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Rolls-Royce Spectre is company’s first EV. Image by Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce Spectre is company’s first EV
First electric Rolls-Royce weighs nearly three tons but can very luxuriously hit 60mph in 4.4 seconds.
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What's all this about?

This is the Spectre, the most aerodynamic and structurally stiff Rolls-Royce ever made. Slightly more importantly though, it’s the company’s first fully electric car. As such Rolls-Royce says it represents the fulfilment of a prophecy long foretold.

Sounds mystical

Not especially. Back in 1900, Charles Stewart Rolls, one of the company’s founders, quite sensibly said, having tested a then-in-vogue electric car, that such a mode of propulsion was “perfectly noiseless and clean” and “should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.” It may have taken 122 years, but Rolls’ company has finally got there, and not only is it launching its first electric car, it has pledged that its entire line-up will be fully electric by 2030.

It's huge - it can't be that efficient...

“Land yacht” would be a reasonably apt description, especially as nautical design formed a big part in the inspiration for the Spectre’s lines. Then there’s the fact its bluff front-end is two metres wide. Then there’s the fact that it weighs nearly three tons. Standing in the Spectre’s favour, however, is a relatively slippery drag coefficient of 0.25 with elements such as the vanes in the grille and the newly-remodelled Spirit of Ecstasy mascot having all been designed with aerodynamic efficiency in mind.

Any word on battery and range?

There’s no word on the battery yet, but Rolls-Royce says it will have a range of up to 320 miles.

What about power?

Details of the powertrain haven’t been fully revealed either, but it will develop 585hp and 900Nm of torque, which is enough to propel it to 60mph in 4.4 seconds.

So is it based on a new platform?

The Spectre is based on the same all-aluminium Architecture of Luxury platform as the Phantom and Cullinan, and it’s designed in such a way that the battery and cabin floor can sit between the sills, the latter mounted on top of the other, creating, Rolls says, an extra 700kg of sound insulation. The structure makes the Spectre 30 per cent stiffer than any other Rolls-Royce.

Typical Rolls-Royce luxury inside?

Most definitely, though the firm hasn’t outlined the full equipment list. The use of fibre-optic cables embedded in the roof to produce a twinkling starlight effect was an amusing delight when it was first seen back in 2003 on the new Phantom, but Rolls-Royce has really gone all-in in that regard with the doors of the Spectre featuring 4,796 “stars” and the fascia 5,500 more surrounding the embedded Spectre nameplate. Given how endlessly customisable Rolls-Royce interiors are, customers can specify their preferred look for the dials on the digital instrument cluster, with the car’s digital functions overseen by the company’s new Spirit operating system.

Three tonnes and very luxurious? Can't be much of a driver's car...

The Spectre is unlikely to rival a Lotus for sheer driver engagement, but there’s no reason to suspect it’ll be a lumbering, ship-like old thing either. Yes, the suspension and chassis have been designed for comfort, but with the ability to decouple the anti-roll bars, utilise four-wheel steering and stiffen its dampers when it sees a corner approaching, it should retain its composure well under cornering.

Give us a chuckle, how much is it?

Probably somewhere in the region of £350,000, i.e. about halfway between the cost of the Cullinan and more-expensive Phantom based on Rolls-Royce’s estimates. Orders (or should we say “commissions”?) are open now with first deliveries expected towards the end of 2023.

David Mullen - 21 Oct 2022

Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.Rolls-Royce Spectre Revealed. Image by Rolls-Royce.    - Rolls-Royce road tests
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