Rolls-Royce has introduced its first EV, the Spectre, set to debut in 2023 as a 2024 model. It’s a gorgeous coupe, loaded with luxury and horsepower, and with an expected range of 260 miles between charges.
The new Rolls-Royce Spectre coupe packs a punch. With a planned 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, it could launch Zero-to-Sixty in a blink over four seconds.
The two-door four-seater is built on a new, lighter aluminum architecture to compensate for heavy batteries, but still weighs in at a hefty 6,650 pounds, or 1,300 more than the Wraith sedan..
Price has not been announced, but it is expected to be around $400,000, in between Cullinan and Phantom models.
For Rolls-Royce, this new EV is a return to the past, and has nothing to do with the bad guys of James Bond 007 films. Let me explain –
Here’s what he said about it then –
“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.”
Now, more than 120 years later, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is fulfilling the prophecy of its founding father.
The company is calling the Spectre coupe more than a motor car, describing it in a press release as “a statement of intent and a symbol of a bright, bold future as Rolls-Royce progresses into an all-electric era.
This commitment to an all-electric powertrain will only enhance the Rolls-Royce experience – 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, the 1904 10 H.P.”
The company describes it as a Rolls-Royce first and an electric car second. It’s full designation is Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupé.
I think the most noteworthy design feature are the doors, which open from the front, like vintage vehicles from the 1920s and 1930s, instead of the “modern” way. Whether that is easier or not for entry and exit is up for discussion, but it is a dramatic and noteworthy design element.
Spectre’s split headlight treatment is intersected by the widest grille ever bestowed on a Rolls-Royce, which is more aerodynamic than non-EV Rolls-Royce models, including an aero-tuned Sprit of Ecstasy hood figurine. But other models will adopt the new design, too, since the company says it makes Spectre the most aerodynamic motor car ever.
Spectre’s spiritual predecessor, the Phantom Coupé is channeled with similar proportions and features, including a jewelery box-like darkened chromium housings for the headlights.
At night, the grille is softly illuminated, with vertical 22 LEDs lighting up each side of the rear, in what is now the signature design for Rolls-Royce.
Spectre is the first production two-door coupé to be equipped with 23-inch wheels in almost one hundred years.
It is available with Starlight Doors, which incorporate 4,796 softly illuminated ‘stars’. Doors can also be commissioned with a backdrop of wood Canadel Panelling, which takes its name from the cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design team spent their winters.
Spectre’s Illuminated Fascia is unique. More than 5,500 tiny stars surround the nameplate, lighting up when the vehicle is in operation.
A new Whispers app allows owners to interact with their car remotely, and receive live information from the brand’s luxury intelligence specialists.
For the first time ever, clients are now able to extend their Bespoke commission beyond the physical world and into the digital architecture that underpins SPIRIT.
Inspired by the marque’s clients’ love of bespoke timepieces, it includes the ability to change the interior hue of the motor car to match your mood of the moment.
The all-new front seat design has been inspired by British tailoring, with lapel sections that can be rendered in contrasting or matching colours, including bespoke stitching, embroidery and intricate piping.
Sophisticated software sends and receives nearly 150,000 variables, including road and weather conditions.
Spectre has been tested in the arctic circle in Arjeplog, Sweden, at temperatures as low as -40 degrees centigrade, and across Southern Africa, in temperatures of up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yet, 55% of testing is on the very roads that many production Spectres will be driven on. Of particular significance was the French Riviera. It was on the Côte d’Azur that Spectre’s digitally integrated evolution of the renowned Planar suspension system was finalized.
Planar suspension is an orchestra of systems with precisely defined responses to driver inputs and road conditions, made possible by the latest software and hardware developments, delivering Rolls-Royce’s hallmark ‘magic carpet ride’.
Using a suite of new hardware components and leveraging Spectre’s high-speed processing capabilities, the Planar system can decouple the car’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.
This also reduces high-frequency ride imperfections caused by shortcomings in road surface quality.
Once a corner is identified as imminent, Planar recouples the components and stiffens the dampers, The four-wheel steering system is then prepared for activation to ensure effortless entry and exit.
Under cornering, 18 sensors are monitored, and steering, braking, power delivery and suspension parameters are adjusted so that Spectre remains stable.
The result is effortless control. note is the interesting bridge to the past with the traditional “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood emblem, preserved with this model. It does nothing for the aerodynamics of the model, but everything to its class.
So – are you putting in an order?
All photos courtesy Rolls-Royce
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
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