Rolls-Royce plug-in hybrid coming soon, whether customers want it or not

Rolls-Royce is known for taking its time when it comes to new technology, but the iconic British luxury brand could soon be forced to try something new.

Auto Express reports that Rolls will introduce a plug-in hybrid within the next few years to help meet upcoming government regulations.

At last week’s Geneva Motor Show, Rolls chief Torsten Müller-Otvos told Auto Express that a plug-in will become “essential” in two years due to tighter worldwide emissions regulations, but not necessarily because of customer demand.

A plug-in hybrid could be the perfect way for Rolls to meet those obligations without compromising its values.

The brand’s last attempt to get green as the all-electric 102EX Phantom. This experimental model was shown to 100 customers, who did not seem that impressed. Its short range and long charging time were found to be unsatisfactory.

However, a plug-in hybrid would have effectively unlimited range, and could produce the same power as a comparable internal-combustion model.

That means owners would never be stuck at Harrods waiting for their cars to charge, and Rolls would have a low-emission model in its range to satisfy regulations.

Conveniently, parent company BMW has spent considerable time and treasure developing plug-in hybrid power trains for the i8 sports car and X5 eDrive crossover.

Rolls likes to stay as independent from BMW as possible, but this kind of technology is expensive to develop. It makes financial sense to both the British brand and the German one – which could amortize development costs over more vehicles.

However – unlike more plebeian models – a plug-in hybrid powertrain likely won’t raise the price of a future Rolls-Royce like the next-generation Phantom. 

Müller-Otvos said Rolls doesn’t want to deter its traditional customers, who tend to be “shrewd businesspeople” that are apparently  just as value-focused as anyone else.

Cars

Genesis’ all-electric Mint concept proves small cars can still be stylish

Unveiled ahead of the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Genesis Mint concept is a future electric city car with scissor doors in place of a traditional hatchback. Genesis likely won't put it into production, however.
Cars

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.
Cars

Karma Automotive unveils two head-turning concept cars, quicker 2020 Revero GT

Karma Automotive brought three new cars to the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, including a long overdue redesigned version of its Revero plug-in hybrid, an all-electric concept car, and a concept coupe designed in concert with legendary Italian…
Cars

Your electric, 610-hp Aston Martin sport sedan has arrived, Mr. Bond

At least four years in the making, the electric Aston Martin Rapide E made its global debut during the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. It leaves the V12 behind, and adopts a battery-powered drivetrain that delivers 610 hp and 700 lb-ft. of torque.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.
Cars

Would you buy the Tarok compact pickup truck? Volkswagen wants to know

The Volkswagen Tarok pickup truck concept will make its United States debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The truck first appeared at the 2018 Sao Paulo Auto Show, and VW wants to see what U.S. buyers think of it.
Cars

Sick of civilization? Volkswagen’s Atlas Basecamp concept lets you get away

Volkswagen revealed the Atlas Basecamp concept ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. Built for overlanding, this family-hauler was upgraded jointly by Volkswagen and aftermarket manufacturers.
Cars

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo sheds weight, uses racing tricks to stay sharp

The 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo isn't dramatically different from the 2019 model, but Nissan made changes where it counts. The updated GT-R Nismo is lighter and offers better aerodynamic performance, according to Nissan.
Cars

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Cars

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.