Like most luxury automobile companies, Rolls-Royce envisions a fully electrified line-up of vehicles by the year 2030. Taking their first step in that direction, Rolls Royce unveiled the new Spectre coupé which is the marque’s first-ever all-electric vehicle.
In 1900, the co-founder of Rolls-Royce, Charles Rolls, prophesied an electric future for the motor car. Having acquired an electric vehicle named The Columbia Electric Carriage, he foresaw its suitability as a clean, noiseless alternative to the internal combustion engine – providing there was sufficient infrastructure to support it. Today, more than 120 years later, the time has come for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to fulfil the prophecy of its founding father.
“Spectre possesses all the qualities that have secured the Rolls-Royce legend. This incredible motor car, conceived from the very beginning as our first fully-electric model, is silent, and powerful and demonstrates how perfectly Rolls-Royce is suited to electrification. Spectre’s all-electric powertrain will assure the marque’s sustained success and relevance while dramatically increasing the definition of each characteristic that makes a Rolls-Royce a Rolls-Royce,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
A new concept
Upon first glance, the Spectre can seem like any other Rolls-Royce coupé. However, upon a closer look, one can ponder the changes in design right from the wider grille and overall larger size. Stepping outside the automotive world, the designers looked within haute couture, modernist sculpture, nautical design, tailoring and contemporary art, before settling with modern yachts as inspiration for the Spectre.
Stretching 5.45 metres long and over 2 metres wide, the Spectre rides on a 126-inch wheelbase and weighs almost 2,975 kg. Up front, true Rolls-Royce fanatics will notice the new wider grille, the widest for any Rolls-Royce vehicle, with an aero-tuned Spirit of Ecstasy. Moving on from the traditional flat, upright-nosed bonnet, Spectre’s bonnet swoops down to the grille for a smoother, seamless design.
Emphasising the motor car’s imperious two-metre width, Spectre’s sharp daylight running lights are offset with lower lamp clusters that appear darkened, at first glance, but hide jewellery box-like darkened chromium housings for the headlights. The grille is softly illuminated, with 22 LEDs lighting up the rear side of each of the vanes.
Another notable change in the design is the seamless glasshouse with the fastback roof panel extending from the A-pillar to the luggage compartment. This again is the largest single-body panel ever fitted on a Rolls-Royce. Its vertical tail-lamps have jewel-like detailing and are finished in a neutral colour for customers to spec them according to their preference. Adding to the list of firsts, Spectre also gets aero-optimised 23-inch wheels which are the largest ones to be fitted to a two-door Rolls Royce coupé.
Drawing inspiration from the night sky, Spectre comes with optional Starlight Doors which incorporate 4,796 softly illuminated ‘stars’. The ethereal night-time theme continues with the coupé’s Illuminated Fascia. Developed over the course of two years, it incorporates the Spectre nameplate surrounded by a cluster of over 5,500 stars. Located on the passenger side of the dashboard, the illuminations are invisible when the motor car is not in operation.
The all-new front seat design, inspired by British tailoring, features exquisite stitching, embroidery, and intricate piping that can be customised in contrasting or matching colours to the main base.
A completely redesigned software platform named SPIRIT makes an appearance in the Spectre. In addition to managing the motor car’s functions, SPIRIT will also allow clients to interact with their car remotely, and receive live information curated by the marque’s luxury intelligence specialists.
The Spectre is based on Rolls Royce’s all-aluminium spaceframe architecture, called Architecture of Luxury. While this platform also underpins the current Phantom, Cullinan and Ghost, it was designed with electrification in mind right from the beginning, which was way back in 2003. The Spectre is claimed to be 30 per cent stiffer than any previous Rolls-Royce. It also features active suspension and four-wheel steering.
Since the vehicle is still undergoing testing, Rolls-Royce was only able to divulge an estimate of the powertrain, stating that the Spectre is expected to get “up to” 260 miles of range, with 900Nm of torque from its 585 horsepower powertrain, and achieve zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. these figures could change by the time testing concludes in the second quarter of 2023.
As for the battery and range, Rolls-Royce settled on an EPA range of 260 miles which is more than enough for average routes. The weight saved on batteries allows Spectre to offer the same array of amenities and options as a gas car. The battery pack will have a capacity of approximately 110kwh and a peak charging rate of around 195kw. The vehicle is anticipated to charge from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in about 34 minutes on a 150kw charger.
While the Spectre is available for commission at the moment, the first client deliveries will commence in the Q4 of 2023. The price point of the Spectre, according to Rolls-Royce, will be positioned between the Cullinan and the Phantom, anticipating a hefty price tag of around USD 400,000.