Set to be released in late 2023.
Yesterday, Rolls-Royce told us that it would make a special announcement about its electric future this morning. We've been shown a concept before and even heard from company CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos that the first Rolls EV would be called the Silent Shadow. This appeared to be doubly confirmed by trademark filings discovered last year. This made us think that today's special announcement would be something teasing the platform of the first electric Rolls-Royce, or perhaps a hint at its design and specifications, but everything has been turned on its head as the British luxury automaker has now made an about-turn and revealed that its first EV will actually be called 'Spectre', and it'll arrive sooner than expected.
Rolls-Royce has kept most details secret but has revealed that the finished product will arrive on the market in the fourth quarter of 2023 to fulfill the prophecy of company co-founder Charles Rolls, who envisioned an electric Rolls-Royce product over 100 years ago. Today's CEO, Muller-Otvos, is naturally very proud to be at the helm as this dream comes true.
"Today is the most significant day in the history of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since 4th May 1904. On that date, our founding father, Charles Rolls and Sir Henry Royce, first met and agreed that they were going to create 'the best motor car in the world.'"
Muller-Otvos continues by saying that the cars these men created set a "completely new benchmark of distinction," and we expect the same for the first electric RR.
Rolls-Royce recognizes that its customers demand the very best, which is likely why it has taken so long for the automaker to come to the electric party. That said, RR is not starting on a totally clean slate, having been developing and experimenting with electric powertrains for some time now, with an all-electric Phantom concept in 2011 and another in 2016.
To ensure that the new EV is the very best that it can be, Rolls-Royce says that global testing will cover 2.5 million kilometers, or around 1.5 million miles - "a simulation of 400 years of use." This will be the most demanding testing program in the company's history.
But what of the name? We discovered it in the summer but didn't know what it was for, so why was it chosen for the marque's first EV?
The name is always significant, and although RR doesn't say why the Silent Shadow name has apparently been scrapped, it does explain the inspiration behind the new name: "Spectre is a name given to otherworldly beings synonymous with great power and apparition; creatures of an alternative realm that make their presence felt through fleeting manifestation. A spectre forces the world to pause. It dominates the space it occupies. Then, as quickly as it appears, it dissipates, leaving a wake of exhilaration, energy, and intrigue."
Rolls-Royce is a company that feels a perfect fit for electrification, and the powers that be agree. By 2030, every product in the Rolls-Royce catalog will be electrified, making for whisper-quiet rides and effortless driving comfort. We can't wait to see what's next, but for now, we look forward to seeing how this first EV (that looks very similar to the now-extinct Wraith) will pave the way for future models.