No, the trunk badge isn’t likely to say “Vision Next 100,” but there’s no need for badging in order for cognoscenti to know that this is a car from the future.
Part of parent BMW’s “The Next 100 Years” celebration, one can see how far the industry has come by looking back at 1916 cars (like the Ford Model Ts of the day) and this Roller concept intends to show us the way to the next era. Using four guideposts for their journey, the designers focused on:
The Personal Vision
The Effortless Journey
The Grand Sanctuary
The Grand Arrival
As Rolls-Royce assumes that internal combustion engines won’t be around in the next 100 years (good bet), and assumes that autonomous driving will be the norm, the Vision Next 100 includes a digital commander, named “Eleanor.”
Car and movie fans might assume that the name refers to a tricked-out Mustang, but Rolls-Royce’s use of the name predates the film by about 90 years. This Eleanor Thornton was the muse for the “Spirit of Ecstasy” which has adorned Rolls-Royce hoods (okay, bonnets) since 1911.
Eleanor is the virtual assistant of dreams: parts chauffeur, tour guide, digital information nanny (for itineraries, options, items of interest along the way, schedules and the like), she will be your tireless co-pilot. As of this writing, no “Wizard On Board” bumper sticker was included.
The concept of The Grand Sanctuary has been an integral part of the Rolls-Royce DNA since company began producing cars in 1904, with the motto “The best motor car in the world regardless of cost”. Even the way in which Rolls describes entry in to the Vision Next 100 portends a sumptuous experience: “Our passengers step in unbowed, with consummate grace and dignity, as with the state carriage of old….” The interior is promised to be crafted from “the most precious and contemporary of materials”, alluding to the finest of finishes utilizing components not yet available or even envisioned. And with language which befits such comfort, the passenger sits on a “sofa … the best seat in the house … clothed in the most opulent fabrics.”
A look at these photos provides ample evidence that Rolls-Royce has achieved their goals. Lucky us.