Rolls Royce debuts the Spectre, their first electric vehicle. Fastback-shaped Rolls with 900Nm of torque and 520km of driving range.
In the nineteen hundreds, Charles Rolls, the co-founder of Rolls Royce stated that electric power would suit his vehicles tremendously. He foresaw this as electric power would give his cars a noiseless, refined and powerful alternative to the internal combustion engine, which fits in perfectly with the brand image.
Today, more than a century later, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have finally fulfilled the prophecy of its founding father – and that fulfilment comes in the form of the new Rolls-Royce Spectre.
When creating the Spectre, Rolls Royce was all in on making an uncompromising luxurious electric vehicle that its customers would recognise as an authentic Rolls Royce, which is why they have used the same platform of the new Phantom and Ghost, which was built from the ground up to support electrification.
Although the car has been officially revealed, core specifications are still being worked on, but according to Rolls, the preliminary data shows that the Spectre is expected to have an all-electric range of 520 kilometres WLTP and offer 900Nm of torque from its 430kW powertrain. It is anticipated to achieve 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds. (0-60mph in 4.4 seconds).
Exterior and interior
There are a few main things that Rolls Royce would like point out about the Spectre when it comes to its exterior looks, and it all starts with the headlights.
The Spectre is the first car since the Phantom Coupe to have split headlights, with the DRLs sitting practically at bonnet level and the main beams being in the middle of the front end.
Since it is an electric car it doesn’t really need a grille, but being a Rolls Royce which usually has its grille as the car’s centrepiece, Rolls have redesigned the grillwork to channel air around it, instead of going into it.
And then there’s the Spirit of Ecstacy, the signature ornament at the front of every Rolls. Apparently, Rolls Royce spent 830 hours on redesigning the lady at the front of the bonnet, and although it might not look like it, it does help the car achieve an overall drag coefficient of 0.26, making it the slipperiest Rolls to date.
Another first is the fact that the Spectre comes with aerodynamic 23″ wheels, the largest ever to be fitted to a modern Rolls Royce coupe. At the rear the Spectre has this fastback shape going for it, and the vertical taillights are supposed to mirror the prominent grille at the front for cohesion’s sake.
Being a Rolls Royce, the suicide doors are of course powered and in between the body cavity sits an umbrella, just like most modern Rolls. Everything else like the interior is business as usual, featuring plush materials, including the starlight headliner.
What the heck is a Planar suspension?
The Planar suspension is a Rolls Royce suspension system with precisely defined responses to driver inputs and road conditions, made possible by the latest software and hardware developments, delivering Rolls-Royce’s hallmark ‘magic carpet ride’.
In testing Spectre, the process includes extreme driving conditions – development of the motor car began just 55km from the arctic circle in Arjeplog, Sweden, at temperatures as low as -40 degrees centigrade, and it will continue across Southern Africa, in temperatures of up to 55 degrees centigrade.
Yet, 55% of testing is taking place on the very roads that many production Spectres will be driven on. Of particular significance was the French Riviera. It was on the Côte d’Azur that Spectre’s digitally integrated evolution of the renowned Planar suspension system was finalised.
The suspension can even attach and detach anti-roll bars
Using a suite of new hardware components and leveraging on the Spectre’s high-speed processing capabilities, the Planar system can also decouple the car’s anti-roll bars allowing each wheel to act independently, preventing the rocking motion that occurs when one side of a vehicle hits an undulation in the road. This also reduces high-frequency ride imperfections caused by shortcomings in road surface quality.
Once a corner is identified as imminent, the Planar system recouples the components and stiffens the dampers, the four-wheel steering system is then prepared for activation to ensure effortless entry and exit. Under cornering, 18 sensors are monitored, and steering, braking, power delivery and suspension parameters are adjusted so that Spectre remains stable. The result is effortless control.
It has taken Rolls-Royce a long time to make an electric car, and the only reason they have not done it any sooner is that only now electric drive technology is advanced enough to fulfil the Rolls-Royce experience according the luxury automaker.
The Spectre is available for commission immediately, with the first client deliveries commencing in Q4 2023. Spectre’s pricing will be positioned between Cullinan(RM1.8 million) and Phantom(RM2.2 million).