GENEVA -- The Flying Lady is spreading her wings: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars showed a Phantom-based coupe concept here which, if it goes into production, would be the fourth car in the Rolls lineup.
The 101EX coupe concept is just the second concept built by Rolls-Royce since BMW took over ownership from German rival Volkswagen AG in January 2003.
Rolls-Royce began production at its new Goodwood, England, factory in 2003 with just a single car, the four-door Phantom limousine. Since that beginning, Rolls-Royce has shown just one concept car - the 100EX, a convertible that will go into production this year as the Corniche.
Ian Cameron, chief designer at Rolls-Royce, said the coupe was created to explore the sportier side of the brand. It is 10 inches shorter than the Phantom, which is also available with an extended wheelbase.
"The Phantom delivers a fantastic driving experience," he said. "The 101EX is much less formal."
Production seems likely. Rolls-Royce CEO Ian Robertson has hinted that the company would build a smaller car in the same way that rival Bentley built two smaller cars, the Continental GT Coupe and the Continental Flying Spur sedan.
Asked what concepts the design department is exploring for the future, Cameron replied: "What's next? A whole raft of concepts."
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