British luxury automaker Rolls-Royce recently gave the world a glimpse into the magnificent Spectre EV, the first all-electric production Rolls. The legacy carmaker said Spectre is the spiritual successor of the Phantom coupe and rides on a similar architecture as the Cullinan and Phantom. But unlike its gas-powered brethren, Spectre is a battery-electric car with dual electric motors, a large battery pack, and the gravitas that only Rolls-Royce can provide.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: What’s New?
The Spectre is an all-new vehicle that promises to redefine the meaning of luxury in the electrification era. In the 1900s, company co-founder Charles Rolls envisioned an electric future. He said electric cars are a cleaner and quieter alternative to internal combustion vehicles, but the world needs a “sufficient charging infrastructure” to turn pipe dreams into reality.
It took 120 some years before current Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös announced the existence of Spectre. Moreover, the announcement marked the beginning of an extensive global testing procedure that would simulate 400 years of usage to ensure perfection in every nook and cranny. It’s the most exhaustive testing program in the automaker’s history to guarantee Spectre lives up to (or surpasses) customer expectations.
“This is the start of a bold new chapter for our marque, our extraordinary clients, and the luxury industry,” Müller-Ötvös said. “For this reason, I believe Spectre is the most perfect product that Rolls-Royce has ever produced.”
Advanced Battery-Electric Powertrain
Spectre is the first Rolls-Royce to ditch the brand’s V12 engine in favor of two electric motors and a battery pack on the floor. The brand’s “Architecture of Luxury” modular platform has allowed engineers to create a smooth underfloor while using the battery modules for additional sound deadening.
Rolls-Royce has yet to reveal the official numbers, but it did say Spectre will have around 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft. of torque to play with, enough shove to push the 6,559 lbs. luxury coupe from zero to 60 mph in about 4.4 seconds. It’s expected to have a 155 mph top speed and an estimated 320 miles of driving range.
It’s worth noting the BMW i7 and Mercedes-Benz EQS could go farther on a single full charge, and we’ll have to wait for the official numbers to arrive before concluding if the Rolls-Royce Spectre is ideal for long road trips.
We always thought Rolls-Royce cars were prime candidates for electrification. They’re big, quiet, and ultimately refined, a perfect match for the silent disposition of battery-electric cars. The Spectre is every bit a Rolls with its size and heft. It has a 126-inch wheelbase, is about 18 feet long, and stretches seven-feet wide from left to right. It has the widest illuminated Pantheon front grille ever fitted to a Rolls flanked by ultra-slim LED driving lights and split LED headlights.
It resembles the BMW i7’s front clip, but the Rolls has a more dignified façade with its chunkier proportions. In addition, the designers have integrated top-notch aerodynamics with Spectre’s monolithic flanks and arching roofline. Viewed from the back, it almost looks like a lowered Cullinan, and there’s no denying the fastback rear styling has given Spectre an almost sporting vibe.
Rolls-Royce claims Spectre is the most aerodynamic car in its history and manages to eke out an impressive 0.25 drag coefficient. We almost forgot to mention those suicide doors, the largest ever fitted in a modern Rolls.
Magic Carpet Ride
The Spectre has an innovative planar suspension system to deliver a magic carpet ride befitting a Rolls-Royce. The system integrates new hardware, software, and anti-roll bars that automatically decouple and allow each wheel to move when going over road imperfections independently.
The planar suspension stiffens the dampers if the system detects a corner or incoming curve. It optimizes the four-wheel steering system to enter or exit the turn smoothly and more precisely. Rolls claims 18 sensors monitor the steering, braking, suspension, and power delivery to make on-the-fly adjustments as the car moves.
When looking at the Rolls-Royce Spectre’s opulent cabin, we keep reminding ourselves that we’re looking at an all-new EV, not the Ghost. And even though the dashboard layout seems strikingly familiar, the Ghost doesn’t have what Rolls-Royce calls an Illuminated Fascia, a pièce de résistance on the passenger side of the dashboard with no less than 5,500 LED stars. In addition, Spectre has exclusive Starlight Doors to complement the standard Starlight Headliner.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: Pricing & Availability
The Rolls-Royce Spectre could start at about $413,000 before options, putting it somewhere between the Cullinan and Phantom. The first deliveries will arrive near the end of 2023, and the order books are now open. Rolls-Royce said it already has deposits from more than 300 U.S. buyers for Spectre. It shows that moneyed folk will not settle for anything less than the world’s finest electric motorcar.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.