Hubert Burda Media

Rolls-Royce unveils its vision of future cars

And it’s a sleek, self-driving beauty. Where do we sign up?

Remember Steven Spielberg’s vision of future cars as portrayed in his 2002 mystery thriller Minority Report? Set in the year 2054, vehicles were depicted as being sleek, swift and driverless. With the unveiling of Rolls-Royce’s Vision Next 100 concept car, appears that the celebrated filmmaker isn’t the only one who envisions that.

Codenamed 103EX, the car is the British marque’s imagination of what luxury cars might resemble a hundred years down the road. Spanning 5.9m in length and 1.6m in height, the zero-emission, self-driving car comes complete with an artificial intelligence virtual assistant and chauffeur — and no steering wheel of course. All passengers have to do is sit back and relax (and knock back a glass of champagne or two) while the AI interface advises them on itineraries and schedules, making discreet suggestions and recommendations where necessary, and delivers them to their destination.

The interior of the 103EX is opulent to say the least, with its passenger cabin outfitted in rich, handcrafted fine-line Macassar wood panelling. A large Oled screen faces an expansive ivory-coloured silk and wool sofa that was inspired by the Rolls-Royce vehicles of old. To complement the seating, a deep-pile ivory wool carpet — woven especially in London — as also been included in the plush space.

Exterior-wise, the automobile is everything one might expect of a Rolls-Royce. But while the carmaker’s signature polished metal Pantheon grille and Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet ornament remain as key features, its overall aesthetic is decidedly more avant-garde. The upper portion of the vehicle is comprised entirely of dark glass and lower section dressed up in a silk-like “Crystal Water” colour scheme.