Spectre has a special place in Rolls-Royce history.
So, why did Rolls-Royce choose to name its new car the Spectre? Well, Rolls-Royces have always had ethereal names to compliment their near-silent interiors. Apparently, phantoms, ghosts, and wraiths are all completely silent and not nearly as shouty as the movies make them out to be. Mystery solved... or not quite. The Spectre name is not exactly new to the Rolls brand, but it is the first time it will be used in production.
The only models that don't fit in with the ghostly naming tradition are the Dawn and the Cullinan. The Dawn was named for new possibilities, and the Cullinan was named after a beautiful diamond the British stole from South Africa. Sorry, we meant to say borrowed under the guise of colonization.
Anyway, there's more to the Spectre name than simply being haunting. Introducing an all-new name is a big deal, especially for a brand as beloved as Rolls.
"The advent of our first battery-electric car marks the start of a bold new era for Rolls-Royce," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. "It is also the culmination of a long, painstaking process in which every element in creating this landmark car has been considered in the minutest detail over numerous iterations. But one aspect of this landmark motor car has always been certain: from the very outset, we determined that it would bear the name Spectre - the first series production Rolls-Royce ever to do so."
Otvos tells us how the decision came from the brand's history: "'Spectre' cars were always associated with ground-breaking technical innovations, the relentless pursuit of perfection, and a sense of mystery and otherworldliness. The motor car we now present to the world embodies all those qualities while making the Spectre name entirely its own."
In short, this is the first time the name Spectre will be used on a series production car, though the name has been part of the brand since the beginning.
In August 1910, the marque built Chassis 1601, which Johnson used as a demonstrator car. Claude Johnson, the then commercial managing director, named it 'The Silver Spectre' - the first recorded use of the Spectre name in the company's archive. The Spectre name returned in a series of Phantom III cars.
The Spectre name was used for pre-production large horsepower models. These were subjected to test runs of up to 15,000 miles, often covering 800 miles daily in France.
"There is a pleasing symmetry between the Spectres of the past and the present-day incarnation. In our history, Spectre is a name synonymous with technical innovation and development, and Rolls-Royce motor cars that go on to change the world. Though separated by almost a century, both the Spectres of the 1930s and our own today are the proving grounds for propulsion technology that will shape our products and clients' experiences for decades to come," said Muller-Otvos.
The Spectre is expected to make its official debut shortly. It went to France (are France's roads really that bad?) for the second phase of its testing and was recently spotted at the Nurburgring for more dynamic development.