Rolls Royce may have shelved the all-electric 102EX super sedan project it was working on a few years ago, but the decision to go electric may not be up to Rolls. Governments across Europe and China are pushing forward laws to limit the number of internal combustion cars allowed their streets, and some major cities in the UK, Norway, and China considering outright bans on non-hybrid cars. If Rolls Royce wants to stay relevant in a post-combustion world, then, it’s got to build a hybrid.
The real question here isn’t whether Rolls Royce will build a hybrid, then- it’s when.
The answer, oddly enough, is that it’s already building a hybrid- in the form of parent company BMW’s ActiveHybrid 7 series. The same 7 series, it should be noted, that serves as the basis for the Rolls Royce Ghost and Rolls Royce Wraith models. The Ghost and Wraith look like this …
… when they’re not wearing their BMW suits.
Assuming BMW decides to simply put a Rolls Royce Ghost body on their existing ActiveHybrid chassis (which would make a ton of sense, really), the hybrid Ghost will deliver some 320 HP between 5800 and 6000 RPM, along with a respectable 330 lb-ft of torque from 1300 to 4500 RPM. So, peak torque would be available from idle all the way to the shift in real-world driving. Not too far off from the old 6.75 liter Rolls engine of the 1970s-1990s, then, and with zero emissions in a “slow traffic gnarl” EV mode.
You can check out Rolls’ last entry into the EV fray- the 102EX concept car- below, as well as a cutaway drawing of the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 series that will, probably, end up under a Rolls Royce Ghost hybrid 24 hours after Beijing requires it. Enjoy!