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Rolls-Royce Plug-In Hybrid Coming in Next 3 Years

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author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2014
  • Rolls says a plug-in hybrid model is on its way
  • New model needed to address emissions and fuel economy regulations
  • Rolls hasn't announced any major details about its plug-in hybrid

When you think Rolls-Royce, you may not think fuel economy. But that's precisely what the high-end automaker is thinking, as it recently announced plans for an upcoming plug-in hybrid luxury car.

According to Rolls-Royce, the arrival of a plug-in hybrid isn't demanded by its customers but rather by fuel economy and emissions regulations. The brand says such regulations have led to the development of a plug-in hybrid model, which will likely use powertrain components developed by parent company BMW.

While Rolls-Royce hasn't announced many details on its upcoming plug-in hybrid, the automaker has teased green technology before. In 2011, the brand showed off an all-electric Phantom, dubbed the 102EX, which offered charge times and range that were not acceptable for our buyers, according to Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos.

The result was a switch to plug-in hybrid technology, which allows a car to run for a certain amount of time on an electric motor before a range-extending gasoline powerplant kicks in. Other cars using plug-in hybrid technology include the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid. The Fisker Karma also used plug-in hybrid technology before it was removed from the market.

Shoppers interested in a plug-in Rolls shouldn't get too excited at the thought of an all-new model, as it's unlikely the brand will release a vehicle with only a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Instead, we expect that Rolls-Royce will create its plug-in vehicle by taking an existing model, such as the entry-level Ghost luxury sedan, and adding plug-in hybrid technology.

For those interested in more details, Rolls is likely to have them soon. The automaker says its plug-in model will be on sale in two or three years, meaning we expect to see it sometime during next year's auto-show season.

What it means to you: It's clear that plug-in technology is here to stay when even a high-end luxury brand like Rolls-Royce is getting involved.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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Rolls-Royce Plug-In Hybrid Coming in Next 3 Years - Autotrader