Rolls-Royce: We need to consider alternatives, even without demand

Rolls-Royce is known for making big cars with big engines. And why not? Rolls-Royce customers like big cars with big engines. Customers questioned about the future direction of the flying lady haven't been enthusiastic about hybrids and have been "rather ambivalent" about the Rolls 102EX electric concept that premiered last March at Geneva.

Even so, the executive in charge of BMW's ultra-lux division, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, insists that Rolls-Royce may need to build something a bit more green as it broadens it's market and expands into new regions. The details of where Rolls will turn (hybrid, electric, plug-in?) are unclear, and there is still no sign that the 102EX – essentially an electric version of the flagship $380,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom – will become a production vehicle.

Still, even if current owners can't imagine anything but a 12-cylinder under those long hoods, don't be surprised if future products out of Goodwood leave the estate with a hum rather than a roar.

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