Centenary drive glides company into top gear

Rolls Royce centenary topped off by new electric car

A PROCESSION of prestige motors gave a fitting centenary celebration through London to mark the major milestone for Roll’s Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy.

The birthday of the marque’s iconic mascot comes in the wake of significant success for the company with its Ghost model boosting sales significantly.

Following on swiftly from its anniversary event in which 100 Rolls Royce’s took to the roads of the capital, the company has made a significant technology breakthrough in developing its first electric car.

Its prototype Phantom 102EX made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week, with international media greeting its arrival favourably.

It has already attracted 100’s of Facebook and Twitter comments from those eager to see if luxury motoring marques such as Rolls can deliver genuine eco-friendly motoring.

With 2011 already being dubbed as the “year of the electric car,” a number of major manufacturers are already releasing their fledgling electric car efforts.

The latest car from the Chichester firm will not be going into full production at this stage. But it will be touring during 2011 as a test bed to gather a bank of research data which will be crucial in informing future decisions on alternative drive-trains for Rolls-Royce. The new vehicle’s journey will take in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

“We have engineered the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment,” said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, speaking from the company’s headquarters in Goodwood. “With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drive-trains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future.”

Also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), the company is using the model as a means of engaging with customers to establish how popular electric vehicles will prove in coming years.

Reflecting on the centenary event, CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös added: “The Spirit of Ecstasy is a genuine icon, a graceful goddess who has adorned the prow of Rolls-Royce cars past and present.

She is recognised the world over as a symbol for the pinnacle of automotive aspiration and is an inspiration to those of us working for the company today. The centenary drive was a fitting tribute to such an important figure for our company.”