Rolls-Royce is charging to an all-electric future with its first EV – the Spectre – having completed another crucial stage in its 2.5 million-kilometre testing programme. Following an extreme cold weather programme in Arjeplog, Sweden, the Spectre is fresh from a 6,50,000km test in the French Riviera – a setting many of the car’s European owners will undoubtedly frequent. The focus of the latest round of testing was on the vehicle’s electronics and suspension tune.
‘Spectre has to be a Rolls-Royce first'
While the Spectre is being readied for a late 2023 launch and will join the line-up as a spiritual successor to the Phantom Drophead Coupe, Rolls-Royce hasn’t revealed too many technical details about the all-important new model. All that’s known so far is the battery weight – 700kg – and the fact that the Spectre will be the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce with a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.26.
However, officially revealed pictures of camouflaged cars suggest a very familiar Rolls-Royce shape – long bonnet, large wheels and fastback tail. In an exclusive interaction with Autocar India, Rolls-Royce chief executive officer Torsten Muller-Otvos stressed that the design was by intention.
“Our customers want the Spectre to be a Rolls-Royce first and then an electric. The Spectre will deliver that, but in a very modern way,” Muller-Otvos said. “We are not into a cab forward design even though the Architecture of Luxury aluminium spaceframe would allow all sorts of different shapes. It is a deliberate decision that the car carries quite a long hood and a lovely fastback coupe form. Our intention is to deliver a very emotional statement with the car.”
Going all-electric by 2030
When asked if Rolls-Royce’s decision to go all-electric by 2030 has been well received by its clientele, Muller-Otvos replied in the affirmative. “Many of our clients are car aficionados and already own an electric car," he said. "Feedback so far have always been very positive and I don’t see any negativity against us going electric. It fits quite naturally to Rolls-Royce. Electrics are silent, they’re torquey, they’re powerful. So as long as it delivers the true Rolls-Royce experience in all dimensions, I am not worried about it.”
Muller-Otvos also underlined an open mind towards the type of electric technology Rolls-Royce could use suggesting the marque could leverage parent company BMW’s investment in hydrogen fuel-cells. The Spectre, however, will be a battery electric vehicle.
The Rolls-Royce of EVs
In a world where electric cars come across as increasingly homogenised in their driving experience, how will the Spectre retain the essence of Rolls-Royce? Muller-Otvos quips, “We will not put a Ludicrous mode like Tesla ever. That is not our intention. The Spectre will offer waftability in its most impressive form. It is best described by the experience of a Gulf Stream private jet taking off. This is exactly the feeling you will have in a Spectre.”