Rolls-Royce moves into modern era with its first EV
Spectre should offer new levels of quiet and luxury for brand
The first electric Rolls-Royce is here. Called the Spectre, it fulfills a goal the company founder had more than 120 years ago. By delivering a near-silent luxury coupe that elevates the brand’s luxury designs.
“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.” That’s what Charles Stewart Rolls said way back in 1900 after he purchased a Columbia Electric Carriage.
A massive coupe, the Rolls-Royce Spectre wears a wider grille than any other car the company has ever made. The grille gets a more relaxed angle than the brand typically uses. The grilles vanes are also smoother and fit more flush, the better to channel air around the car. The nighttime grille illumination, though, is just for looks. Even the Spirit of Ecstasy on the grille has been tweaked in the wind tunnel, giving the car a coefficient of drag of just 0.25.
Spectre is built on the same aluminum platform as the Phantom and Cullinan, dubbed the Architecture of Luxury. For the Spectre, integrating the battery has made the car even stiffer than those. By 30 percent, making it one of the most solid cars the company has ever built.
Rolls is still “refining” the power and range figures but expects an all-electric range of 520 km (320 miles) on the WLTP cycle. The output is currently 585 hp and 664 lb-ft, which is probably enough for the 3,000-kilo coupe to still move along briskly.
For the cabin, Rolls-Royce has added its Starlight feature to the doors. They’re rear-opening coach doors and can be fitted with 4,796 illuminated stars just like the Starlight Headline the brand has offered for a few years now. Rolls continues the night theme with an illuminated fascia that took 10,000 hours to design and has a cluster of 5,500 fibre-optic stars.
Suspension changes in the name of comfort include roll bars that can disconnect on the move, adaptive dampers, and four-wheel steering. The system is called Planar suspension and it uses more than a dozen sensors. Rolls says it tested at the Arctic Circle, in Southern Africa, and, of course, on the French Riviera.
Expect the Rolls-Royce Spectre to slide into high-end digs beginning the last quarter of 2023. Pricing will be somewhere between Cullinan and Phantom.