It's been awhile since we've heard from Rolls Royce about the 100EX concept, which had been announced as one of two new vehicles the ultra-exclusive brand would be bringing to market soon, the other being the long wheelbase Phantom. The 100EX debuted at Geneva in 2004 and production of a four-door convertible based on the concept is scheduled to go on sale in late 2006 as a 2007 model. Though the 100EX is motivated by an epic 600-hp powerplant displacing 9.0L throughout 16 cylinders, the production model, likely to be called the Corniche, will supposedly make do with the Phantom's 453-hp V12. RR has just released these pictures of the 100EX rolling around the isle of Manhattan increasing property value wherever it roamed.
The 100EX is the first Experimental Car to be produced by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since BMW Group became the custodians of the marque in 1998 and launched the all-new Phantom at the company’s new home in Goodwood in January 2003. Based on a lightweight aluminium space-frame, this open-top, four-seat, two-door drophead has been designed and produced to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Rolls-Royce, which falls in May 2004. There is no plan to produce it as a series model. Experimental models have long been a feature of Rolls-Royce, particularly between 1919 and 1957 when a number of motor cars were given the ‘EX’ name. Unlike a concept car, an experimental car functions more fully and was originally used by Rolls-Royce to test and evaluate new systems, components and features.
While the design of the 100EX and the choice of its special construction materials resonate strongly with Rolls-Royce tradition, both its aesthetic qualities and its technological content place it squarely in the 21st century. A strong nautical theme runs throughout, with bleached teak decking featuring both inside and outside the car. Polished aluminium also features heavily, particularly on the bonnet and windscreen surround, while the composite body is finished in Dark Curzon.
The design team that shaped the new Experimental Car was based in Southern California, at BMW Group’s studio, Designworks – an entirely natural setting for a luxurious convertible. Here research was conducted into the Rolls-Royce design language specific to open-top motoring. A number of designs were proposed with the ultimate choices progressing to the clay stage. After final selection, the build process began, this time at BMW’s specialist design and build facilities in Munich.