Rolls-Royce: We'll Keep Slinging V12s Until the Government Comes and Takes Them Away
Few automakers clutch tradition with the same vise-like grip as Rolls-Royce. The British motor car builder, which recently debuted a high-bodied car (known in plebian circles as an “SUV”), isn’t planning on following in its rivals’ electrified footsteps just yet.
Oh sure, there’ll be electric cars, even in the coming decade, but the brand’s attachment to 12-cylinder engines — and the upper-crust clout those motors carry — can’t be shaken just because Jaguar and Germany have their sights set on a green stable.
This attitude mirrors Porsche’s devotion to the steering wheel. That said, the brand does have a date in mind for the full electrification of its products.
Are you prepared for 2040? That’s when Rolls-Royce figures the last gasoline-fueled powerplant will disappear from its lineup. A pretty conservative estimate, but Rolls-Royce isn’t known for its enthusiastic adoption of the latest fad. Plus, the brand’s V12s aren’t exactly causing customers to turn up their noses.
Meanwhile, as Rolls-Royce plots a cautious course towards powertrain modernity, upstart British rival Lagonda plans to debut a futuristic electric touring car in 2021.
Speaking to the Financial Times, company CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said that, while electrification would provide a pleasant driving experience, the brand plans to hang on to internal combustion for dear life. He recognizes, however, that government emissions mandates and internal combustion bans will surely make it necessary one day. In that pursuit, France and the UK lead the charge.
“Electrification actually fits extremely well with Rolls-Royce because it’s silent, it’s powerful, it’s torquey, so in that sense it’s a very good fit,” he said before adding, “We will definitely offer 12-cylinder engines as long as we can, as long as it is legally allowed to offer them.”
Currently, the company’s Phantom and Cullinan carries a 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12, while the Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn make do with a twin-turbo 6.6-liter unit. Müller-Ötvös claims short driving distances — a hallmark of Rolls-Royce lifestyles — means the environment isn’t top of mind for company execs. However, those short distances makes battery power an easy alternative.
“These cars aren’t used extensively, nobody is driving long, long distances, and so the mileage on a Rolls-Royce is lower than the average car would carry,” he said. ”But electrification is the future, full stop. You need to prepare yourself for that.”
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- Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
- Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
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- William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
- Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
"the Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn make do with a twin-turbo 6.6-liter unit" Ima need an "R/R-6.6" decal for the hood
How about climate change? Europeans apparently do not care and want US to pay price.