Snap Judgment: Should Rolls-Royce Go Green?

Automobile Staff
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Known for providing an outlet of updated, old-world luxury, Rolls-Royces of late have typically been powered by enormously powerful engines. Now, Rolls-Royce has indicated it might want to install hybrid, electric, and diesel powerplants in its superluxurious models. Really?

According to Automotive News, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes is investigating the use of alternative-fuel technology for future models. Options on the table include diesels, full electric sedans, and hybrids based on parent company BMW's ActiveHybrid system.

"First we must properly understand our customers in [the green] area," Mueller-Oetvoes said. "It's up to the customer ultimately."

BMW's ActiveHybrid platform, presently fitted to the 7 Series sedan and X6 sport-ute, would provide Rolls-Royce with a range of applications. Hybrid technology for Rolls-Royce would make it the first ultraluxury automaker in the business of alternative powertrains, save for Porsche's 918 Spyder hybrid.

Rolls-Royce has also tinkered with the notion of a fully electric Phantom. If produced, it's rumored such a car could hit showrooms by the end of this year. No word on whether the hybrid/diesel/electric powertrain will be fitted to the Ghost, or other models.

Is it a good idea for Rolls-Royce to diversify, and appeal to a well-heeled customer base with an ear to the ground on environmental issues? Or would dropping a diesel into a Roller be like offering a Maybach with a 3.5-liter V-6?

Today's Snap Judgment:

Should Rolls-Royce go green, and explore alternative powertrains?

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required), Autopia

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