Published on May 20th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Rolls-Royce Plans To Reduce Weight Of Plug-in Hybrid Phantom

May 20th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas2.


Big, bold, British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is putting the next-generation Phantom on a strict diet and plug-in hybrid workout plan. Image is everything after all, and these days it’s in vogue to at least look like you give a damn about the planet’s environmental woes.

Set to launch in three years, the next Rolls-Royce Phantom will look different, and offer both traditional V12 power and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The optional plug-in hybrid will likely slot above the powerful V12, if Rolls has any wit about them. The performance potential of a budget-be-damned plug-in hybrid luxury sedan, and such a car could make even the most adrant oil baron a believer in hybrid technology.

If Rolls wants to achieve even a modicum of efficiency though, the Phantom will have to go on a serious diet, as the current car comes in at a massive 5,710 pounds. Put an average couple in there, and you’re looking at a three-ton car…and this is with a lightweight aluminum space frame! Parent company BMW is said to be considering a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body shell to shed some of that excess weight. The Phantom is a prime candidate for CFRP, especially with BMW tripling output at its carbon fiber factory.

There’s also talk of a pure electric phantom, and with a drastic weight reduction, the next Phantom could dip below 5,000 pounds, not far from where the Tesla Model S sits. With a big-enough battery (made possible by a big price tag), an electric Rolls-Royce could make sense. Right now though, there are too many “ifs”, and with and plug-in hybrid model almost a certainty, I won’t hold my breath waiting for an electric Rolls.

Source: AutoCar

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • patb2009

    a 200 KWH battery pack and a Tesla Supercharging system. Plus design half the battery to match the Model S bolt on, so it can fast changed… But go with a Rolls Electric motor. (Brand thing you know). if you designed it with 4 wheel motors and torque steering it could really rock

  • Vensonata

    Rolls are missing a golden opportunity. The price of batteries are irrelevant when you are in the rolls price range. Put a 200 kwh pack in and be done with it. That would give an easy 600 mile range…what wealthy person needs to drive more than 600 miles in a day? It would be superior to any I.c.e. car for performance, comfort and silence and I suspect they might even make a greater profit margin on it. Even charging becomes less of an issue with that range. At 2000 cycles the battery would last for 1.2 million miles!

    • Ronald Brakels

      Good point. Someone who owns a Rolls is unlikely to sit in it for 12 hours in a day. It might need more than a 200 kilowatt-hour battery pack to get 600 miles range though. After all, these martinis don’t chill themselves you know.

      • patb2009

        get some aerospace grade solar cells for the roof, and pack in a small machine gun in the front quarter panel…

        • Ronald Brakels

          I don’t know about what’s sold internationally, but I do believe a light machine gun comes standard in the British versions. With various options depending on personal preferences. They’ve come a long way since the days when in the event of proletarian revolution you’d have to rely upon your footman to set up the Vickers machine gun stowed under the boot floorboards.

Back to Top ↑