Journal: What Do You Think Of The Rolls-Royce 103EX?

What Do You Think Of The Rolls-Royce 103EX?

By Michael Banovsky
June 16, 2016

The trouble with the future is that it’s not quite clear until it’s right in your face. For example, feast your eyes on the Rolls-Royce 103EX, a futuristic all-electric, fully autonomous luxury automobile—there’s no steering wheel, only a virtual chauffeur named “Elanor”. Thing is, its exterior design comes from the 1970s.

As far as its looks are concerned, let me direct your attention, once again, to the master Luigi Colani. Love or loathe him, it takes a special sort of visionary to bounce his ideas around dozens of different disciplines. For instance: by taking advantage of Colani’s slippery bodywork, the Abarth-tuned Alfa Romeo 1300 Berlinetta was timed around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than 10 minutes in the late 1950s (!) and could top 130 mph with just 1,300-cc and all of ~110 bhp at its disposal.

Colani’s vehicle shapes evolved to become more sinuous, until he could reduce almost every form to a single outline up top, and a curvaceous underbody. Without the benefits of space-saving EV components, time-saving computer modeling, and autonomous vehicle technology, Colani’s designs aren’t as shapely as they could be—just look at how the long, low, and lean 103EX is carved around the passenger compartment. Yes, Syd Mead fans: there are definite similarities with his designs, too.

In the information provided on the concept, Rolls-Royce states, “The interior…will be a private retreat, a ‘Grand Sanctuary’ in which a virtual assistant, ‘Eleanor’, not only drives the vehicle but also fulfils the customer’s every wish throughout the journey. The stunning exterior, with an elegant clamshell canopy and coach door, allows passengers simply to stand up and step out of the vehicle, ensuring they are the picture of refinement and taste wherever they arrive.”

Don’t like the bodywork? No problem: Rolls-Royce is also predicting the return of bespoke, coachbuilt vehicles “all on a zero-emissions platform”. It’s like Jazz Age all over again: “from wheelbase to body shape, they will be able to choose the characteristics and equipment they desire, with the designers at Rolls-Royce creating an individually curated, bespoke masterpiece which is as unique as the fingerprint of its owner,” the company said in its release.

The 103EX was unveiled as part of BMW’s centenary celebrations and “The BMW Group Future Experience” free event and exhibition held in London from 18-26 June at The Roundhouse.

What do you think of the Rolls-Royce 103EX?

Photography via BMW Group,

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Hearts FreePhil HuffstatlerJonny MidnightEvan BedfordDan Picasso Recent comment authors
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Phil Huffstatler
Phil Huffstatler

Syd Mead would be pleased…

Jonny Midnight
Jonny Midnight

What do I think? I think it’s bloody ugly. And I am curious as to how it turns.

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

I’d be embarrassed to be seen in it. Somehow, it reminds me of those wheels with the ultra-skinny tires.

Dan Picasso
Dan Picasso

Has a real ‘come hither the guillotine’ look about it.

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers

I don’t see the 1970s in this design at all. Maybe the world of the tv show “Futurama.” Fry chauffeuring Bender around, yea that’s it. The car also reminds me of an early 50s “lead sled” Kustom Kar.

That pink concept looks a bit, how to put this… phallic.