New baby Rolls to woo aristocrats
BMW’s British luxury division, Rolls-Royce, is gunning for Bentley’s Continental Flying Spur with a new baby Rolls.
Keen on curtailing VW’s luxury brand success achieved with Bentley, BMW AG is drawing in an illustrious name from the pre-war Rolls-Royce era – 200EX – to denote its entry level concept due to be shown at the Geneva motor show.
Employing styling details, albeit in shrunken proportion, form both the Phantom and Drophead Coupe, the Geneva bound 200EX has an authentically aristocratic feel to it.
Styling is understated and superb. Note joined chrome handles on the doors joint vertical shutline.
Baby Rolls not really that small
Sharing a platform and 20% of its parts with the latest BMW 7 Series, 200EX measures a whisper less than 5.4m bumper-to-bumper, is 1.95m wide, stands 1.55m tall and sports a 3.3m wheelbase, ensuring optimal comfort for passengers.
It may have the sense of being a new baby Rolls in public consciousness, but with such dimensions it’s actually slightly bigger than the Silver Spirit, which carried the brand through the 1980s and 90s.
Engineering details are being kept as secret as James Bond’s address, with Rolls only alluding to the engine being a ‘new V12’ and tyres, as seen in the images, being seven-spoke in design and 20-inches in diameter.
All indications are the V12 will employ 7 Series 4.4l V8 architexture, adding four extra cylinders, which should take capacity to around 6l, yet nowhere near the traditional 6.75l Rolls displacement.
Inside you'll find bespoke materials and stately finishes with frosted lamps, chrome door handles, violin key switchgear and an ergonomic roller-ball controller (think Rolls iDrive) to manipulate the car's systems.
Expect the 200EX on display at Geneva in two weeks time to be very close in finish to the production model due for unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show in September, by which time it should have a proper name too...
In here you'll be insulated from the world and its credit crisis, war on terror and Joost sex-tape scandals. BMW's ergonomics onboard now too in the form of a centre console roller bar controller - which is hopefully better than first generation iDrive was.