Lifestyle, Lifestyle features|September 19, 2011 15:27

Electric feel

When Jay Boisvert was called to test Rolls Royce’s Electric Phantom 102EX, the world’s first ultra-luxury battery, electric vehicle; he could barely contain his enthusiasm

After a two hour journey to a hidden pocket of Sussex I eventually reached an impressive driveway, lined with plush lawns, which directed me to the Rolls Royce headquarters and world’s only RR factory.  Here I was greeted by the chief engineer who proceeded to introduce me to the Electric Phantom 102EX – a thing of real beauty.

Following a detailed presentation outlining the engineering and concept of the car, I was invited to get behind the wheels and, not one to shy away from any such opportunity, I jumped at the offer. At what seemed to be that exact moment the heavens opened, but I wasn’t going to let a heavy downpour rain on my parade – I couldn’t wait to take it for a spin. In fact, I was so enthusiastic and in awe of the aluminium wonder that in my haste to spin off I failed to realise the car – of which there’s just one across the globe – was a left hand drive.

Stepping into the car was like walking into a man’s paradise; it was spacious, with quality leather from floor to ceiling and enough chrome to sink a small battle ship. I started the engine and steadily made my way back down the landscaped drive to the open road. It took a while for me to get used to the silent engine as, for a car this size, I almost expected to be deafened by a mighty roar as my foot pressed the accelerator, instead there was barely a hiss. I was too surprised at just how light and easy to manoeuvre it was.

Needless to say, once my senses had adjusted to a car I really started to get a feel for it. Driving down the local lanes allowed me to open the 102EX up and I was amazed at its power, 0-60 mph in less than eight seconds. This impressive speed, teamed with the lack gear changes and sound, equated in an exhilarating driving experience – it felt as though I was gliding through Sussex. I was  completely in my element until I had what I can only refer to as a ‘minor collision’ with oncoming traffic, which I’ll put down to the oncoming traffic’s driving ability (or lack of it), and most definitely not a lack of concentration on my part. Luckily enough it was the wing mirror alone that took the brunt of the prang so took next to no time to mend. However I fear the damage caused to the hearts of RR’s head of press and chief engineer may take slightly longer to repair…

Read the full feature in our September issue or in our digital edition by clicking here

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