Silently cruising in a seemingly impregnable fortress of fine leather, sensuous wood and hand-built steel and glass is the ultimate goal of the hyper-luxury carmakers like Rolls-Royce and Bentley, so it's not surprising that talk of an all-electric Rolls-Royce Phantom is once again emerging from the company.
Captured at the Goodwood Revival by Auto Express, the talk reiterates the key points we brought you from Rolls-Royce CEO Tom Purves last October: the silent, smooth and clean power provided by electricity fits hand-in-glove with the company's mission statement of stylish, luxurious transport.
Fitting the mass and bulk of an all-electric battery pack into the Phantom's 19.1-foot long, 5,622-pound frame should be an easy matter once you replace the 453-horsepower, 6.7-liter V-12 engine. The only question then would be supplying enough electricity to yield a useful range.
Given the often short, urban nature of many Phantom trips, however, a short range might not be a serious issue for many buyers. In the event that it is, a range-extending engine could be added to the package without much difficulty.
Beyond the ease of fitting the system into the Phantom and the good fit of electric power with Rolls-Royce's goals, there's the looming consideration of emissions regulations driving the decision. With Europe and the U.K., and lately, even the U.S., driving emissions requirements ever-lower, finding a way to remain relevant and viable will be key to the survival of the hyper-luxury car segment, and Rolls-Royce in particular.