Rolls-Royce has finally revealed the Spectre coupe, its first electric series production car, ahead of customer deliveries commencing from the fourth quarter of 2023.
The ultra-luxury spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupe has been some 122 years in the works, considering the words of Charles Stewart Rolls himself in 1900.
“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 said at the dawn of the 20th century.
Between the start of product testing in September 2021 and next year’s launch, Rolls-Royce plans to put the Spectre through its most exhausting development program to date, covering 2.5 million kilometres.
“With Spectre, the marque confirms that the technology has reached a standard that can contain the Rolls-Royce experience. To that end, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that by 2030 its entire product portfolio will be fully electric,” the company added.
The Spectre sports classically Rolls-Royce indulgent proportions: It’s a reverse-opening, two-door coupe that’s as long as a Mercedes-Maybach S680 limo (5453mm).
The company says the precise tapered lines reference modern yacht design, while there’s a single massive body panel extending from the A-pillar to the luggage compartment. Those wheels are a massive 23-inches as standard.
Up front is the widest-ever Rolls-Royce grille – finished in polished stainless steel and gently lit by 22 LEDs – between split headlights and beneath a new “aero-tuned” Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet statue.
Rolls-Royce claims it paid for 830 combined hours of design modelling and wind tunnel testing of the Spectre’s bonnet ornament. The final 0.25 coefficient of drag rating makes this the brand’s most aerodynamic car, ever.
The Spectre’s interior doesn’t stray too far from Rolls-Royce’s playbook – though its headline act is fittingly extravagant.
The coach doors, rear-side panels and headliner are backlit by 4796 softly illuminated ‘stars’, alongside a plate ahead of the front passenger with a further 5500 ‘stars’ developed over 10,000 collective hours of design.
On the connectivity front, the Rolls-Royce ‘Whispers’ app lets owners check up on the car remotely, “and receive live information curated by the marque’s luxury intelligence specialists”.
As with all Rolls-Royce motor cars, Spectre’s interior suite offers clients near-infinite design possibilities. If you have the cash, the crew at Goodwood will furnish your ride with pretty much any kind of trim or material.
Under the imposing body is the company’s new Architecture of Luxury’ with an all-aluminium spaceframe. The Spectre’s extruded sections and integrated floor battery make it a claimed 30 per cent stiffer than any previous Rolls-Royce – good for refinement levels.
There’s a channel for wiring and climate control pipework between the battery and the floor, with the battery mounted underneath, providing a perfectly smooth underfloor profile.
Final power, acceleration and range figures are still being refined, but Rolls’ Royce says preliminary data shows that Spectre is expected to have a driving range of 520km (WLTP), and will offer 430kW and 900Nm outputs.
The expected 0-100km/h time is 4.5 seconds, despite the huge beast weighing a claimed 2975kg.
The Spectre’s suspension was honed from Sweden to South Africa, but “of particular significance” was the testing on the Côte d’Azur, reflecting where the typical buyer might spend time.
The suspension system delivers a claimed “magic carpet ride” and has party tricks such as decoupling anti-roll bars, dampers that individually stiffen to reduce cornering forces felt from the seat, and four-wheel steering.
“Under cornering, 18 sensors are monitored, and steering, braking, power delivery and suspension parameters are adjusted so that Spectre remains stable,” the company claims.
The Spectre’s decentralised intelligence processing capabilities required a dedicated handmade control for each of the 141,200 sender-receiver variables, with their own sub-variables for variations in climate, ground speed, road type, vehicle status and driving style.
Rolls’ says the Spectre is “available for commission” immediately, with first client deliveries commencing in Q4 of 2023.
Pricing will be positioned between the Cullinan and Phantom, it adds, meaning Australians should expect a sticker price of around $800,000.
“Spectre possesses all the qualities that have secured the Rolls-Royce legend,” claims Rolls-Royce Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.
“This incredible motor car, conceived from the very beginning as our first fully-electric model, is silent, powerful and demonstrates how perfectly Rolls-Royce is suited to electrification.
“Spectre’s all-electric powertrain will assure the marque’s sustained success and relevance while dramatically increasing the definition of each characteristic that makes a Rolls-Royce a Rolls-Royce.
“At Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, perfection is about more than making the very best products. It is a culture, an attitude and our guiding philosophy. Indeed, it is our founding father Sir Henry Royce who said ‘strive for perfection in everything you do’.
“Spectre has been conceived within this culture. It is perfectly in tune with the sensibilities of our time.
“It states the direction for the future of our marque and perfectly answers a call from the most discerning individuals in the world to elevate the electric motor car experience, because Spectre is a Rolls-Royce first and an electric car second.
“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.”
Key Spectre specs
- Doors: Two
- Seats: Four
- Length: 5453mm
- Width: 2080mm
- Height: 1559mm
- Wheelbase: 3210mm
- Turning circle: 12.7m
- Kerb weight: 2975kg
- Target range: 520km
- Target 0-100km/h: 4.5 seconds
- Energy use target: 21.5kWh per 100km