The British luxury automaker is feeling the brunt of the new emissions and fuel consumption regulations around the world, even thinking of going all-electric for the Mulsanne flagship.
The switch is not even going to happen when the new generation comes to life – according to the latest report on the matter – because the increasingly stringent global regulations are swiftly approaching. According to Mulsanne product and marketing manager Hans Holzgartner, the automaker has been mulling an all-electric powertrain for the Mulsanne range topper for some time now. “At the moment, the indication is that full electric will be the only way that you’ll get into some of the cities in China,” the executive commented for British media. “It looks like if you don’t have a full electric drive, even some of the hybrid drives just won’t get into some cities in China.” This is a direct reference to draft regulations proposed by Chinese lawmakers, who are battling the increasingly stringent issue of pollution.
Holzgartner also hinted they are being pushed that way – although maintaining the “fun factor” will become an issue – by movements toward similar rules in certain European states. This means ditching the gasoline V8 engine, with the executive also believing “electric is much better suited to bigger, heavier, smoother saloon cars than sports cars.” This is because large cars won’t have a problem packing huge batteries – and luxury rides only need that tremendous torque. Ride and quietness will also get improved by the smooth delivery of electric motors, but indeed some of the “character” might be lost when the owners won’t be hearing the deep bass of the V8 rumble.