BMW Group has submitted a trademark application for the Rolls-Royce Silent Shadow nameplate ahead of the British luxury car-maker’s unveiling of a pure-electric concept before the end of 2020.
BMW, which owns Rolls-Royce, filed the trademark application with the German patent office and it is understood to be the secret name of the upcoming pure-electric luxury limousine, SUV or luxury coupe or convertible that is currently in the works.
Rolls-Royce has already declared that it isn’t interested in plug-in hybrids and would make the jump straight to EVs, but only when the timing is right.
There is speculation that Rolls-Royce’s first battery-powered vehicle could take the shape of a glamorous coupe replacement for the current two-door Wraith coupe and Dawn convertible.
If so, expect the Rolls-Royce EV to mesh the largest 120kWh lithium-ion battery from the BMW iNext and the dual motor set-up from BMW M’s take on the upcoming i4 sports sedan.
This should provide the Rolls-Royce EV with plenty of power: at least 500kW and an epic torque figure of around 1000Nm.
Range anxiety shouldn’t be an issue, either. Expect the next-gen Wraith EV to cover at least 700km between top-ups.
As for its underpinnings, the new EV could be based on either a heavily modified version of the Phantom and Cullinan’s aluminium spaceframe structure or, more controversially, sit on BMW’s CLAR platform that’s developed for EVs.
If it’s the latter, Rolls-Royce will attract plenty of BMW-in-drag comments.
Whatever the case, we won’t have to wait long to find out as Rolls-Royce has confirmed it will release a new concept, tipped to preview its first production EV, before the end of 2020.
The new concept will pick up where the 2011 Geneva motor show 102EX Concept left off.
Created to offer owners a 200km range, the battery-powered Phantom pumped out 300kW and 800Nm which was only enough for an 8.0-second 0-100km/h sprint and a disappointing 160km/h top speed.
The project was eventually abandoned over the poor range and the fears its billionaire clientele would object to manhandling the bulky charging cables to plug it in at the end of every drive.
Focusing Rolls-Royce’s decision to plough on and develop zero-emissions pure-electric vehicles is the upcoming ban on petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles from 20 major cities around the globe and the fact that markets like the UK have declared they will forbid the sale of all combustion-engined vehicles as soon as 2030.