The British luxury brand is making sure its electric car will endure.
In preparation for production, the all-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre has crossed its testing program's 2 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) mark.
Currently, Rolls-Royce has the luxury coupe in South Africa for hot weather testing where temperatures are reaching over 120 degrees. The two locations the brand are using are Augrabies in the Northern Cape and Franschhoek, the "French Corner" in the Western Cape Winelands.
The process for testing with Rolls-Royce is, understandably, meticulous and is in the later stages, where the engineers are refining every system, hardware item, and software protocol developed for the new car. According to Rolls-Royce, it's at the "marginal gains" stage where the cumulation of minor and incremental adjustments produces a significant overall improvement.
Rolls-Royce is, of course, being grandiose about its process. "The reason for our extraordinary and restless global testing process is simple: there has never been a motor car like Spectre before," says Dr. Mihiar Ayoubi, Director of Engineering. "As the first all-electric Rolls-Royce, Spectre represents not just a new paradigm in our technology but the entire future direction of our brand. Only Rolls-Royce engineers could conceive this astonishing journey, and only Rolls-Royce engineers could undertake it: the task is not to test a motor car but to elevate the benchmark of automotive excellence."
Grandiose, but there's truth there. Rolls-Royce has already put 1500 hours into finessing the car's regenerative braking to ensure it "feels effortless but present." According to Rolls-Royce, the car has 25,000 separate performance-related functions to refine.
The extreme conditions testing isn't just about the drivetrain and general performance. Cold weather testing in Arjeplog in Sweden hardened the rubber sealing the cabin, while the intense heat will test the acoustic performance of the seals as they soften in hotter conditions.
In South Africa, Rolls-Royce is also fine-tuning the 17-speaker audio system out of the lab and in the real world. We've already seen the insane care and detail put into Rolls-Royce sound systems, and it should be the icing on top of a particularly luxurious electric cake.
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