Even though Rolls-Royce announced its intention to produce an electric vehicle over a decade ago, with the 102EX study, it took the famed luxury automaker until today to finally reveal a production EV. Rolls-Royce Spectre is its name and even though it might look a lot like the Wraith coupe, the two aren’t actually related and don’t really share components.
The new Spectre is built on Rolls’ all-aluminum Architecture of Luxury, the automaker’s latest platform that was designed to take both ICE and fully-electric powertrains. It now underpins all current Rolls-Royce models (Ghost, Phantom and Cullinan), although the Spectre is the first one to feature electrification of any kind.
Rolls-Royce could probably have cut costs by borrowing a platform from BMW, like it did for the previous generation Ghost and Wraith, and it would have probably reduced costs. However, the British marque didn’t want to sell a repackaged BMW i7, which is why it has shifted all its models, EV included, to its own chassis architecture.
Gallery: 2023 Rolls-Royce Spectre
This massive two-door, measuring 5,453 mm / 214.7 inches in length, 2,080 mm / 81.9 mm in width and 1,559 mm / 61.4 inches tall packs quite the visual punch. The front fascia is dominated by the traditional Art Deco-inspired Rolls-Royce grille, but the light clusters are quite unusual, with a perfectly straight horizontal LED daytime running light bar and slightly recessed headlights underneath.
The headlights actually do look a bit BMW-esque, similar to the ones on the refreshed BMW X7 SUV or the i7, but overall this very dramatic coupe just oozes Rolls-Royce opulence from any angle. Its side view is no less dramatic, with a very long hood that looks like it’s at least hiding a V8 engine, if not a V12, and a fastback-like roofline that falls elegantly towards the rear of the vehicle.
And in case this didn’t look like a big vehicle to you, well, the wheels are 23-inch in size, to put things into perspective - this is really a big vehicle, which is longer and wider than the similar Wraith. The two huge doors are, of course, rear-hinged and they open to reveal a very restrained interior that conceals its advanced tech well.
At first glance, this looks like a typical Rolls interior similar to what we’ve seen the manufacturer produce for the last decade or more. The manufacturer calls it “the most connected Rolls-Royce in history, although it doesn’t go into detail about this in the launch press release.
Interestingly, Rolls-Royce calls the battery pack (located in the floor of the vehicle) “almost 700 kg of sound deadening”, reinforcing the fact that the experience of traveling aboard the Spectre will be as devoid of exterior noise as in any of the brand’s other offerings. Spectre prototypes racked up over 2.5-million kilometers of testing, which the automaker says was enough to ensure not only that it delivers the desired level of comfort, but also dependability.
No word on how big the battery is, though. It has been speculated in the past that it could borrow the 102 kWh lithium-ion pack from the i7. We will learn this at a later date and right now all the automaker is saying about this is that the vehicle will be able to travel some 260 miles on one charge. This range is lower than what some speculative reports were indicating, and it seems consistent with the battery size given the vehicle’s size and weight.
The vehicle should be quite brisk with its 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet (900 Nm), but because it weighs nearly 3 tons (2,975 kg / 6,559 lbs), it still needs 4.4 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from standstill. Top speed is 155 mph (250 km/h).
You can already order a Spectre today, and prepare for a price tag somewhere in between the Phantom and Cullinan, so around the $400,000 mark; deliveries will begin before the end of 2023 setting the course for Rolls-Royce to become fully-electric by 2030.