Rolls Royce, which is owned by BMW, unveiled its idea of what a self driving Roller of the future might look like in London this week. If owning a car is just a way of announcing one’s enormous ego, the Rolls Royce Vision 100 is the trump card in any “mine’s bigger than yours” contest.
Let’s start with the specifics. The Vision 100 is a battery electric car, so it can proclaim itself to be a zero emissions vehicle — although one suspects quite a few carbon emissions would be created during its manufacture.
It is just shy of 20 feet in length and stands nearly 5 feet tall. Aerodynamic efficiency is obviously not a consideration when it comes to this platinum plated, diamond encrusted showboat. Despite its bulk, it is only a two seater, intended to cater excessively to just two of the fortunate few at a time. Presumably, the staff will follow behind in a lesser car — a MINI, perhaps.
The carpet is made of “hand twisted silk” while the upholstery on the couch where the lord and lady rest their ample bottoms is also made of “extraordinarily soft silk.” No steering wheel or pedals of any kind are present because they would be “superfluous in this model,” according to Rolls Royce.
The rest of the interior is trimmed in Macassar wood. In front of the passengers, a full width OLED screen presents a full range of entertainment options. Rolls Royce has thoughtfully provided an artificial intelligence assistance called Eleanor. She is sort of like Siri but all grown up.
Eleanor will remember all the important details of your life, such as the route you normally take to your club, the birth dates and names of your progeny, and how many shots of espresso you prefer in your mocha latte.
There is an automated luggage compartment that allows your servants to conveniently load the necessaries for your journey. They will be stowed inside bespoke luggage that will tell the bellhop at your favorite hotel you are not someone to be trifled with.
“In a future where transport is commoditised—void of beauty, space and form—Rolls-Royce will stand apart,” says Rolls Royce on its website. There was a time when Rolls Royce stood for understated elegance. No more. The Vision 100 is intended to scream your prominence and provenance everywhere you go. It is about as subtle as Donald Trump.
Perhaps I am just jealous, knowing that I will never be able to afford such an exquisite motor car, but to me, the Vision 100 is proof that BMW is spending far too much time and resources creating absurdities for the über wealthy — like its own Vision Next 100 — and not enough on building real cars for real people in the real world. It is also a forceful argument for maintaining a hefty inheritance tax.
Source: Quartz, The Verge Photo Credits: Rolls Royce