It took nearly 122 years, but what Charles Rolls said in 1900 about electric vehicles has come to fruition. The Rolls-Royce co-founder once said, “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.” And now the marque wearing his name has introduced the Rolls-Royce Spectre, an opulent EV that will lead the way for the British automaker to have a fully-electric lineup by the end of 2030. Naturally, Rolls-Royce is claiming the Spectre has created an entirely new category for motor cars: the Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupe.
Hyperbole aside, the Rolls-Royce Spectre does set a new benchmark for luxury EVs, as you would expect from the brand. After all, there’s a good reason the pinnacle of a certain category is often referred to as “the Rolls-Royce of…” and now we have the Rolls-Royce of EVs. Deliveries of the Spectre won’t begin until Q4 of 2023 and until then, the automaker plans on putting the Spectre through its paces, 2.5-million kilometers (1.55-million miles) worth in order to simulate over 400 years of use.
So while most figures aren’t final, we do have a preview of what to expect and the targets Rolls-Royce is looking to reach with the Spectre. For starters, the vehicle measures 214.685 inches by 81.889 inches by 61.377 inches and should tip the scales at around 6,559 pounds. The model should return around 320 miles of range on the generous WLTP cycle, which means about 260 miles as measured by the EPA. In terms of performance, look for around 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, all of which will be good enough to do the zero-to-60 mph sprint in about 4.4 seconds. Official pricing won’t be announced until closer to the model’s launch in 2023, but Rolls-Royce did say it’ll slot between the Cullinan and Phantom, so we’re thinking the $400,000 range.
While power and range is arguably most important to most EV shoppers, we reckon anyone interested in the Rolls-Royce Spectre cares more about the luxury accommodations inside the cabin. Range may still be a concern if they’re being chauffeured around, but we imagine anyone with the budget of owning a Spectre will just fly to their destination if it’s over 260 miles. Rolls-Royce says this EV is fitted “with the most technologically advanced Bespoke features yet,” and who are we to argue.
It’s available with Starlight Doors, a first for a production Rolls-Royce, which features 4,796 softly illuminated “stars”. That night-time theme doesn’t stop there, as the Spectre’s Illuminated Fascia incorporates the nameplate with a cluster of over 5,500 stars on the passenger side of the dash. Naturally, those stars are only illuminated when the vehicle is in operation. And since it is an EV, there’s a completely redesigned digital architecture called SPIRIT. The system manages the Spectre’s functions but it also integrates into Rolls-Royce’s Whispers app so owners can access their vehicle remotely. It also means customers can customize features related to SPIRIT, such as matching the color of the dials to the interior of the car.
Along with the interior amenities, comfort comes in the form of the vehicle’s suspension. The Spectre will undergo plenty of testing to ensure it delivers Rolls-Royce’s “magic carpet ride” through its Planar suspension system. By using a suite of new hardware components, this system is capable of decoupling the anti-roll bars so each wheel can act independently. When the vehicle identifies an upcoming corner, it’ll recouple the components and stiffen the dampers. Under cornering, the Spectre monitors 18 sensors so it can adjust steering, braking, power delivery, and suspension settings for optimal ride quality.
For many of us, a vehicle like the Rolls-Royce Spectre is a pipe dream, but its mere existence will influence the rest of the EV market. When a brand like Rolls-Royce is embracing EVs and setting a target to have a fully-electric lineup by the end of 2030, it pushes other automakers to follow in its path. After all, Rolls-Royce is the automaker that many strive to emulate and if that means better quality EVs in the future, we’re all for it.