Rolls-Royce motor cars were already known for their swift and silent experience. The marque has been working on a new car that does the same but without using an overengineered combustion engine. Feast your eyes on the Rolls-Royce Spectre.
It is based on the same all-aluminium “Architecture of Luxury” that debuted on the latest-generation Phantom. The uber-luxurious super coupe is also being referred to as the spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupe. After all, the basic formula is quite similar — long swooping bonnet, sloping roofline, 2+2 seating layout, and a massive rear-hinged door that is nearly 1.5m in length.
As stated in the unveiling presentation, the Spectre is a Rolls first and an EV second. This is evident in its exterior design which manages to look quite different and yet exactly how you’d expect a Rolls-Royce to look. It has a particular resemblance to the existing coupe of the stable, the Wraith. First and foremost, unlike most EVs, the Spectre still has a proper grille. I mean, it’s not a Rolls without it. The illuminated one on the EV is the widest ever fitted on a Rolls-Royce while also being shorter in length. Furthermore, its vanes are positioned at an angle that makes them more aero-efficient.
The Spectre features a split-headlamp design, a first for the marque, with LED DRLs above. They accentuate the car’s massive width of more than two metres. Another bespoke detail on the front end is the updated version of the Spirit of Ecstacy which has also been optimised for reduced drag.
The all-new Rolls-Royce looks especially stunning in profile thanks to those massive 23-inch wheels, the largest ever from the carmaker in a century, and the fastback roofline. Rolls continues to take inspiration from nautical designs such as the lower character line called the ‘waft line’. It rises towards the front like the lifting bow of an accelerating speedboat.
This nautical theme continues around the back with the tapered end of the Spectre. Here, the clean and elegant design is interrupted only by the jewel-like vertical LED taillamps. Overall, this large luxo-barge on wheels has an impressively low drag coefficient of just 0.25cd making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce to date.
The Spectre is even more of a quintessential Rolls-Royce on the inside. Its cabin exudes opulence with the blend of exquisite materials and finely crafted details. While not a fan of the launch-spec interior, there is a lot of potential for a highly customised specification. Rolls-Royce is also offering Spectre buyers the option to colour-match the dial selector in the central console tunnel.
The all-electric Rolls does feature some brand new details like the optional Starlight Doors, an extension of the iconic Starlight headliner that features thousands of individual ‘stars’. Its dashboard layout seems like that of a usual Rolls-Royce but it now comes with a completely digital instrument cluster, a large central touchscreen, and adds a new passenger-side display as well. However, this is not a screen for them to control multimedia or vehicle telematics. Like the art piece in the dash of the Phantom, the passenger-side display is a canvas for bespoke digital art or even a welcome animation that can be commissioned.
There’s a digital revolution on board the electric luxury super-coupe as well with a new vehicular system called SPIRIT, complete with a voice-enabled digital assistant and remote vehicular controls.
Moving onto the dynamic details of the Spectre, its battery pack is integrated into the platform in such a way that makes it 30% stiffer than any previous Rolls-Royce. The underfloor profile is entirely smooth for ideal aerodynamics. The Spectre has undergone extensive testing and development, over 2.5 million kilometres worth, to fine-tune the Planar suspension that helps deliver the iconic magic carpet ride.
Rolls-Royce is yet to finalise the specifications for the Spectre as the powertrain is still being fine-tuned ahead of its market launch. Its 700kg battery pack likely has 100kWh of energy capacity which should deliver a WLTP range of 520km. The total performance on offer is 430kW (577hp) and 900Nm distributed among both axles. It has a kerb weight of nearly 3 tonnes but can still do the 0-100kmph sprint in just 4.5 seconds. Rolls-Royce states that the electric drivetrain is tuned to behave like its stablemates, i.e., building momentum elegantly without jostling its occupants or throwing their heads back under acceleration.
The Spectre is slated to enter the market towards the end of 2023. No starting price has been stated, but it will likely be lower than that of a Phantom. While it can be considered the pinnacle of luxury electric mobility, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz EQS, there is a recently unveiled electric luxury offering that I desire more…the Cadillac Celestiq.