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Spectre to be first Rolls-Royce EV

First pure EV from Rolls-Royce will arrive in 2023, with all models electric by 2030

4 Oct 2021

BRITISH luxury icon Rolls-Royce has announced a commitment to go all-electric by 2030, with a two-door pure EV dubbed Spectre to be its first entirely electrified model.

 

The Spectre continues Rolls-Royce’s tradition of spirit-themed names, which began with the Silver Ghost of the early 1900s as a nod to the car’s quietness.

 

As the first production Rolls-Royce to eschew a combustion engine entirely, the Spectre will take this brand quality of silence to a whole new level.

 

Due to go on sale in the last quarter of 2023, the Spectre’s design has been teased in these official images, which depict the car camouflaged in a wrap that extolls various virtues of the new EV.

 

With phrases such as “perfectly noiseless and clean”, and “when it does not exist, design it”, the Spectre is being pitched as a fresh take on the Rolls-Royce formula, though looking at its long-nosed form and obvious rear-hinged doors it clearly will not stray too far from the marque’s current design cues.

 

However, despite battery-electric cars boasting virtues such as extremely quiet running, vibration-free powertrains and huge torque from zero RPM, the super-luxury segment has yet to make any significant moves towards electrification.

 

Part of this might be down to the generally conservative nature of the luxury market or entrenched views that combustion engines are superior powerplants, even if they are not the cleanest option.

 

Another substantial factor may be extended model cycles in the upper-luxury car world. Full-model changeovers tend not to happen on the same six-year timeline that applies to the mainstream car market.

 

However, with the steadily increasing tide of electrification pulling more and more brands away from internal combustion, Rolls-Royce has committed to a petrol-free future.

 

According to the company, it wanted to wait until “the time was right” to launch its first EV to ensure every element met “Rolls-Royce’s technical, aesthetic and performance standards”.

 

It also results in the brand skipping hybridisation entirely. While some car-makers will continue to build combustion-engined cars as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, Rolls-Royce will instead go down a purely electric path.

 

The Spectre will essentially replace the Wraith Coupe and Dawn Cabriolet in Rolls-Royce’s portfolio, these two-door models the only remaining Rolls-Royces to be built on architecture derived from parent company BMW.

 

Like the rest of its stablemates, the Spectre will be built on the same modular “Architecture of Luxury” platform that debuted with the current-generation Phantom in 2017.

 

The company will begin the pre-production testing phase of the Spectre soon, which will cover 2.5 million kilometres at various locations around the world and simulate around 400 years’ worth of driving.

 

Beyond confirming the existence of Spectre, Rolls-Royce is keeping mum on any other details surrounding its size, performance and range.

 

The company does at least say Spectre will be “free of any group platform sharing strategy”, so electric powertrains are unlikely to be transplanted from parent company BMW’s portfolio – at least not wholesale.

 

The Spectre is not Rolls-Royce’s first flirtation with electrification. In 2011 the brand unveiled the 102EX concept, which married a 290kW dual-motor electric powertrain engineered by Lotus with a Phantom VII.

 

Only one was built for exhibition at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and a lacklustre response from customers meant it did not progress beyond concept form.

 

Ten years on, however, the timing appears right for the first production Rolls-Royce EV to waft into showrooms.


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