Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will eventually offer a fully-electric model and its CEO has indicated that this may happen around 2040. As it is, many companies are already ‘electrifying’ their new models and have announced plans to increase the proportion of models with hybrid or all-electric powertrains during this decade.
2040 is 20 years away and if you can’t wait to own an electrically-powered Rolls-Royce – which usually comes with a 12-cylinder engine – a company called Lunaz can offer you one soon. It will however not be the latest model and will instead be a 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V.
Lunaz is a creator of electric classic cars and has already turned made Jaguar and Bentley classic models emission-free with electric powertrains. Now it will start restoration of the Phantom V, a classic model and install its proprietary electric powertrain with a full suite of hardware and software upgrades.
The battery pack for the electric powertrain is the largest of its type in the world at 120 kWh, ensuring range claimed to be over 480 kms – significantly more than required for traditional chauffeur-driven use.
The 8-seat interior scheme tastefully echoes the exterior. The very finest sustainably-sourced leather is crafted by an in-house specialist team and specified in Argent Grey. Instead of traditional seat piping, a double welt feature is presented in Whisper with Argent Grey, creating a contemporary pinstripe detail.
The original woodwork will be painstakingly restored and finished with a contemporary satin treatment. This sympathetic update is offset with rose gold inlays. This approach extends to the door cappings, front fascia and the picnic table backs affixed to the privacy division that separates the driver and rear passenger compartment.
There will be numerous modern technological conveniences and two screens are integrated behind the privacy division’s picnic tables, allowing rear occupants to watch films and mirror screens from mobile devices. A bar service occupies the centre of the unit and is custom-built to perfectly fit the owner’s favourite brand of tequila. Every Lunaz client will be invited to specify dimensions for their beverage of choice.
Retaining the character of these significant cars is the priority throughout the conversion and restoration process. This extends to every detail including the weighting of switchgear which has been exhaustively engineered to operate an entirely new powertrain with the same haptic feedback as the original. Instrumentation also stays true to the spirit of the 1960s design, with delicate integration of a battery range meter and power gauge.
The 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom by Lunaz is built in eight-seat configuration with a front bench for three occupants, rear bench for a further three and two occasional seats. Occupants throughout will benefit from Lunaz’s commitment to specifying only the very best materials. For example, rear floormats have been custom made in alpaca wool, a material that is rarer than cashmere, softer than lambswool and is considered highly sustainable.
“My approach to design is defined by Sir Henry Royce’s philosophy that ‘small things make perfection and perfection is no small thing’. Together with our clients, we work to create relevant expressions of the most significant cars in history. I am proud to give new purpose to some of the most beautiful objects ever created,” said Jen Holloway, Design Director at Lunaz.
Production is initially planned to be strictly limited to 30 units and orders are already being taken from the company’s existing client base as well as some of the most celebrated and influential institutions in the world.
Following demand for electrified Phantoms, Lunaz has also elected to begin creating Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds. Customers are invited to secure allocation for these cars in a range of bodystyles – 4-door limousine, 2-door coupe and drop head coupe.
The start of production of the world’s first electric Rolls-Royce cars follows a surge in demand for the electrification of pinnacle classic cars. This is driven by a rebalancing of car collections for a clean air future. Demand is forecast to be so great that Lunaz is doubling its workforce at its factory in Silverstone, England.
“No car in the world matches a Phantom for presence, style and significance. Through electrification we proudly further the legacy of the ‘best car in the world’, making Rolls-Royce ownership a relevant choice for a new generation,” said David Lorenz, the company’s founder.
Ex-factory, the Silver Cloud by Lunaz starts at £350,000 (around RM1.91 million)), while pricing for a Phantom V by starts at £500,000 (around RM2.74 million). Orders will be accepted from anywhere in the world only by the factory.