Rolls-Royce Specter looms: the brand’s first electric vehicle

This is the Rolls-Royce Spectre, the famous brand’s first foray into building a purely electric vehicle. The Specter has arrived fully formed and fully resolved, a monumental two-door, four-seater 5.4m long and 2m wide that marks the start of the company’s all-electric era.

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has a heritage. In fact, we can always count on him to draw on his 116 years of history to find a relevant nugget that foreshadows his latest movement. In Spectre’s case, it’s a 1900 statement by company co-founder Charles Rolls in which he predicted the eventual dominance of electric propulsion for cars.

Six years later, Rolls joined forces with Henry Royce to create the company that bears their name. Four years later Rolls was dead, the first motor plane fatality in the UK. Royce took the company forward, quickly establishing it as a benchmark of excellence, a name synonymous with the very best in a given category.

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Under BMW management since 1998, Rolls-Royce has had only one visible foray into electrification. The Rolls-Royce 102EX, or Phantom Experimental Electric, was built in 2011 and has been seen around the world, giving potential customers a taste of electrification.

With a range of just 125 miles and long before the EV infrastructure was in place, the 102EX didn’t quite hit the mark. In the world of Rolls-Royce, spotlights are designed to be rolled out of the ballpark, the first time, so the engineering team asked their team.

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Specter pre-production models were unveiled last year, but this is the first time the production-ready vehicle has been revealed.

Undeliverable for at least 12 months, Specter must fit into the space left by the departure of the Phantom Coupe. Crucially, it also means that Rolls-Royce has a pure EV on the market about three years before Bentley.

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, describes Specter as “the most perfect product Rolls-Royce has ever produced”, a strong statement but one that aligns perfectly with current trends.

The company’s current fleet of models, from the Phantom to the Ghost, and Cullinan stand apart from their peers with a stubborn refusal to commit to such vulgar things as horsepower, throttle numbers and top speed. Although there are massive V12 engines hiding under those equally massive hoods, you’d hardly know it and most buyers, it seems, hardly care. This makes the brand particularly well suited for electrification.

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

As you can see, the company’s design team chose not to do away with the massive bonnet, nor the imposing grille that precedes it.

This emphasis on form, not function, is what gives a Rolls-Royce its considerable aesthetic weight, and Specter is no less imposing than any conventionally powered car bearing the famed Spirit of Ecstasy. .

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

It also weighs less than 3 tonnes, making it by far the heaviest production car you can buy, despite using Rolls-Royce’s bespoke aluminum platform.

A massive battery probably accounts for most of the weight; the range has been increased to a more than respectable 323 miles. Amazingly, the company has also added an acceleration figure – 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds – to tempt wealthy enthusiasts who are still on the fence.

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

The fastback body recalls the shape of the Wraith, the most avant-garde and sporty production Rolls-Royce of modern times to date (apart from the extraordinary creations of the Rolls-Royce Coachbuilt division). Inspiration is said to have been drawn from yacht architecture and design, with more emphasis than ever on aerodynamics, to the redesigned Spirit of Ecstasy wind tunnel. Lighting, inside and out, has been kicked up a notch, with LEDs in the stainless steel grille, concealed headlights and sleek LED running lights.

To add to the shameless and “imperious” scale indicators, the company claims that Specter is “the first production two-door coupe to feature 23-inch wheels in nearly a hundred years.”

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

The light show continues inside, with optional “Starlight Doors”, an extension of the company’s popular Starlight Headliner. The tiny stings of light have now migrated to the door panels, with a grand total of 5,876 twinkling stars transforming the interior.

You can even get the stars on the scoreboard. At the heart of the Specter’s operation is Rolls-Royce’s new digital architecture, dubbed SPIRIT, a kind of AI butler that works on the car’s interface and the RR app ‘Whispers’ to create a seamless relationship. with the car ; destinations, state of charge, etc.

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

We’re on the peak of another wave of retro car design, as the combination of electric vehicle innovation and consumer desire for familiarity and warmth sees automakers plundering their heritage to bring the two together.

By 2030, every Rolls-Royce will be electric. The Specter is the ghost of the future of luxury car manufacturing. §

Image credit: courtesy of Rolls-Royce

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