Rolls-Royce has never been a company to shy way from insane levels of opulence, no matter how absurd it may seem to the rest of the world. Based on the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 concept, recently unveiled in England, there’s promise of even more ridiculous luxury in the pipeline.
The Vision Next 100 concept is part of Rolls-Royce’s parent company BMW’s centenarian celebration but really acts as a proclamation of where Rolls-Royce sees luxury transport in 20 or 30 years: zero emissions, full autonomy and functioning AI that learns drivers’ preferred routes, restaurants and cultural tastes — all of which doesn’t sound far-fetched at all. But Rolls being Rolls, they dress those near-future features up in a swathe of luxe: a vehicle that has twice the space of a Manhattan apartment and will make a small yacht look common by comparison.
At 20 feet long, and with highly apropos art deco styling, Rolls-Royce are embracing the “land yacht” title like it’s an actual segment, boasting semi-floating front fenders and half-hidden wheels, giving the impression it’ll be gliding down the road instead of driving. But it’s important to note that when Rolls says it’s fully autonomous, it means it’s fully autonomous, 100 percent of the time. There’s no steering wheel or pedals, which Rolls-Royce claims are “superfluous in this model.” Steering, accelerating, braking — all the laborious tasks involved with driving are done by the AI named Eleanor, or the “ethereal concierge,” as Rolls puts it. All you have to do is sit back on the silk sofa, appreciate the “hand-twisted silk” carpet, while watching the full-cabin-width OLED display, surrounded by Macassar wood. Typical Rolls-Royce: so unnecessary, so conspicuous, so wonderfully outlandish.