Rolls-Royce is planning to introduce a hybrid powertrain into its car lineup. With emission and fuel efficiency regulations getting stricter with every passing day, Rolls-Royce boss said that it would become necessary to adopt the hybrid technology to keep using 12-cylinder engines in their cars.
Speaking to Auto Express, Torsten Müller-Otvos, CEO of Rolls-Royce said,“It will be essential in two years, maybe not from customer demand but through legal regulation on emissions.” With Rolls-Royce’s parent company, BMW, already working on plug-in hybrid technology for its X5 eDrive, the British manufacturer might adapt the electric motor to assist its 12-cylinder engines. Müller-Otvos added,“We are now a completely self-sustaining business, but technology like this is so expensive to develop that without BMW, Rolls-Royce would probably not have survived.”
Rolls-Royce had previously experimented with electric technology with its 102EX prototype. The car was shown to customers around world and the reaction they received wasn’t encouraging. Müller-Otvos says that the recharging times and the range were not acceptable for their buyers and that a Rolls-Royce cannot come with any kind of compromise.
With hybrids, the above mentioned problems can be easily sorted out. With rapidly developing technology, the use of hybrid drivetrains not only benefits efficiency and emissions, but also performance, if used in proper measure (read McLarren P1). With Rolls-Royce though, hybrid technology will be mostly a means of being able to continue their tradition of ‘wafting’ their cars with the traditional 12-cylinder engines.