Rolls-Royce has revealed its first electric car, called Spectre. The two-door, four-seater takes inspiration from the company's Phantom Coupé but sits on a new aluminium platform and runs a new software architecture called Spirit.
The first Spectres will be delivered to customers during the fourth quarter of 2023, Rolls-Royce says, and by 2030 its entire vehicle range will be all-electric. As ever, the car features staple Rolls-Royce details, like the Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot, branded umbrellas that deploy from the doors, and a headlining filled with thousands of LEDs to create the look of a twinkling night sky.
Here are five key things you need to know about the electric Rolls-Royce Spectre.
It will have 323 miles of range...but maybe more
With customer cars not arriving for another year, Rolls-Royce is keen to say how the Spectre's final performance figures are still to be confirmed. For now, the company says the car has a range of 323 miles. More specifically, it says: "Preliminary data shows that Spectre is expected to have an all-electric range of 320 miles/520 kilometres WLTP." It later states a range of 323 miles and a consumption of 2.9 miles per kWh.
This is a fairly impressive figure for a car with such a high power output – more on that later – but we wonder how 323 miles will look towards the end of the Spectre's life cycle, and whether over-the-air software updates will unlock a few extra miles of range over the coming years.
Interestingly, when Rolls-Royce first began experimenting with electric cars 10 years ago, it set a target of creating a Phantom that could complete a 107-mile lap of Lake Como (a typical Rolls-Royce customer's drive, you see) on one charge. A decade later, and the Spectre is expected to manage three times that.
It will cost from about £300,000 to £400,000
Sorry for the vagueness here, but Rolls-Royce doesn't tend to splash prices all over its website. And while the company is yet to say how much the Spectre will cost, Rolls has said it'll be priced between the Cullinan SUV and Phantom flagship, which each start at around £300,000 and £400,000 respectively.
But this is Rolls-Royce, and with a near-infinite selection of optional extras, prices can increase significantly. We suspect half-million-pound Spectre won't be a rarity on the streets of Monaco – and those who can afford the plushest EV around can start placing their orders today. Grab your Montblanc and form an orderly queue.
The interior has well over 10,000 star-like LEDs
The starlight headlining has been a hallmark of Rolls-Royce interior design since the seventh-generation Phantom arrived back in 2003. Since then, thousands more LEDs have found their way into the headlining, with some even acting like shooting stars.
For the Spectre, RR is taking things a step further and incorporating its starlight tech in the doors and to the sides of the rear seats. There are 5,876 lights in the doors, plus over 5,500 surrounding a Spectre nameplate on the passenger side of the dashboard, all softly glowing to simulate the night sky.
If a starry night isn't for you, the headlining lights can be installed to form a unique pattern, image, family crest or whatever you want. They can even be positioned to replicate a favourite constellation, or how the sky looked on a certain night in history.
Eleanor, the Spirit of Ecstasy, is more aerodynamic
Eleanor Thornton has had a redesign. That's the name of the lady better known as Rolls-Royce's Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot, and for the Spectre she's more aerodynamic than ever. The car itself is also the most streamlined Rolls to date, with a drag coefficient of 0.25 partly due to Eleanor's lower, more dynamic stance, now with one leg in front of the other.
Rolls-Royce says: "The new Spirit of Ecstasy stands 82.73mm tall, compared to her predecessor’s 100.01mm. Her robes, which flow behind her in the slipstream – often but erroneously characterised as ‘wings’ – have been subtly reshaped to make them more aerodynamic and realistic."
It's fast...for a car that weighs three tonnes
You read that correctly. Unashamed about the weight of its first EV, Rolls-Royce says the two-door Spectre tips the scales at a mighty 2,975 kg. Add a driver and passenger, and you're comfortably over the three-tonne mark.
Even more astonishing is how Rolls says the battery weighs 700 kg – or rather, it refers to how the pack acts as 700 kg of sound deadening.
We haven't been told what capacity the battery has, but by using the stated 2.9 m/kWh consumption and 323 miles of range, we can calculate the capacity being about 111.4kWh. For context, the Porsche's Taycan has a 79.2kWh battery and the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck ranges from 98 kWh to 131 kWh.
Despite that bulk, and what Rolls refers to as the Spectre's "indulgent proportions", the 0-60 mph time is anticipated to be 4.4 seconds. The powertrain produces 430 kW, which is about 580 horsepower, and a chunky 900 Nm of torque. Top speed hasn't been stated for now.