March 3, 2004
Rolls-Royce unveils convertible V-16 concept car
Geneva, Switzerland – Rolls-Royce unveiled a concept car – the 100EX – at the Geneva motor show on Tuesday. Based on a lightweight aluminium space-frame, the 100EX is an open-top, four-seat, two-door convertible.
The concept features doors hinged at the back like the rear doors on the new Phantom, which aid access to the rear seat. At the front, a solid silver Spirit of Ecstasy sits atop a new version of the Rolls-Royce grille which blends into the hood and windscreen surround, both of which have been milled from solid blocks of aluminium before being hand polished. Bleached teak decking is used on the exterior and interior of the 100EX, notably on the tonneau cover, in the trunk and in place of carpeting in the passenger cabin. “The overall impression is intended to be of an elegant motor yacht at speed”, said Marek Djordjevic, Chief Stylist, Exterior Design.
The rear of the car tapers into a boat-tail style and features the ‘countryman’ boot, split to give a separate lower tailgate which, when down, provides a completely flat surface, ideal for picnics or as an elevated platform with its inlaid fibre matting.
A tailored soft top made from a new advanced material, featuring fine metallic threads, protects passengers from the elements. Inside, the hood is lined with the familiar cashmere/wool blend fabric seen in the Phantom. The top can be concealed in an extremely small storage area, keeping intrusion into the luggage and passenger space to a minimum.
Figured Mahogany is used for the interior cabinetry, complemented by a special metallic finish which is used in a swathe across the dashboard and in the finer detailing. Sculptured seats are finished in rich Dark Curzon leather, with additional leatherwork in contrasting aniline tan.
The suspension and steering geometry are shared with the new Phantom: double wishbone front and multi-link rear axles, with air springs, and rack and pinion steering though it is shorter by 165 mm (6.5 in) and 71 mm (3 in) lower. The 100EX sits upon 21-inch wheels finished in Meteor Silver. Power is supplied by a 9-litre V16, 64-valve naturally aspirated engine.
Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chairman and CEO, Tony Gott, said, “It is always exciting to unveil something new at a motor show, but particularly something as fresh and innovative as the 100EX. In wanting to mark this very special year we decided that there would be no better way than to revive the EX motor cars philosophy and produce something unique to show around the world.”
Rolls-Royce has no plans to produce the 100EX.