This is the new Rolls-Royce saloon, a car referred to internally as ‘RR4’, and one that will see production in 2010. It will be at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
The 5.4m-long four-door is likely to utilise the latest BMW 7 Series platform and will be powered by what the company describes as a ‘new V12’. The innovative forward-opening rear doors of the Phantom are carried over to the smaller (by 435mm in length, although only a touch narrower) car.
Rolls-Royce has traditionally used the ‘EX’ suffix to signify experimental models. Since its incorporation into the BMW empire, the now Goodwood-based company has launched EX models at shows that were, in effect, production-ready advanced prototypes. 100EX debuted at Geneva in 2004 and was then officially launched in Detroit in January 2007 as the Phantom Drophead Coupé.
Like all Goodwood Rolls, it does look impressive. The famous radiator has become less ‘Parthenon’ and is now seamlessly morphed into the bonnet and front of the car. 200EX will carry a silver satin finish applied to the bonnet and A-pillar, similar to the brushed aluminium of the Coupé and Drophead Coupé. The paint on this experimental model is Darkest Tungsten – a classic colour that contrasts nicely with not only the satin silver bonnet, but also the natural grain Crème Light leather interior. Cornsilk carpets complete the luxurious effect.
One of the best aspects of the car is the rear. If you tend to consider Rolls-Royce as a manufacturer of luxurious, superbly appointed and finished limousines - you may have to reconsider. Like the two-door Phantoms, the 200EX has a sporting intent and looks aggressive, with broad haunches covering 285/40 R 20in rear wheels and tyres.
The dashboard is clear and simple, with the trademark thin-rimmed steering wheel. The cabin will be airy for the occupants yet, as in the Phantom, allowing a degree of privacy not found in similar cars.
“Alluring, inviting, approachable — this car captivates with each encounter,” said Chief Designer, Ian Cameron, about his latest creation.
“200EX is a modern execution of timeless Rolls-Royce elegance, breaking with some areas of tradition but retaining the core values that make our marque unique,” commented Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Officer Tom Purves.
“We expect the more informal, agile design to broaden the appeal of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, attracting people who appreciate its fusion of refinement, new technology and contemporary style.”
No price has been mentioned, but most commentators would estimate a UK price of in the region of £170,000 – 180,000.
200EX TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
No. of doors/seats: 4/5
Vehicle length: 5399mm
Vehicle width 1948mm
Vehicle height: 1550mm
Engine: New V12
Wheel and tyre size: 20-inch, 255/45 R 20 front and 285/40 R 20 rear
Text: Steve Wakefield
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