The Rolls-Royce 100EX Centenary experimental car was the
first concept vehicle Rolls-Royce produced under the BMW
Called an experimental car rather than a concept car,
hence the 'EX', the 100EX functions more fully than most
concept cars, and it can be used to test new mechanical
and electrical features. The 100 in the name pays tribute
to the Rolls-Royce 100 year anniversary which took place
in May 2004.
The 100EX was a Rolls-Royce for the 21st century, designed
to bring the company forward while retaining the general
values associated with the marque.
Interestingly the Southern California based, BMW Designworks,
Rolls-Royce design team drew heavily on marine architecture
for influence. The most obvious example of this is the
wooden 'decking' surrounding the rear seats and lining
the trunk. Polished aluminum used for the bonnet, windscreen
surround, and various details continues the nautical theme.
After the 100EX's design was finalised on paper, it was
up to BMW's Munich based specialist build facility to
construct the real car. Built on a modified Phantom chassis,
the 100EX is a thoroughly engineered car. Unlike many
concept cars the 100EX is well built and put together.
Exterior designer, Marek Djordjevic explains a design
theme of 'waftability', what a great word. The ability
to swiftly and gracefully whisk passengers from A to B
in complete luxury.
In order to fulfill this role the 100EX has a clean, simply
stated, powerful but entirely elegant profile - pushed
along by a 9 litre V16 engine.
The 100EX is 16.5 cm (6.5 in) shorter than the Rolls-Royce
Phantom and lower by 7.1 cm (3 in).
The 100EX's slab-like flanks feature suicide-doors which
open to reveal a world class interior - again with a nautical
influence. Interior materials include; figured mahogany
veneer, dark curzon leather seats and trim, and a bleached
teak floor. The specially designed front seats are ultra
supportive, and their slim profile means more legroom
for rear passengers. Two rear passengers sit in close
proximity to one another, allowing for the graceful curved
Although there is little chance Rolls-Royce will introduce
the 100EX as a new model, elements of its design should
have influence on Rolls-Royce products of the future.
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