The Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 presents an intriguing and aesthetically dynamic vision of the future of luxury mobility – a completely personal, effortless and autonomous Rolls-Royce experience, wrapped in a design that ensures a ‘Grand Sanctuary’ for its occupants, and a ‘Grand Arrival’.
Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 – a vision of the future of luxury mobility
In creating the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, Codenamed 103EX, the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars design team asked themselves the question, “How can we recast luxury for the next 100 years?” Within that question the team found that they had to address two further questions: “What will a Rolls-Royce owner expect of his or her Rolls-Royce in the coming decades?” and “How do we at Rolls-Royce today envision how we meet those expectations?”. These questions allowed the team to dream of the staggering possibilities for Rolls-Royce’s future.
Rolls-Royce has harnessed the power of the virtual space to bring the experience of the Vision NEXT 100 closer to those unable to personally see the vehicle.
Viewers can enjoy and explore the fine detail of Rolls-Royce 103EX, guided by the voice of the original Spirit of Ecstasy, Eleanor Thornton, on this 360° video:
Rolls-Royce understands that true luxury is deeply personal and that the hallmarks of every Rolls-Royce past and present are key to its future. The designers therefore distilled four key tenets that not only underpin the elegant solution that is the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, but epitomise the future of luxury mobility as a whole:
• The Personal Vision
• The Effortless Journey
• The Grand Sanctuary
• The Grand Arrival
In presenting the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, the marque has rejected the common notion that the future of personal transport is a utilitarian and functional one. Rolls-Royce has stepped bravely into the future to propose a no-compromise, fully autonomous, coachbuilt, personalised vision to those customers who wish for an emotional attachment to their car. This reasoning led them to the first key tenet: The Personal Vision.
The Personal Vision
In the spirit of the great coachbuilt cars of the past, Rolls-Royce will create the chassis of the future, hand-built from the most advanced materials and powered by a zero emissions powertrain. Advanced manufacturing technologies will enable customers to involve themselves even more in the design of the shape, size and silhouette of their personal Rolls-Royce vision. The future customer will commission his or her own concept. Rolls Royce will design and manufacture this personal vision of each customer and make every Rolls-Royce a unique Bespoke masterpiece.
The Effortless Journey
For the 105 years since her creation in 1911, the Spirit of Ecstasy, modelled by sculptor and artist Charles Sykes, on Eleanor Thornton, has silently guided every Rolls-Royce and its owner through the momentous events of their lives. She has stood as an elegant presence at some of history’s most notable events.
Today, the ‘Voice of Eleanor’ inhabits the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, delivering the dream of an effortless future to her owners. Digitally connected to every aspect of her owners’ lives and her surrounding environment, ‘Eleanor’ becomes their virtual assistant and chauffeur, freeing them of all effort and encumbrance. Imbued with her own artificial intelligence, she works intuitively to advise her owners on itineraries, schedules and options before they leave their residence, reminding about appointments and tasks and making suggestions to ease any anticipated impediments.
She ‘brings’ the car around when her passengers are ready to travel and, whilst conveying her charges to their next destination, helpfully but discreetly makes suggestions and recommendations, briefing them ahead of their arrival so they are ready to ‘perform’. And ever vigilant, ‘Eleanor’ safely delivers her passengers to their destination, having already predicted the situation and surroundings that await them.
This Effortless Journey is enhanced by the hallmark Rolls-Royce ‘magic carpet ride’ delivered through a blend of a futuristic, powerful, zero-emission drivetrain and advanced suspension that sees the vehicle almost skim across the road surface. As a V12 combustion engine is most unlikely to exist in the future, one can only surmise how this Rolls-Royce will be powered. A hint may appear in the Grand Sanctuary that is the interior of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100.
The Grand Sanctuary
Already prepared by ‘Eleanor’ for the next journey in their event-filled lives, owners are met by the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 which awaits their departure. Entering the Grand Sanctuary, passengers step in unbowed, with consummate grace and dignity, as with the state carriages of old, taking their place on the best seat in the house. Cocooned in the futuristic but handcrafted lounge atmosphere, the coach door and clamshell canopy glide closed to envelop them in uninterrupted silence and luxury.
As one would expect from a Rolls-Royce, the environment of the Grand Sanctuary is crafted from the most precious and contemporary of materials. What is unexpected is the feeling of lightness and simplicity, an effortless elegance.
True to this spirit, the cabin is encircled by the most modern handcrafted fine-line Macassar wood panelling, sweeping across the interior from the coach door, continuing around behind the generous OLED screen and up beside the second passenger to the side of the sofa. This ensures a continuous, beautifully clean and sculptural surface when the screen is extinguished.
The centrepiece of the cabin is the beautiful sofa. The best seat in the house, it is an exquisite, futuristic interpretation of modern furniture design. Clothed in the most opulent fabrics, it gives the impression of floating within the cocoon of the cabin thanks to the artful use of lighting and modern materials.
Inspired by the early regal Rolls-Royces, but also by the ground-breaking work executed on the 2015 Phantom Serenity, the designers used the symbol of ultimate elegance – silk – to clothe the sofa. This most natural and sensual of materials is combined with wool to create a beautifully textured, ivory-coloured luxurious throne upon which our passengers are conveyed, and from which they command.
A final sensual touchpoint within the cabin is the finest one-off deep-pile ivory wool carpet woven especially in London, which our passengers can enjoy as they luxuriate in the ample space created by the removal of the chauffeur.
Should they choose to drop their eyes from that world stage for a moment and ask ‘Eleanor’ for visual cues, she will provide them on the transparent OLED screen that dominates the front wall of the cabin. Here passengers can view information regarding their journey, their destination and the people they are expecting to meet. Or they may simply choose to retreat from the outside world and be entertained by their favourite show for a while.
The Grand Arrival
Certain truths are constant over time. One of these truths is how the powerful have always understood the symbols through which they express their standing. From the lavish chariots of the Roman Emperors to the individually hand built state carriages and cars of Monarchy – such as the coachbuilt Rolls-Royce Phantom IV used during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation – such fine vehicles have been designed to project the importance of the individual inside to those waiting outside.
Waiting with bated breath for a grand arrival, the crowds were never anything but impressed by the stately arrival of their idol. In the future, Rolls-Royce believes that its powerful patrons will wish to continue projecting their power and status in such a manner.
This truth is reflected in the most dramatic aspect of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 – its iconic, imposing and futuristic presence which ensures a Grand Arrival for its occupants. Yet whilst it powerfully expresses the future of luxury, it remains constant to the iconic tropes of any true Rolls-Royce: The Spirit of Ecstasy, the Pantheon grille, the long bonnet and the iconic proportions of the entire vehicle.
The very size of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 announces the importance of its precious cargo. At 5.9 metres long and 1.6 metres high, it mirrors the perfect dimensions of today’s Phantom Extended Wheelbase, whilst the ever constant Spirit of Ecstasy grows in stature, harking back to the regal Phantoms of the 1920s. Hand-crafted by the finest European glassmakers of today, she lights the way to the future of luxury. She is poised atop the re-imagined, yet still iconic, Pantheon grille with the red Double-R badge of an experimental Rolls-Royce.
The newly liberated Pantheon grille is now the unencumbered prow of the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100. It is the front of a fully enclosed and smooth-bottomed hull that
echoes the form language of 1920’s Rolls-Royces, with its ‘boat-tail’, and within which the entire accommodation area is located.
Constructed from light yet incredibly strong materials, the hull ‘floats’ above the road surface as it is suspended from the vehicle’s wheels via exposed arms and struts. The 28-inch tall but narrow wheels upon which the car glides are each hand-built from 65 individual pieces of aluminium, and enclosed to deliver the impression of a futuristic catamaran.
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