Vision Next 100

Today in London, UK, BMW is hosting an event showing off their latest concept vehicles from their motorcycle division, Mini, BMW, and Rolls Royce. A celebration of the past, present, and a prediction of the future in personal motoring.

Concept cars are always a treat because it is one of the few times when auto designers are let loose to create what they want without engineers or accountants inferring on the final product. A chance for a brand to show-off the full range of their abilities in building cars. Doesn’t always matter if the car is a one-off and will never come close to seeing a production line because it’s a way for us to imagine what the future may hold.

The Rolls Royce 103EX

Rolls Royce’s concept car, the 103EX, has been the cover photo on all the main auto sites this morning because of its radical design. A hyper-luxury, fully electric, autonomous super car. The most common word I have seen used to describe this car has been “striking”, which is accurate, but I will go one further and say it’s gorgeous!

Tucker-Torpedo-Concept-1

It reminds me of Preston Tucker’s concept design of his Torpedo from the 1940’s. The front fender skirts make it look like the 130EX should be on highway in the city of Tron rather than on a plain black asphalt road. This isn’t a car, it’s a true land yacht at nearly 20 feet long. Powered by two-electric motors for a total output of 670 hp, or 500 kW.

Built to be autonomous, so the cockpit is more of a two-seater lounge with a love-seat in which to commute. Since the seating is positioned at the far back of the sleek fastback rear, the luggage space is a compartment hidden in-between the front wheels and the doors. It opens up and you think you’re going to see some James Bond, Green Hornet, type of weaponry, but instead you see a set of luggage ready to be taken by someone who works for tips.

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A Blast From the Past

Ironically, this car made me think of a cartoon from 1951. Tex Avery’s Car of Tomorrow was, and still is, one of my favorite cartoons. Showing big cars with wacky gadgets that offer very little practical use, but are in the car to justify its luxury. In a way, Tex Avery’s vision of the future of cars wasn’t far off.

The Future High Roller

The 103EX is beautiful and looks sinister. Yes some people can say it’s too much and looks vulgar, but it doesn’t matter because it’s a concept car. It’s supposed to be over the top and exciting to look at. All concept cars want to make a statement and the 103EX statement is, “money can buy happiness.” I think it looks like the ultimate car for a futuristic villain. It be perfect for a modern remake of the 1977 cult classic The Car, since rehashing old movies seems to be the Hollywood cash cow for this decade. I hope Rolls Royce keeps some of the details from the 130EX in their future production designs.