Rolls-Royce will cling to the V12 engine until the moment it is no longer able to.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Rolls-Royce chief executive Torsten Müller-Ӧtvӧs said that the British marque is ready for electrification but that V12s will remain its priority for as long as possible.
“We will definitely offer 12-cylinder engines as long as we can, as long as it is legally allowed to offer them,” he said.
As legendary as the marque’s V12 engines are, Müller-Ӧtvӧs said that Rolls-Royce is absolutely prepared for an all-electric future and figures it may have to make the switch by 2040.
“Electrification actually fits extremely well with Rolls-Royce because it’s silent, it’s powerful, it’s torquey, so in that sense it’s a very good fit.”
The V12 still has some life left
Rolls-Royce is in the fortunate position of being an automaker that can adopt electric powertrains with few, if any, downsides. Beyond the obvious advantages of electric motors which include their near-silent operation and instant power, they are small and compact. Consequently, the firm’s future vehicles won’t have the need for an elongated nose to house a massive V12 engine, allowing Rolls-Royce to increase the cabin space of its models.
Interestingly, Müller-Ӧtvӧs said Rolls isn’t making the decision to switch to electric propulsion because of the environmental footprint of its current models.
“These cars aren’t used extensively, nobody is driving long, long distances, and so the mileage on a Rolls-Royce is lower than the average car would carry.
“But electrification is the future, full stop. You need to prepare yourself for that.”
Note: Electric Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 concept pictured