Celebrated British luxury brand Rolls-Royce has debuted its first ever all-electric model in Australia with a price tag almost as large as the car itself.

    Built on Rolls-Royce’s bespoke Architecture of Luxury, the Spectre stretches almost 5.5m in length, more than 2.1m wide and tips the scales at almost 3.0 ton. It’s a two-door, four-seat coupe of epic proportions.

    It’s arguably the most eagerly anticipated model in the marque’s storied 123-year history, and the world’s first ultra-luxury electric coupe. It also heralds an entirely new era for the brand as it travels whisper quiet towards an all-electric future from 2030.

    Priced from $770,000 excluding on-roads, with customer deliveries commencing in the fourth quarter of 2023, Australia has already become the third-largest market for Spectre in the lucrative APAC region and with some of the most bespoke configurations the factory has seen.

    The Spectre’s all-aluminium spaceframe is infinitely scalable and includes fully extruded sections, while its 102kWh lithium-ion battery pack is integrated into the structure, making it 30 per cent more rigid than any previous Rolls-Royce model.

    Low-set wiring channels and climate control piping mounted between the battery and floor not only allow for a low seating position in Spectre, but also act as essentially 700kg of additional sound insulation.

    The drivetrain itself encompasses front and rear electric motors which produce combined outputs of 430kW of power and 900Nm of torque, with drive sent to all four wheels. It can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds, though a top speed isn’t quoted.

    The Spectre has a maximum range of 530km using the WLTP cycle – more than enough when you consider the average Rolls-Royce customer owns more than seven cars and drives the Rolls an average of just 5100km each year.   

    Using a 195kW DC fast charger, the Spectre can go from 10-80 per cent charge in 34 minutes, while charging with a 50kW takes 95 mins. On a 22kW AC charger, the same level of charge is going to take five and a half hours.

    Spectre drivers can engage proper one-pedal driving simply by pushing a button on the column shifter, though the default braking recuperation level is set to low in a bid to mimic a petrol-powered Rolls-Royce.

    Rolls-Royce claims the Spectre is also the most connected car it has ever built, boasting no less than 141,200 sender-receiver variables as part of its Decentralised Intelligence software architecture.

    The system is able to account for variations in driving style, ground speed, road type, vehicle status and climate, which in turn enables the car to respond to driver inputs and road conditions quicker.

    The Spectre uses an enhanced version of the company’s proprietary Planar suspension system launched on the Ghost, which combines bespoke hardware with the car’s high-speed processing capabilities to produce the marque’s trademark ‘magic carpet ride’.  

    The added stiffness also means there’s no need for an upper wishbone damper as used on the Ghost. On straight sections of road, the system is able to decouple the car’s anti-roll bars, allowing each wheel to act independently.

    Rolls-Royce claims the technology stops the rocking motion that happens when one side of the car hits undulating terrain, as well as minimising high-frequency instability caused by more frequent smaller primary bumps or surface cracks.

    But when the system senses an approaching corner it recouples the stabiliser bars, stiffens the damper and activates the four-wheel steering for easier entry and exit.

    At the same time, it also activates multiple sensors that monitor up to 20 different suspension, steering, braking and power parameters to enable ‘perfect’ stability through the bend.

    ‘Spirit’ is a digital architecture that connects Spectre owners with their car like never before and is integrated into Rolls-Royce’s Whispers App, allowing remote access to certain functions.

    Spectre buyers can also select the colour and hue of their car’s instrument dials in coordination with the upholstery or exterior paint colour.

    Stretching 1.5 metres in length, Spectre’s laser-welded pillarless doors are the largest ever used on a Rolls-Royce. They’re constructed from 100 per cent aluminium for both structural integrity and lightweight properties.

    The car’s electrically motorised doors open with power assistance as you gently pull the handle in two stages, while the driver’s door closes automatically when the brake pedal is depressed.

    Interestingly, Spectre’s Effortless Doors also use on-board longitudinal, transverse and G-force sensors that keep the speed of opening and closing the same, regardless of the angle of the car when parked – even on a hill.

    From an exterior perspective, the Spectre gets the widest version of Rolls-Royce’s signature Pantheon grille with polished stainless-steel vanes and illumination from 22 LEDs which creates a 3D effect at night.

    Amazingly, the Spirit of Ecstasy emblem is bespoke to the Spectre with a lower stance and a slightly forward lean – the result of 830 hours of CAD modelling and wind-tunnel testing, in order to achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.25.

    For reference, that’s less than the McLaren Speedtail’s 0.278, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever built.

    The split headlights on Spectre have been a design signature for years, and in this case, are a distinct nod to the previous Phantom Coupe which ended production in 2016.

    Following the seamless roofline and upright bow line are Spectre’s diminutive tail lights which are set into the single largest body panel on a Rolls-Royce – extending from the A-pillar down to the boot.

    The rear lights are colourless to better pair with the endless number of exterior colours possible.

    Inside, the Spectre also gets a few bespoke features, including Starlight Doors that seamlessly integrate 4796 softly lit stars not unlike those in the headliner. Alternatively, customers can choose hand-crafted Canadel panelling using a variety of fine timbers.   

    That celestial theme is extended with an illuminated fascia developed over a two-year period and more than 10,000 hours. Effectively it incorporates the Spectre nameplate and a cluster of 5500 stars on the passenger side of the dashboard.   

    Lastly and inspired by British bespoke tailoring, there’s an all-new front seat design that integrates lapel sections that either match or contrast the overall interior hues.

    The Spectre on display in Sydney is in Midnight Sapphire, with a Seashell/Navy Blue upholstery and Open Pore Sindora veneer.

    Also included is the illuminated grille, shoulder coachline and uplit Spirit of Ecstasy.

    Specification highlights

    • 23-inch seven-spoke fully polished wheels
    • Fully leather headliner
    • Illuminated treadplates
    • Polished stainless-steel package
    • Veneered steering wheel spokes
    • Coloured steering wheel
    • Shooting star headliner
    • Extended piping
    • Coloured seat piping
    • Coloured stitching
    • Rolls-Royce Bespoke audio
    • Coloured dials
    • R-R Monogram on all headrests
    • Lambswool floor mats
    • Technical bespoke clock
    • Rear privacy glass
    • Commissioned Collection umbrellas
    • Signature key
    • Ventilated massage seats

    MORE: Everything Rolls-Royce Spectre

    Anthony Crawford
    Anthony Crawford is a Senior Road Tester at CarExpert.
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