Two years ago, Rolls-Royce unveiled the 100EX convertible concept, and it wowed the crowds in Geneva. Since then, Rolls has confirmed that it will, indeed, build a production convertible based on the 100EX, and we expected to see that car at this year’s Swiss show. Instead, Rolls surprised show attendees with yet another concept, the 101EX, which is a coupe version of the 100EX convertible.
Like the 2004 concept, the 101EX is built using the same aluminum spaceframe construction as the Phantom limousine and is powered by the Phantom’s 6.75-liter V-12 engine. It also shares the 100EX’s stunning, machined-aluminum hood, which links the A-pillars, windshield header, and traditional Rolls grille into one incredibly solid mass of metal. The coupe’s doors are hinged at the rear so that, as Rolls says, “the driver and passengers step in rather than fall in backwards, as demanded in a conventional two-door coupe.”
Make no mistake: Both of Rolls-Royce’s concepts are destined for production. Rolls-Royce cannot waste money on expensive prototypes like these just for grins. We’d guess that we’ll see the convertible in production form at the Paris Motor Show this September, and then the coupe within a year after that. Rolls definitely needs more models in its range, and there are a lot of people in Beverly Hills for whom the Bentley Continental GT coupe has probably become a bit too common. We’d be surprised if these two-door Rolls-Royces cost anything less than $300,000.