“The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.”
The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls, Co-Founder, Rolls-Royce, 1900
In 1900, Rolls-Royce co-founder, Charles Rolls, prophesised an electric future for the motor car recognizing the clean, noiseless alternative to the internal combustion engine – providing there was sufficient infrastructure to support it. Now, more than 120 years later, the time has come for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to fulfil the prophecy of its founding father with the first fully electric Rolls-Royce, Spectre.
Spectre marks the start of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars full electrification. Technology has reached a standard that can deliver the iconic Rolls-Royce experience – enhance the Rolls-Royce experience. The instant torque, silent running, and the sense of one imperceptible gear have defined the characteristics of an extraordinary canon of products dating back to the very first Rolls-Royce. Due to these developments, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that by 2030 its entire product portfolio will be fully electric.
“This is the start of a bold new chapter for our marque, our extraordinary clients and the luxury industry. For this reason, I believe Spectre is the most perfect product that Rolls-Royce has ever produced.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
In unveiling Spectre, Rolls-Royce sets a new precedent in the creation of an entirely original class of motor car, the Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupé. This designation refers to Spectre’s indulgent proportions, specified in response to a commitment that there is no greater luxury than that of space.
From the front, Spectre’s split headlight treatment is intersected by the widest grille ever bestowed on a Rolls-Royce. The vanes of the Pantheon grille are now smoother in section and a flusher fit, designed to help guide the air around the motor car’s front. Along with an aero-tuned Spirit of Ecstasy figurine the grille delivers Rolls-Royce’s most aerodynamic motor car, ever. The grille is softly illuminated, with 22 LEDs lighting up the sandblasted rear side of each of the vane.
The silhouette’s most dramatic feature is Spectre’s fastback. The proportional demands of Spectre’s scale required Spectre to be equipped with 23-inch wheels, and they make quite a statement.
Inside, Spectre is provisioned with the most technologically advanced Bespoke features yet, for the first time on a series production Rolls-Royce, Spectre is available with Starlight Doors, which incorporate 4.796 softly illuminated ‘stars’ in the interior and that is excluding the Starlight Headliner. As with all Rolls-Royce motor cars, Spectre’s interior suite offers clients near-infinite Bespoke possibilities.
Spectre is built on the ‘Architecture of Luxury’ – a new, all-aluminium spaceframe architecture, tailored for electric drive.
The use of extruded aluminium sections and integration of the battery into Spectre’s structure make it 30% stiffer than any previous Rolls-Royce.
A channel has been created for wiring and climate control pipework between the battery and the floor, with the battery mounted underneath, providing a perfectly smooth underfloor profile. This not only creates a low seating position and enveloping cabin but realises a secondary function for the battery – almost 700kg of sound deadening.
If it’s a Rolls-Royce, then ride quality must be exemplary. Spectre employs a “Planar” suspension, which integrated multiple systems, delivering Rolls-Royce’s hallmark “Magic Carpet Ride.”
The Planar system can decouple Spectre’s anti-roll bars allowing each wheel to act independently, preventing the rocking motion that occurs when one side of a vehicle hits an undulation in the road.
Once a corner is identified as imminent, the Planar system recouples the components and stiffens the shock absorbers, and the four-wheel steering system is then prepared for activation to ensure effortless corner entry and exit. Under cornering, 18 sensors are monitored, and steering, braking, power delivery and suspension parameters are adjusted so that Spectre remains stable.
Spectre is the most connected Rolls-Royce ever, thanks to Decentralised Intelligence Processing.
For this to be realised, a dedicated control has been developed for each of the 141,200 sender-receiver variables, and in nearly all cases engineers have designed additional sub-variables for climate, ground speed, road type, vehicle status and driving style. These have been refined over the course of Spectre’s 2.5 million kilometre testing programme both on advanced proving grounds and on real roads around the world.
POWER AND RANGE
Spectre’s all-electric powertrain outputs 557-horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Estimated EPA range is up to 260 miles. Spectre is expected to achieve 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds.
(figures are subject to change)
Spectre is available for commission immediately, with first client deliveries commencing in Q4 2023. Spectre pricing will be positioned between Cullinan and Phantom.
Pursuitist automotive and lifestyle contributor Brian Armstead has been involved in print, radio, web and television for over 47 years. Brian has traveled to 79 countries. He is a North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) Juror.