Rolls-Royce’s all-new Silent Shadow model sure sounds electric

Rolls-Royce confirmed it’s working on an all-new vehicle called Silent Shadow as the iconic British brand prepares to offer a fully electric car to its ultra-wealthy clientele this decade.

The BMW AG division last year filed a trademark with the German patent office for the name Silent Shadow, a nod to the Silver Shadow model sold from 1965 to 1980. Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes stayed coy on a potential launch date for the vehicle.

“That is still a secret,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “But it will of course obviously be a brand-new Rolls-Royce, rest assured.”

Regulation is catching up with super-luxury carmakers, with countries like the U.K. planning to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles. While some of the cachet of a Ferrari derives from its growling engine, Mueller-Oetvoes said the quieter tones of Rolls-Royces couple well with battery power.

“Electrification fits perfect to Rolls-Royce — it’s torque-y, it’s super-silent, he said. “We are not known for roar-y, loud engines and exhaust noises whatsoever, and that’s a big benefit.”

While the pandemic suppressed vehicle demand in many regions, Rolls-Royce’s production run is booked out for the year. Orders started to rise strongly from the fourth quarter of last year and onward as the pandemic unleashed a free-spending attitude, Mueller-Oetvoes said of the company’s clients.

“Many of them have witnessed how quickly life can end, and so it’s good to enjoy life today and not to postpone it to any later years,” Mueller-Oetvoes said.

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