Car Reviews

ROLLS-ROYCE SPECTRE UNVEILED: THE MARQUE’S FIRST FULLY-ELECTRIC MOTOR CAR

Charles Rolls, a co-founder of Rolls-Royce, predicted an electric future for the automobile in 1900. He had purchased the Columbia Electric Carriage, an electric vehicle, and saw its potential as a clean, quiet replacement for internal combustion engines—providing the necessary infrastructure was in place. The time has come for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to realise its founding father’s prophecy more than 120 years ago.

“Spectre embodies every characteristic that has contributed to the Rolls-Royce legend.” This incredible automobile shows how well Rolls-Royce is suited to electrification and was designed from the start as our first fully electric model. It is silent, powerful, and impressive. The all-electric drivetrain in Spectre will guarantee the brand’s ongoing success and relevance while significantly enhancing the definition of each trait that distinguishes a Rolls-Royce.

“Perfection at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars goes beyond creating the best products possible.” It is part of our ethos, culture, and way of life. In fact, Sir Henry Royce, one of our founding fathers, is credited with the advice to “strive for perfection in everything you do.” The idea for Spectre originated in this society. It is completely in line with modern sensibilities. Because Spectre is a Rolls-Royce first and an electric car second, it perfectly satisfies the demand from the world’s most affluent people to elevate the electric motor car experience. It also lays the foundation for the future of our marque.

“Our marque, our exceptional clients, and the luxury industry are beginning a bold new chapter with this.” Because of this, I think Spectre is the ideal thing Rolls-Royce has ever made.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Officer Torsten Müller-tvös

“The electric vehicle is completely quiet and clean. Neither a smell nor a vibration exist. When fixed charging stations can be set up, they should become very helpful.

Rolls-Royce co-founder The Honourable Charles Stewart Rolls in 1900

A PROPHECY FULFILLED. A PROMISE KEPT. AN EXTRAORDINARY UNDERTAKING.

Charles Rolls, a co-founder of Rolls-Royce, predicted an electric future for the automobile in 1900. He had purchased the Columbia Electric Carriage, an electric vehicle, and saw its potential as a clean, quiet replacement for internal combustion engines—providing the necessary infrastructure was in place. The time has come for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to realize its founding father’s prophecy more than 120 years ago.  

Without a more recent promise, this prophecy would not have come true when Torsten Müller-tvös, the CEO of Rolls-Royce, publicly committed to electrification by promising to release an all-electric Rolls-Royce within the next ten years. A historic event resulted from Torsten Müller-tvös’ promise and Charles Rolls’ prophecy. The Rolls-Royce marque announced in September 2021 that testing of the Spectre, the first model to be designed and engineered exclusively as an electric vehicle, had begun.

The brand created the most thorough testing program it had ever imagined to make sure this revolutionary motor car was adequately ready for the most demanding customer in the world—the Rolls-Royce client. In order to simulate more than 400 years of use of a Rolls-Royce, Spectre is being put through a journey of more than 2.5 million kilometres. Spectre will stand for a prophecy fulfilled, a promise kept, and an undertaking finished when it is finished in 2023.

With Spectre, the marque affirms that technology has advanced to a level where it can support the Rolls-Royce experience. Spectre is not only a historic moment for Rolls-Royce but also for electrification. Rolls-Royce has stated that by the end of 2030, every product in its lineup will be entirely electric.

THE FUTURE BEGINS

The Spectre is more than just a vehicle. As Rolls-Royce transitions to an all-electric era, it is a declaration of intent and a representation of a bright, daring future. Instant torque, silent operation, and the perception of one imperceptible gear have defined the characteristics of an extraordinary canon of products dating back to the very first Rolls-Royce, the 1904 10 HP. This dedication to an all-electric powertrain will only enhance the Rolls-Royce experience.

Rolls-Royce has harnessed a ground-breaking “Decentralised Intelligence” system for Spectre that enables the free and direct exchange of information between more than 1,000 vehicle functions, further elevating the brand’s renowned level of ride quality.

As the brand enters the electric age, its designers have captured a modern yet classic aesthetic that significantly advances the brand’s iconography. Starlight Doors and Illuminated Fascia, two modern prêt-à-porter personalization options made by its artisans, encourage customers to realize their own bespoke visions.

DESIGN

With the introduction of Spectre, Rolls-Royce created a brand-new standard for the Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupé class of automobiles. As a commitment that there is no greater luxury than that of space, this designation alludes to Spectre’s indulgent proportions.

The designers of the marque have a strong connection to the environment that houses their automobiles. As a result, they draw inspiration from a variety of fields in addition to the automotive industry, such as high fashion, modernist sculpture, nautical design, tailoring, and contemporary art.

The primary sketches for Spectre were inspired by contemporary yacht concepts, particularly their use of taper to emotionalize silhouettes, clever use of reflection, and clarity and precision of line.

The widest grille ever given to a Rolls-Royce cuts across Spectre’s split headlight treatment when viewed from the front. To better direct airflow around the front of the car, the Pantheon grille’s vanes have been reshaped to have a smoother section and a flusher fit.

The grille’s relaxed angle and polished stainless steel finish significantly increase Spectre’s visibility by enhancing environmental reflection. The grille improves the car’s record-breaking drag coefficient, which at just 0.25cd makes Spectre Rolls-Royce’s most aerodynamic vehicle ever. It also comes with an aero-tuned Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, which was created after 830 hours of combined design modelling and wind tunnel testing.

The Phantom Coupé’s iconography has been combined with this clever treatment to create Spectre. With its generous proportions and split headlight treatment—a modern Rolls-Royce design tenet—Spectre clearly acknowledges its forebear. 

Sharp daytime running lights on the Spectre contrast with lower lamp clusters that initially appear darkened but actually hide headlight housings that resemble darkened jewellery boxes. This contrast highlights the vehicle’s imposing two-metre width. To confirm Spectre’s expression at night, the grille is softly illuminated with 22 LEDs that illuminate the sandblasted back sides of each of the vanes.

Their gentle glow is reflected in the polished front surfaces for a subtle and three-dimensional night signature.

The monolithic flanks of Spectre are brought into focus by the sharp, vertical bow line at the front of the object in profile. The lower line – known as the ‘waft line’ – borrows directly from yacht design. Spectre’s coachwork gently tucks into the sill, lightening the surfacing and producing an uncomplicated sense of motion by reflecting the road passing beneath it, much like the hull of a racing yacht reflects the ocean as it cuts through water.

This avoids exaggerating movement with busy detailing or appliqués. The upward sweep toward the front of this “waft line,” which serves as a representation of the “magic carpet ride,” is inspired by the bow of an accelerating power boat.

The most striking aspect of the silhouette is Spectre’s fastback, which evokes some of history’s most memorable automobiles and vessels. The greenhouse’s seamless surface played a significant role in achieving the lowest drag coefficient ever recorded for a Rolls-Royce. The largest single body panel ever created for a Rolls-Royce, which stretches from the A-pillar to the luggage compartment, is where the tail lamps are located, following the roofline back.

The jewel-like vertical tail lamps are colourless on their own to be neutral in preparation for the many colorways that clients can choose during the commissioning process. The generous flow of the bodywork from the powerful shoulders back into the tail section with its distinctive tapering plan view is complemented by their precision and reduced dimension.

The scale requirements of Spectre forced Rolls-Royce to expand its wheel strategy. In almost a century, Spectre is the first two-door coupé in production with 23-inch wheels.

The most cutting-edge Bespoke features are installed inside Spectre, which was designed with inspiration from the enduring mystique of the night sky. The Spectre is available with Starlight Doors, which feature 4,796 softly illuminated “stars,” a first for a Rolls-Royce in series production. The Canadel Panelling, which gets its name from the cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design team spent their winters, can also be ordered as a backdrop for the coach doors.

Spectre’s Illuminated Fascia carries on the ethereal nighttime theme. It features the Spectre nameplate surrounded by a cluster of more than 5,500 stars and was created over the course of two years and more than 10,000 collective hours. The interior lights, which are on the passenger side of the dashboard, are completely hidden when the car is not moving.

Along with the extraordinary illuminated surfaces, Spectre has a completely redesigned SPIRIT digital luxury architecture, which is presented in classic Rolls-Royce fashion. The functions of the car will be managed by SPIRIT, which is also seamlessly integrated into the brand’s Whispers application. This enables customers to interact with their cars remotely and receive real-time data compiled by the brand’s luxury intelligence specialists.

Clients are now able to extend their Bespoke commission into the digital infrastructure that powers SPIRIT for the first time ever. The colour of the dials can now match the interior colour of the vehicle, drawing inspiration from the marque’s customers’ love of custom timepieces.

Like all Rolls-Royce automobiles, the interior suite of the Spectre provides customers with practically endless bespoke options. With lapel sections that can be made in either complementary or contrasting colours to the main base, the brand-new front seat design was inspired by British tailoring. As always, custom stitching, embroidery, and intricate piping were taken into consideration when they were created.

ALL-ALUMINIUM ARCHITECTURE OF LUXURY

The first Goodwood-era Phantom, constructed using its own Bespoke architecture, debuted in 2003. Rolls-Royce 1.0 was the brand’s renaissance. This led to the creation of the “Architecture of Luxury,” a brand-new, incredibly adaptable, entirely aluminum space frame architecture that was a brilliant feat of engineering and could be customized for electric drive, just like the Phantom, Cullinan, and Ghost models of today, as well as Coachbuild projects. 

Rolls-Royce 2.0 was the brand’s expansion of its product line. When the Architecture of Luxury was first imagined, the ability to adapt it for electric drive was a key factor. The Rolls-Royce experience, however, can only be fully realised now that electric drive technology has advanced enough. Rolls-Royce 3.0 and the start of the daring new all-electric era are marked by the addition of a fully electric powertrain and Decentralised Intelligence to the marque’s product line.

The engineers of the marque ensured the continuity of the experience from its current portfolio, each evolution of which has contributed significantly to secure the brand’s ongoing global success, by ensuring from the outset that the Architecture of Luxury could be tailored to the requirements of an all-electric Rolls-Royce.

Engineers, designers, and craftspeople can now concentrate on the caliber of the experience, the authenticity of the design, and innovation in Bespoke thanks to the inherent flexibility of the architecture and the ease of integration of an electric powertrain.

Rolls-Royce engineers have unlocked additional advantages for Spectre. It is 30% stiffer than any previous Rolls-Royce thanks to sophisticated extruded aluminum sections and the integration of the battery into the motor car’s structure. 

Engineers were also able to place the floor halfway between the sill structures rather than on top of or below them thanks to the architecture’s flexibility. With the battery mounted underneath, a channel has been made for wiring and climate control pipework between the battery and the floor, resulting in a flawless underfloor profile.

This achieves a secondary function for the battery—nearly 700 kg of sound deadening—in addition to creating a low seating position and cozy cabin.

DIGITAL ENGINEERING

For Spectre, a large portion of the engineering discipline at Rolls-Royce has moved from the workshop to the digital sphere. In order to fully utilize the remarkable Decentralized Intelligence processing capabilities of Spectre, the most connected Rolls-Royce in history, there is a greater need than ever for qualified human experience.

The most skilled test and development engineers, some of whom have been with the marque for more than two decades and were responsible for creating the first “Goodwood-era” Phantom, were chosen by Rolls-Royce to lead the project in order to ensure the continuity and progression of the Rolls-Royce experience.

Because of the speed and accuracy of the vehicle’s response to a wide range of road and weather conditions, these engineers compare the experience provided by Spectre to “Rolls-Royce in high definition.”

To make this possible, each of the 141,200 sender-receiver variables has its own dedicated control, and engineers have almost always added several more sub-variables to account for variations in the weather, ground speed, type of road, vehicle status, and driving style. These have been developed over the course of Spectre’s 2.5 million kilometers of testing, which took place on both cutting-edge testing facilities and actual roads all over the world.

PLANAR SUSPENSION

Extreme driving conditions are part of the testing process for Spectre; the car’s development started just 55 km from the arctic circle in Arjeplog, Sweden, at temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius, and it will continue across Southern Africa at temperatures as high as 55 degrees Celsius.

However, 55% of testing is occurring on the same roads that many Spectres in production will be driven on. The French Riviera was especially important. The Spectre’s digitally integrated evolution of the renowned Planar suspension system was completed on the Côte d’Azur.

The latest software and hardware advancements have made it possible for planar suspension, an orchestra of systems with precisely defined responses to driver inputs and road conditions, to deliver the renowned “magic carpet ride” of Rolls-Royce vehicles.

The Planar system can decouple the car’s anti-roll bars, allowing each wheel to act independently and preventing the rocking motion that takes place when one side of a vehicle hits an undulation in the road. This is done by utilizing a variety of new hardware components and leveraging Spectre’s high-speed processing capabilities. Additionally, this lessens high-frequency ride imperfections brought on by poor road surface quality.

When a corner is anticipated, the Planar system recouples the parts, stiffens the dampers, and then gets ready to activate the four-wheel steering system to ensure easy entry and exit. Spectre’s stability is maintained during cornering by 18 sensors that monitor steering, braking, power delivery, and suspension parameters. Control is as a result simple.

POWER, RANGE AND DIMENSIONS

As the extraordinary project of perfecting Spectre enters its final phase before coming to an end in the second quarter of 2023, the final power, acceleration, and range figures are still being refined. According to preliminary data, the Spectre is anticipated to have a 320 mile (520 km) all-electric range and provide 900 Nm of torque from its 430 kW powertrain. It should be able to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 100 kilometers per hour) in 4.4 seconds.

These numbers could change before they are formally confirmed prior to the market launch in Q4 2023 because Spectre still needs to undergo several months of testing and optimization.

SPECTRE DIMENSIONS:

Number of doors / seats     2 doors / 4 seats

Vehicle length                     5453 mm / 214.685 in

Vehicle width                       2080 mm / 81.889 in

Vehicle height (unladen)      1559 mm / 61.377 in

Wheelbase                          3210 mm / 126.378 in

Turning circle                   12.7 mKerb weight                         2975 kg

MARKET DEBUT

Spectre is available for commission immediately, with first client deliveries commencing in Q4 2023. Spectre pricing will be positioned between Cullinan and Phantom.

CO2 EMISSIONS & CONSUMPTION.

WLTP: Power consumption: 2.9 mi/kWh. / 21.5 kWh/100km*. Electric range: 323 miles / 520 kilometres*. Co2 emissions 0 g/km.