New Rolls-Royce Spectre: The ultimate electric car?
Rolls’ first all-electric car is set to take the brand to new heights, with the first customer deliveries due in Q4 of 2023.
What is Rolls-Royce's modus operandi? Take the best that exists and make it better. As such, the brand has spent the last decade striving to achieve the pinnacle of refined, luxurious, and effortless travel.
While other manufacturers have gone to great lengths to extract the most bombastic soundtracks from their combustion engines, Rolls-Royce has endeavored to make its big V12s as hushed as possible. Therefore, if a car (or brand for that matter) was ever a perfect candidate for an EV powertrain, surely a Rolls-Royce is the one?
The pairing of electric and Rolls is so ideal in fact, that co-founder Charles Rolls prophesied an EV future for the brand as early as 1900. It may have taken some 123 years to realise Mr. Rolls’ vision, but now in 2023, we finally understand what he meant.
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With 576 bhp on tap, the Spectre’s new EV set-up broadly matches the venerable 6 and ¾ litre V12 (depending on the application) in absolute output, but the 664 lb. ft of instantaneous torque is likely what will define the car’s character.
And, unlike ICE vehicles which necessitate a complex gearbox – introducing further opportunities to spoil the serenity with clunky changes and vibrations that penetrate the cabin – the Spectre uses a single speed for smooth, seamless forward motion. Far more civilised.
Despite looking like it would possess the aerodynamic properties of a house brick, the Spectre posts an impressive 0.25 drag coefficient. This figure no doubt aids the opulent coupe in achieving a continent crossing 329-mile potential per charge. Equally handy, given the 102-kWh battery size, is the max 195kW charging rate – allowing the Spectre to go from 10-80% in just 34 minutes.
While most Rolls owners will be disinterested in the crass topic of performance figures, the Spectre won’t break a sweat during the 4.5 second sprint to 62 mph. And for those affluent owners who frequent de-limited stretches of the Autobahn, the EV Rolls will march all the way up to 155 mph.
In typical Rolls-Royce fashion, adaptive air suspension cushions and isolates the driver from even the slightest ripple in the road-surface. That trick suspension will probably have to work extra hard too, given the enormous 23-inch wheels (a first for a coupe in almost a century) nestled in each corner. Those monster-truck-sized wheels will also wear appropriately massive 255/40 front and 295/35 rear Pirelli P Zero tyres.
Rolls-Royce has never been unduly concerned with the weight of its cars – if you want lightweight then buy a Lotus. As such, the extra 700 KGs incurred from hefty batteries stowed under the floor are relatively inconsequential in this case. Handy, given the imposing coupe now tips the scales just shy of 3 tonnes.
As well as exceptional refinement and quality, it’s the little touches which make a Rolls-Royce unique. The Spectre maintains this mantra, now incorporating the brand’s signature ‘starlight’ headliner in the door cards and dashboard. In total, the new system will display over 5,500 stars in all their glistening glory.
The wow factor continues with the option of bespoke stitching, embroidery, and intricate piping for the seats. While on the outside, the trademark grille is illuminated, and the Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet ornament has been raked back for greater aero efficiency.
For those who find a BMW i7 a little too ordinary, the Spectre will be the perfect antidote. At £330,000, their budget will need to match their lavish tastes though.
If a Rolls-Royce is seen as the pinnacle of the motorcar, and this EV is the ultimate Rolls-Royce, does that make the Spectre the greatest car ever? Let us know what you think.