Rolls-Royce Spectre has been unveiled as the first all-electric model of the brand, fulfilling a prophecy made by the co-founder of the company, Charles Rolls, more than 120 years ago. In 1900, Rolls acquired an electric vehicle and predicted that it could be a clean and noiseless alternative to the internal combustion engine.
Table of Contents
Fulfilling a prophecy
“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,” said Charles Stewart Rolls, Co-Founder, Rolls-Royce, 1900.
In 2021, Rolls-Royce confirmed that it had started testing the Spectre, which is the first model to be designed and engineered entirely as an electric car. The testing program is the most exhaustive the company has ever devised, with the Spectre undergoing a journey of over 2.5 million kilometers, simulating more than 400 years of use for a Rolls-Royce.
The car is set to be completed in 2023, marking a significant moment for Rolls-Royce and electrification.
“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, 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.
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,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Design inspired by art and nature
The Spectre is an Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupé, setting a new precedent for the creation of a new class of cars. Its indulgent proportions respond to a commitment that there is no greater luxury than that of space. The designers took inspiration from worlds far beyond automotive, including haute couture, modernist sculpture, nautical design, tailoring, and contemporary art.
The front of the Spectre features a split headlight treatment that intersects with the widest grille ever bestowed on a Rolls-Royce. The vanes of the Pantheon grille are smoother in section, with a flusher fit to guide the air around the car’s front.
The relaxed angle and polished stainless steel finish enhance the Spectre’s presence using environmental reflection. The grille is softly illuminated with 22 LEDs lighting up the sandblasted rear side of each of the vanes, their gentle glow reflected in the polished front surfaces.
The Spectre’s monolithic flanks draw the eye towards the vertical bow line at the front, which tucks into the sill to create an uncomplicated sense of motion. The upward sweep towards the front is inspired by the gently lifting bow of an accelerating power boat.
The fastback silhouette recalls the most evocative motor cars and watercraft in history, with the roofline contributing to achieving the lowest drag coefficient ever for a Rolls-Royce.
Unparalleled luxury and an incredible experience
Inside this stunning vehicle, the brand has pulled out all the stops to deliver the most advanced Bespoke features yet, all while drawing inspiration from the timeless mystique of the night sky.
Among the many highlights of the Spectre are the Starlight Doors, which incorporate an astounding 4,796 softly illuminated ‘stars’. This marks the first time that this feature has been available on a series production Rolls-Royce.
Additionally, the coach doors can be commissioned with a backdrop of wood Canadel Panelling, named after the cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design team would spend their winters.
The night-time theme continues with Spectre’s Illuminated Fascia, which took over 10,000 collective hours to develop over a two-year period. It features the Spectre nameplate surrounded by a cluster of more than 5,500 stars and is located on the passenger side of the dashboard.
The illuminations are completely invisible when the motor car is not in operation, adding an ethereal touch to this already otherworldly vehicle.
But it’s not just the stunning visual elements that make the Spectre a standout. It’s also equipped with SPIRIT, a completely redesigned digital architecture of luxury presented in quintessential Rolls-Royce style.
Not only does SPIRIT manage the motor car’s functions, but it’s also seamlessly integrated into the brand’s Whispers application, allowing clients to interact with their car remotely and receive live information curated by the marque’s luxury intelligence specialists.
A ride like no other: testing and technology
The testing process for the Spectre has included extreme driving conditions in both Sweden and Southern Africa, with temperatures ranging from a frigid -40 degrees Celsius to a sweltering 55 degrees Celsius.
While a significant portion of the testing has taken place on the very roads that the production Spectres will be driven on, one location, in particular, proved to be of great importance: the French Riviera. It was there, on the picturesque Côte d’Azur, that the Spectre’s digitally integrated evolution of the renowned Planar suspension system was perfected.
The Planar suspension system is a sophisticated orchestra of systems that respond precisely to driver inputs and road conditions, thanks to the latest software and hardware developments. This allows the Spectre to deliver the hallmark “magic carpet ride” that Rolls-Royce is known for.
With the help of new hardware components and the Spectre’s high-speed processing capabilities, the Planar system is able to decouple the car’s anti-roll bars, allowing each wheel to act independently and preventing the rocking motion that can occur when one side of a vehicle hits an undulation in the road. This also reduces high-frequency ride imperfections caused by poor road surface quality.
When a corner is detected, the Planar system recouples the components and stiffens the dampers. The four-wheel steering system is then prepared for activation to ensure effortless entry and exit from the corner. As the Spectre corners, 18 sensors monitor steering, braking, power delivery, and suspension parameters to ensure the car remains stable and easy to control.
Power and availability of the Rolls-Royce Spectre
is currently in the final stages of development with the manufacturer working tirelessly to perfect its power, acceleration, and range. While figures for these features are yet to be finalized, initial data suggests the Spectre will boast an impressive all-electric range of 320 miles/520 kilometers WLTP, as well as a 430kW powertrain capable of generating 900Nm of torque.
The car is also expected to achieve a swift acceleration of 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds).
For those interested in acquiring the Spectre, it is available for commission right away, with the first client deliveries scheduled for Q4 2023. The pricing for the vehicle is expected to fall between that of the Cullinan and the Phantom, both of which are Rolls-Royce models.
In conclusion, the Rolls-Royce Spectre marks a significant moment in the company’s history and the electrification of the automotive industry. The Spectre is a testament to the commitment of the company’s founders and its current CEO to move toward a more sustainable future while maintaining the luxury and opulence that the brand is known for.
With its exhaustive testing program and innovative design, the Spectre is sure to make waves in the automotive world and set the standard for future electric cars.