It's quite literally the Rolls-Royce of EVs.
Rolls-Royce has entered the world of electrification with its first-ever EV, the Spectre. The Goodwood-based automaker claims the two-door beauty has created an entirely new class of car: the Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupe. It's a rather apt description for this superlative automobile that, in true Rolls fashion, has elevated the luxury car and tailored it for the electric future. The Spectre is a Rolls-Royce first and an electric vehicle second.
Visually familiar and easily related to products like the Rolls-Royce Ghost, the Spectre wears a split-headlight design. The slim clusters flank the widest Pantheon grille ever fitted to any Rolls-Royce, lending the electric coupe some serious presence. In the grille, you'll note the vanes are smoother and fit flush, which allows this bastion of excess to cut through the air cleanly. For added visual drama, the grille is subtly backlit, with 22 LEDs placed on the rear side of each grille vane.
Even the Spirit of Ecstacy has been redesigned to create a wind-cheating front end. As a result, the Spectre is the most aerodynamic automobile Rolls-Royce has ever produced. The company elected to fit the coupe with 23-inch wheels, making it the first two-door to wear this wheel size in nearly a century. Overall, it's a majestic-looking thing, made even better by the supremely elegant fastback profile.
The Spectre debuts a lot of firsts for the brand. The palatial cabin debuts Starlight Doors which, together with the Starlight Headliner, create a truly unparalleled ambiance; the doors alone comprise 4,796 "stars." While the tasteful dashboard and fascia will be familiar to Rolls-Royce owners, the Spectre introduces an entirely new front seat design.
Monied customers may now specify the lapel sections in a contrasting or matching color to the main base. Of course, we can expect the marque's Bespoke department to offer discerning customers an array of personalization options for the upholstery, wood inlays, and paintwork.
Befitting of the Rolls-Royce badge, the Spectre packs some serious hardware beneath the imperious styling - only here, there's no V8 or V12 motor. Built on the brand's "Architecture of Luxury" platform, the electric grand tourer holds the honor of being the stiffest Rolls-Royce ever made (by 30% compared to any previous model).
This has been achieved thanks to the integration of the battery into the structure, as well as extruded aluminum sections. Thanks to clever packaging, engineers have been able to give the Spectre a completely flat floor.
577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque silently shift this 6,559-pound luxury vehicle to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Not that it matters in a car like this, but the top speed is pegged at a respectable 155 mph. The driving range is yet to be determined, but Rolls-Royce says the estimated EPA figure should be around 260 miles.
However, there's an asterisk as these figures are subject to change, as Rolls-Royce is yet to finalize testing.
Swift progress is of little interest to Rolls-Royce buyers. It's all about the journey and the sheer sumptuousness of the ride. The Planar suspension is guaranteed to provide the brand's hallmark "magic carpet ride" thanks to a mix of software advancements and careful tuning. The vehicle's high-speed processing capabilities allow the Planar suspension to decouple the anti-roll bars, allowing the wheels to act individually.
This prevents any unpleasant rocking motions associated with hitting a bump in the road. Additionally, it also reduces vibrations and high-frequency imperfections on poorly-finished roads, providing a serene experience for those on board. When the Spectre detects a corner, the system will quickly recouple the various components and stiffen the dampers. For effortless progress, the four-wheel steering will guide the large electric coupe through a bend with minimal fuss.
It's also the most connected vehicle in the history of Rolls-Royce. Amusingly, engineers referred to the Spectre's rapid Decentralized Intelligent processing as "Rolls-Royce in high definition" due to this and its immediate response on the move. These systems were evaluated over 1.55 million miles of testing.
While many may see the advent of an electric Rolls-Royce as heresy, few brands are better suited to battery power than the ultra-luxury marque. All the benefits of EV motoring - silence, instant torque, and unmatched refinement - are all hallmarks of the historic brand. In fact, if it were up to him, Charles Rolls would have made the switch more than 100 years ago.
"The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged," he famously said in 1900. It's a shame that Rolls isn't around to see the Spectre, as this electric wonder is the culmination of his exacting standards and vision for the finest cars in the world.
"This is the start of a bold new chapter for our marque, our extraordinary clients, and the luxury industry. For this reason, I believe Spectre is the most perfect product that Rolls-Royce has ever produced," said CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos.
Expect the Spectre to silently slink into dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2023, but customers can already commission their example. Pricing starts at $413,000, but can go well up from there depending on the specification.