Rolls Royce has unveiled its first ever production EV, the 2024 Spectre, more than 120 years after founder Charles Rolls first mooted the idea of an electric Roller.
The Spectre is a luxury coupe that will be priced somewhere between the $350k Cullinan SUV and $460k Phantom limo, though we won’t know exact prices until closer to the tail end of 2023 when the first cars are scheduled to arrive with their owners.
Riding on a generous 126.4-in (3,210 mm) wheelbase and weighing in at a mammoth 6,559 lbs (2,975 kg), the Spectre is built around an aluminium spaceframe that integrates the giant battery to help make the coupe 30 percent stiffer than any previous Rolls Royce. The company is being particularly tight-lipped about the technical spec, including the size of the battery pack, but given that the batteries alone weight 1,543 lbs (700 kg) and manage to give the Spectre a 320-mile (520 km) WLTP electric range despite its girth, we can presume they’re well over 100 kWh.
We’re not told the powertrain configuration either, only that the peak output is a relatively modest 577 hp (585 PS / 430 kW), and that its 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) of torque is excepted to send the luxury coupe to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5.
That’s probably ample performance anyway for a car that’s built for cruising around Nice, and St Tropez, and not hooning around the mountain roads behind them. Rolls says that that area in the south of France was where it finalised the Sepctre’s “magic carpet ride,” which is down to the Planar suspension system that decouples the anti-roll bars to prevent roll-rock on uneven surfaces in a straight line. The roll bars can then be brought back into play on the approach to a corner, while adaptive dampers and four-wheel steering are also part of the chassis package.
Visually, the Spectre draws some inspiration from older two-door Rolls cars like the Wraith and Phantom coupe, but looks wider and lower than either. That’s partly down to the low profile grille, the widest ever fitted to a Rolls (and one illuminated by 22 LEDs), and the fashionable split headlight arrangement. Much like ones on parent company BMW’s most expensive cars, the Rolls Royce’s real headlights are located in a recess below a pair of super-slim LED DRLs.
Even the legendary Spirit of Ecstasy mascot was aero tuned to create a more sporty looking kind of Rolls, while the fastback shape takes cues from luxury boats. And the Spectre rolls on 23-inch rims – the first time a Rolls Royce has had wheels that big in almost 100 years!
Inside, the dashboard architecture looks similar to what you’ll find in other Rolls Royce cars, but features a digital display on the passenger side, while the famous starlight headliner now extends to the doors.