Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Announce Major Platform Changes

Electricity, “space frames” promise a lighter, faster future

By The Editors

Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Announce Major Platform Changes
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11 January 2016

They aren’t quite as synonymous as peas and carrots, ebony and ivory or Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and that other guy, but electricity and aluminum make a solid team.

Engineers figured out that the 13th element was a cheaper and lighter alternative to copper in the early 1900s, and it became the wiring of choice for most power grids after World War II.

Fast forward a few decades and aluminum and charged particles are teaming up once again, this time to help two of the world’s most luxurious automakers renovate their product lines for a better, faster and stronger future.

Rolls-Royce just announced plans to outfit all of its models with “aluminium space-frame architecture,” and they have already started testing it as the new underpinning material for their vehicles, according to Car Scoops. It is uncertain when the entire fleet of Rolls-Royces will have the new lightweight frame, but the company may start using it on Phantoms or a luxury SUV initiative codenamed Project Cullinan.

On the electric side, Mercedes-Benz announced it will be installing Electric Vehicle Architecture in four new models in a bid to compete with Elon Musk and Tesla, Car Magazine reported. The multi-billion dollar “Ecoluxe” project will start with a C- or E-class saloon in 2018, followed by two crossover SUVs and a limo.

Prices are expected to range from $102,000 to $116,000.

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