluminum spaceframe from the Phantom as the foundation of the 102EX and installed not one, but two electric motors (145 kW each) as well as a lithium-ion battery. The latter uses five lithium-cobalt-manganese-oxide “pouch cells” sized at four, eight, ten, thirty-six, and thirty-eight cells in a formation that imitates the shape of a regular engine and transmission.

Geneva debut: Rolls-Royce 102EX Phantom Experimental Electric

We start the week with some very peculiar news: Rolls-Royce is joining the green, zero emissions, all electric band wagon. If you feel dizzy and feel like you have to sit down, grab a chair. We understand.

BMW is pushing the limits with its green initiatives, so Rolls couldn’t be left too far behind. On March 1st, at the Geneva Motor Show, we’ll gaze upon the Rolls-Royce 102EX Phantom Experimental Electric, an all electric concept vehicle that might join the Rolls family. The car maker’s complete disregard for the well being of exotic fruit berry trees and the habitat of dung beetles makes this all the more strange, although justifiable.

No details regarding the technical specs were released, but they will be made public on the launch date. CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös defined the Rolls-Royce 102EX as a pioneer in the ultra-luxury electric car segment.

“We have engineered the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment.”, he said.

The Experiemental Electric will be taken on tour after Geneva, all over the world, through Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. The EE will be available for test drives, so that Rolls can get feedback about their alternative drive-train technology and about the overall driving experience.

In order to promote this new electric direction, Rolls has created ElectricLuxury.com, a website dedicated to hosting a discussion about the future of electric motoring in the luxury segment, open to the media, the larger public and all those concerned. This is also the place where you’ll find a record of the worldwide tour of the new Rolls-Royce 102EX.

So, what do we think about this?

Source: Autoblog.


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Audi And BMW Will Expand Their Factories This Year

According to Bloomberg.com, it seems that BMW, Mercedes and Audi AG (the world’s three largest luxury-car manufacturers), will expand their factory units in 2011 in order to keep up with the increasing customer demand.

Audi is targeting to overtake BMW as the largest manufacturer of premium cars by 2015 and for this reason it plans to increase the production of their cars and sport utility vehicles to more than the 1.15 million produced last year.

Mercedes and BMW have just about the same plans as Volkswagen AG’s Audi, with increased output at the Stuttgart and respectively Leipzig plant.

Juergen Pieper is a Frankfurt-based analyst for Bankhaus Metzler and he said that “the top three are poised for further growth”. “The momentum in luxury markets will continue this year and also in 2012.” He also recommends buying BMW, Daimler and VW shares.

This targeted increase in production output is directly linked to the continuous expansion of China’s market which became in the last years one of the two largest automotive markets in the entire world, after United States. To satisfy this increasing request, Audi is planning on spending $15.7 billion (11.6 billion Euros) through 2015 on plants as well as new models. Since 2009, BMW has already spent 1.5 billion Euros for the German plants and Daimler is at the moment building a small-car plant in Hungary for which they will invest a total of 800 million Euros.

BMW plans on selling more than 1.5 million units of their BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini models in 2011. In order to prepare the production of the highly-anticipated Mega City electric vehicle which is due in 2013, BMW is spending 400 million Euros at its factory unit located in Leipzig, Germany. The company also announced that it will roll out 20 new models by 2015 while Audi affirmed that they will launch 13 new models and upgraded cars in 2011.

As far as Volkswagen is concerned, they plan on investing more than 5 billion Euros for two of their factories in Germany, the one in Neckarsulm and the other in Ingolstadt, where the new Audi A6 model will be made. In addition, Audi said that pretty soon they will begin working on expanding the output of their factory located in Gyor, Hungary to 125,000 units per year.

In 2010, BMW finished a $750 million expansion of its United States factory, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in order to create the facilities for making the facelift version of the X3 SAV. The company has plans of increasing its production in South Africa, India and most important, China.

Source: BMWBlog via Bloomberg.com

How To Ruin A BMW 750i

If you have an old BMW 750i lying around your garage and want to ruin it, here is a brilliant idea: create this hideous Rolls Royce Phantom clone that looks awful from every angle. This replica is based on what I consider to find one of the most elegant cars of the last 25 years: the BMW 7-Series E32, the models made in the late 80s and early 90s.

There are so many things wrong with this car that we do not know where to start from. The most terrible thing about it is without any doubt that awful Rolls Royce sticker on the steering wheel. Plus, those wheels have nothing to do on a car like this one (assuming that it is an original Rolls Royce) and you can see that are very cheap models from far away.

The only good thing about it is the engine itself, the one from the BMW 750i, a V12 unit.

If someone with really bad tastes wants to buy this Rolls Royce Phantom clone, the asking price for this beauty is $75,500. With this amount of money, you could actually buy the latest generation of the 7-Series or a whole bunch of other cars that look way better than this cheap looking imitation.

Photos via MotoFilm.pl

Forbe’s Top 10 List of the Most Expensive Cars in the World

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe

The most “affordable” car in the top 10 list of the most expensive cars in the world published by Forbes is the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe – with a price tag of $447,000. Equipped with the same massive V12 453 hp engine like the standard version, the open top configuration is a real beauty to see and to drive.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce

At number 9 we find the beautiful now defunct Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce, priced at $455,400. Equipped with a V12 6.5-liter power unit that is capable of outputting 670 hp, it is the most powerful Lamborghini produced; at least until the 700-4 Aventador is launched. The SV is capable of reaching 60 mph in less than 3.2 seconds. Fitted with the 6-speed manual gearbox, the SV is a beast.

Ferrari SA Aperta

Holding the number 8 spot is the soon-to-be-released Ferrari SA Aperta, with an estimated price of $520,000. Based on the 599 GTO, the car will feature a removable soft-top and will be fitted with a powerful V12 670 hp engine which allows the car to reach 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The car will go into a limited production of only 80 units.

LeBlanc Mirabeau

The number 7 spot goes to LeBlanc Mirabeau, with a hefty price of $728,000. A Swiss race car that can be driven on the streets, what else could you want more? The heart of the car is a supercharged V8 engine that outputs 700 hp and 850 Nm of torque.

SSC Ultimate Aero

At number 6 we find the so-called Bugatti Veyron-killer, the SSC Ultimate Aero – priced at $750,000. With the help of the impressive V8 1,287 hp engine, the Aero has a top speed of 273 mph (439 km/h). Many of the body parts are made out of carbon and also the interior has received carbon insertions.

Ferrari Millechili Concept

At number 5, Forbes placed the Ferrari F70, with an estimated price of $870,000. We don’t know if it will be indeed called F70, but it will certainly be the successor of the Enzo and worthy of the name.

Pagani Zonda C9

The Pagani Zonda C9 holds the number 4 spot with an estimated price tag of $1.3 million. The car will most likely feature a 700 hp power unit developed by AMG. The car will go into a limited production of only 40 units, all of them featuring a high-tech carbon-titanium chassis as well as 4,000 new parts in comparison with the outgoing Zonda model. In addition, the car will be fitted with specially developed tires made by Pirelli.

Maybach Landaulet

The top 3 starts with the Maybach Landaulet, priced at $1.405 million. The car was first seen at the Detroit Motor Show in 2008 and is based on the 62S, but with an incredible soft top, a premiere for a car in this class. The car will be equipped with a V12 twin turbo engine and will offer all the comfort you could ask for in a car, even more than that.

Koenigsegg Agera

At number 2 we find the sexy Koenigsegg Agera, with a price tag of $1.5 million (estimated). Fitted with a 910 hp engine and a body made out of aluminum and carbon fiber parts, the Agera will do the 0-60 mph sprint in about 3 seconds. The people that made it say that it offers the most generous luggage space in its class, although not relevant for a car like this one.

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The number 1 position was of course grabbed by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport priced at $2.6 million. The car is capable of doing a top speed of 268 mph (431 km/h), according to Guiness World of Records, but the cars that are shipped to customers are limited to 258 mph (415 km/h). With a 1,200 hp engine, it is the ultimate driving machine.

My personal favorite from this list is the Koenigsegg Agera thanks to its sexy looks which makes it even more beautiful than the LP670-4 SuperVeloce from Lamborghini, at least in my humble opinion. The Phantom Coupe is my least favorite, although it is the most affordable car from this top.

Rolls-Royce Sales In China Reach New Record

Rolls-Royce Phantom

According to Bloomberg, in 2011 China will become the biggest market for Rolls Royce, surpassing the United States. RR sold about one third of its cars only in the United States and plans to sell about 800 units in China next year as it targets to grow deliveries eightfold in 2 years in the world’s biggest automotive market. In the first ten months of this year, Rolls Royce shipped about 500 cars to China, in comparison to only 100 cars delivered in the same period of 2009. These figures were published by Paul Harris who is RR’s Asia Pacific regional director. The company includes the cars sold in Hong Kong as China deliveries.

The company is selling more and more Ghost and Phantom models in China thanks to the fact that the income in the country is growing and the demand of high-end luxury automobiles is stronger. According to a report made by Hurun Research Institute, based in Shanghai, states that China has 6.1% more millionaires in comparison to 2009, reaching 875,000 people. Harris noted that “the Chinese market in general is showing only one direction. That’s exceptional growth, and it’s going to be ongoing for quite a while.”

The standard price of a Rolls Royce Ghost costs in China 4.1 million yuan because consumers are obligated to pay higher taxes on imported luxury cars. In the United States, the RR Phantom costs (for the basic model) $380,000, in comparison to China were the price is almost triple ($990,000).

In 1998, BMW purchased the rights to the Rolls Royce cars by paying $70 million (45 million pounds) and started manufacturing cars at a new factory ever since 2003. Harris said that RR might add an additional number of four dealers in China by mid 2011, in 2nd-tier cities like Wuhan and Tianjin. At the moment, there are eight Rolls Royce dealerships in China.

Rolls-Royce Ghost

In 2009, the sales of RR cars plummeted by 17%, but once the new Ghost model was launched, the situation began to shape up for the Goodwood, England-based automotive maker. By October this year, RR sold 2,007 units, which are a lot more than the previous record of 1,212 in 2008 and 1,002 in 2009.

The Rolls Royce Phantom is equipped with a powerful 6.75 liter engine and comes as standard with elegant soft leather upholstery. According to the company, an extended wheelbase version of the Phantom costs 8.2 million yuan. These imported luxury cars are significantly more expensive in China because of the high import duties as well as the various consumption taxes, in comparison to the United States for example.

A buyer of a car that has a power unit of more than 4.0-liters must pay a 25% import duty, 17% value-added taxes plus a 40% consumption tax, according to the researchers at J.D. Power & Associates. Harris stated that people that are ordering the Rolls Royce Phantom have to wait until May 2011 until they can have their cars delivered. He added that “it’s a story of success for Chinese entrepreneurial businesses; the Chinese entrepreneur works hard and wants to reward himself for a job well done.”

T-Pain’s custom Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe [with video]

We already know British cars like Bentley and Rolls-Royce are very successful among rappers and the Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe is one of their favorites. And T-Pain is no exception to that, especially with cars being one of his passions, a proof to that being the fact that he’s co-owner to Auto Extreme, a vehicle customization company based in Georgia. And this custom Drophead Coupe you see here was built by the company especially for its owner, fitting the car with huge 24-inch wheels, titanium hood and plenty of teak-decking at the rear.

Check out a video of T-Pain presenting his new car after the jump. (more…)

Mansory presents surprisingly tasteful Rolls Royce White Ghost tuning project

Mansory is definitely one of the most eccentric tuning companies in the world, as it combines some very interesting and impressive projects with some that are … let’s just say out of the ordinary, like the Porsche Panamera or the Bentley Vitesse Rose.

We’re sure many of you are still recovering from the awful blue and gold Rolls Royce Ghost project, but Mansory has modified the British luxury limousine once more. You won’t need to shield your eyes this time, as the Mansory Rolls Royce White Ghost limited series is surprisingly tasteful.

A subtle body kit was added, as were LED daytime running lights and a set of dual exhaust pipes. On the inside, the same luxury options as on the Ghost were kept, with just a few new materials making an appearance.

Performance fans will be thrilled to hear that the power of the White Ghost has been increased to 629 HP, and the torque rating is now 634 lb-ft. This allows for a 0 to 62 mph sprint of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph.

Only three models will be made, each with a tag of €119,800 ($152,407), not counting in the price of a stock Rolls Royce Ghost. It may be tasteful, but who said it was cheap?


Rolls Royce sales up 146% due to Ghost popularity

The economic recession took a pretty hefty toll on luxury carmakers, which saw sales figures drop.

This forced a lot of companies to release more entry-level models, in order to attract those who don’t want to spend an obscene amount of cash on a new car. The Rolls Royce Ghost is one such example, as with its $250,000 starting price, offered a much more reasonable alternative to the larger Phantom.

Many scoffed at the new baby Rolls, saying that its niche just isn’t big enough. Luckily for the carmaker, they were very wrong.

New sales figures show that during the first five months of 2010, Rolls Royce moved over 678 models. While that doesn’t sound too impressive, it’s a whopping growth of 146% over the same time period a year ago.

No concrete numbers were released per model, but you can clearly guess that the lower priced Ghost is mostly responsible for the increase.

If you still can’t afford a Ghost though, perhaps you’re better off configuring one on the special iPhone app.


Rolls Royce Ghost configurator now available on the iPhone

Did you ever find yourself desperately wanting to configure your own Rolls Royce Ghost luxury limousine but didn’t have access to a computer, just your iPhone?

Well, Rolls Royce seems to think you did, as it has just announced that a configurator for its flagship model is now available on the iPhone App Store, completely free of charge.

Included, besides the opportunity to create your own specific Ghost, are things like videos with the Rolls Royce model and even various technical data, for you to drool over.

You can head on over to the App Store and download the new Ghost configurator, so that you can carry a piece of that Rolls Royce luxury with you until you can actually afford such a limousine (a lottery ticket wouldn’t hurt, though).


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