Although the Spectre, the first fully electric Rolls-Royce, was unveiled last week at the BMW-owned company’s factory in Goodwood, West Sussex, images and details (such as they are) were under embargo until today.
Despite the global pandemic, Rolls-Royce claims that the first customer deliveries of the Spectre, which features an aero-smoothed Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot, will take place by the end of next year as originally planned. Price points have not been announced, but rumours have it at at least £1 million.
Four-wheel drive is provided by two electric motors, one in front and one in back. The “imperious” 5,453mm in length, 2,080mm in width, and 1,559mm in height are all increases from the two-door, four-seat Phantom Coupé on which it is based. The Spectre is the first fully electric vehicle produced by the luxury automaker since BMW reintroduced the brand in 2003.
It has a claimed kerb weight of 2,975 kg, an electric range of 323 miles, and a power consumption of 2.9 miles per kWh; its extruded aluminium spaceframe construction is standard across the Rolls-Royce lineup. A 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds is claimed, which means the battery must be quite large in order for the drivetrain to generate 577 hp and 559 lb ft, which is more than enough to move almost three tonnes.
The ride quality around corners is enhanced by the fully independent suspension and its active anti-roll bars. The interior continues Rolls-starry Royce’s night sky design with illuminated pinpricks on the doors, facia, and ceiling.
The connection between the driver and the car has also gone digital. Not to mention the “love of bespoke timepieces” that Rolls-Royce owners are said to have, customers can choose the colour of the background for their instruments. They won’t need to be reminded that in 1955, Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud ads boasted, “At 60mph, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”
Of course, Rolls-Royce built the EX120 electric prototype in 2011. It was also known as the Phantom EE, and it featured a Tesla drivetrain modified by Lotus Engineering, as well as a 640-pound (71-kilogram-kilowatt-hour) lithium-ion battery pack. It could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which is impressive for a vehicle that weighed 2.5 tonnes, but its range was only 124 miles, and Rolls-Royce estimated that, given the price of batteries at the time, it would cost at least £400,000 to produce.
Intriguing as the EX120 was, developments have since accelerated. The current 385kW BMW iX SUV 50, the parent company of Rolls-Royce, has a 111kWh lithium-ion battery that allows it to reach 124 mph in top speed, 0–62 mph in 4.6 seconds, and cost £99,785.