Rolls' new speed record isn't happening in a car.
Rolls-Royce will soon attempt a new speed record - but not in the usual way. In the next few weeks, the all-electric Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation plane will attempt to reach a target speed of over 300 mph and a set new record for the world's fastest all-electric plane. On the ground, the Spirit of Innovation will be towed by an electric Jaguar I-Pace, which will be loaned as a support vehicle.
The Spirit of Innovation plane was created by the Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) program in collaboration with the electric motor and controller manufacturer YASA and aviation startup Electroflight.
"Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover are UK pioneers who are focused on advancing electrical technology for their respective sectors. We are delighted that Jaguar Land Rover are loaning us I-PACE vehicles as we bid to develop the world's fastest all-electric plane. It is important to us that the ACCEL program is carbon neutral and this will be supported by having all-electric cars for ground support," said Rob Watson, Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical.
The Spirit of Innovation's produces over 500 horsepower thanks to the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. According to Rolls-Royce, it provides enough energy to fuel 250 homes or fly London to Paris on a single charge.
The Jaguar I-Pace, on the other hand, utilizes two electric motors producing a combined 394 horsepower. Powered by a 90-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the I-Pace has a WLTP-rated range of 292 miles - coincidentally, this is the same distance by road from London to Paris.
The ACCEL project is part of Rolls-Royce's mission to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Jaguar Land Rover is also aiming to become carbon-neutral by 2039. Unlike Jaguar, however, Rolls-Royce hasn't produced an electric road car yet, but the luxury automaker has confirmed its first EV will be called the Silent Shadow, which is a reference to the iconic Silver Shadow.