Rolls-Royce Spectre: price, performance and range details as luxury brand unveils its first electric car
The Rolls-Royce Spectre has been fully revealed for the first time, with the brand’s first electric model marking a “bold new chapter” for the luxury marque as it moves towards an all-electric line up by 2030.
Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said the arrival of the marque’s first EV was the delivery of a promise he made to customers as well as the fulfilment of a prophecy from founder Charles Royce, who predicted in 1900 that electric propulsion was the future of motoring.
Based on the same all-aluminium platform as the current Ghost, Phantom and Cullinan as well as bespoke Coachbuilt vehicles, the Spectre is a two-door, four-seat grand tourer imagined as a spiritual successor to the Phantom coupe and fills the gap left by the now discontinued Dawn and Wraith models. First announced in September 2021, the model is now undergoing final testing before customer deliveries begin in late 2023. Specific pricing hasn’t been announced but the Spectre will fit between Cullinan and Phantom, so prices are likely to start in the region of £300,000 and go as high as your bank balance allows.
Inside and out, there is no doubt that the Spectre is a Rolls-Royce. From what its own designers describe as “indulgent proportions” to the rear-hinged doors and opulent materials of the interior the Spectre is “a Rolls-Royce first and an electric car second”, according to Müller-Ötvös.
At 5.45m long and 2.08m wide the two-door Spectre is only fractionally smaller than the four-door Ghost and features four proper seats accessed via the rear-hinged coach doors. To help get the most from its electric powertrain, the Spectre is the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever. Body panels have been sculpted to help air pass over the car and even the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy has been redesigned to aid air flow.
The subtly illuminated grille is the widest fitted to any Rolls-Royce but is mounted at a more “relaxed” angle with smoother vanes to aid air flow. Either side of the grille are slimline split headlights like those on the Phantom Coupe, with darkened lower clusters. Body and door panels tuck in at the bottom to create an impression of movement and the fastback roof sweeps down to meet the rising “waft line” of the lower body. The Spectre can be specified with 23-inch wheels - the largest ever offered on a Rolls-Royce.
Inside, the Spectre appears to share many of the basic controls with the Ghost and Cullinan but features a bespoke illuminated fascia featuring more than 5,500 fibre optic lights. It also introduces Starlight Doors which feature 5,876 softly illuminated “stars” to accompany the now famous Starlight headliner. As with any Rolls-Royce the key to the interior is the near-endless scope for owners to customise and personalise the materials and colours, right down to the backlight colour of the digital instrument dials.
Drivetrain and performance
In the past Rolls-Royce said that while electric propulsion was well suited to its pursuit of refinement it would only make the switch once the technology was mature enough to offer the full Rolls-Royce experience. It clearly thinks it has reached that point.
The Spectre’s electric drivetrain uses components from parent firm BMW but re-engineered specifically for Rolls-Royce to deliver the refinement and performance its customers expect. With 577bhp and 664lb ft of torque, the Spectre will get from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds - around the same as the Ghost Black Badge. A massive 102kWh battery will offer around 320 miles of range and Rolls-Royce says the Spectre should achieve efficiency of around 2.9 miles per kWh. Not bad for a near-three-tonne vehicle.
Like other models based on the “Architecture of Luxury” the Spectre features four-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension matched to Rolls-Royce’s clever planar mechanical arrangement for the ultimate “magic carpet” ride. Supplementing these mechanical abilities, the Spectre uses a new decentralised electronic “brain”, controlling each element individually to improve the car’s responses and ride. The 700kg of batteries adds a lot to the car’s weight but also provides a 30% increase in structural rigidity as well as enhancing sound insulation.
“Spectre possesses all the qualities that have secured the Rolls-Royce legend”, said Müller-Ötvös. “This incredible motor car, conceived from the very beginning as our first fully-electric model, is silent, powerful and demonstrates how perfectly Rolls-Royce is suited to electrification. Spectre’s all-electric powertrain will assure the marque’s sustained success and relevance while dramatically increasing the definition of each characteristic that makes a Rolls-Royce a Rolls-Royce.”