From Stellantis to Mercedes-Benz, major automaker brands are making a switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles. The latest to join this trend is the ultra-luxury automobile brand, Rolls-Royce, with the unveiling of the Spectre Coupe on Oct. 18, 2022, at the company headquarters in Goodwood, England.
The company has also revealed that it would cease the production of cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) by 2030. In addition to racing to beat the 2035 deadline set by European governments to end the production of ICEs, the 116-year-old luxury car brand is trying to satisfy evolving customer demand.
The CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd, Torsten Müller-Ötvös explained that the Spectre Coupe was not a “one-time wonder and then we retreat back to the 12-cylinder. The goal is to be fully electric by the end of 2030, gradually. Therefore, [Spectre] is a very expensive investment”.
Müller-Ötvös took the covers off the Spectre at a digital event on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Spectre Coupe will go head-on with Bentley’s soon-to-be-released first electric vehicle. Spectre’s early arrival will likely give Rolls-Royce an edge over its luxury brand competitors, including Bentley.
The CEO of Bentley Adrian Hallmark hinted that the company’s first EV will offer 1400 hp and can go from 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds. In January, the company announced that it will spend $3.4 billion to make the first 5 all-electric vehicles in 2025. Bentley also wants to switch its portfolio to entirely EVs by 2030.
What we know about the Spectre Coupe so far
Shortly after the unveiling of the Spectre Coupe, details of what it offers began to trickle in. The first thing we knew was that the company started testing EVs as far back as 2011. However, Müller-Ötvös refused to mention how much the company has sunk into the research. Nevertheless, he believes the Spectre should be just as profitable as the Ghost and Phantom sedans.
“It doesn’t make sense to have a different profit margin just because we are switching to electric,” he said. “We will continue to stay in our current class of profitability, and we are nicely profitable. That is the way to go.”
Speed and range
The price of the first Spectre cars is between £250,000 and £500,000. The luxury EV can go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. Also, the Spectre Coupe can travel 260 miles on a full charge.
Müller-Ötvös also declined to mention how long it will take to charge until the completion of testing. However, Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Spectre will be able to go from 10-80% charge in 34 minutes.
Customers should expect 577 hp and 664 pound-feet of torque. The major concern, that many see as a hindrance to the rolling of Rolls-Royce EVs is the inadequate charging infrastructure. But Müller-Ötvös pointed out that the majority of those that use Rolls-Royce will unlikely depend on public charging points.
“The majority of our clients have about seven cars in their garage,” he said. “Many have charging points at home and in their offices.”
Rolls-Royce Spectre Coupe is built on a similar all-aluminum architecture as the Ghost and Phantom sedans. Also, it shares similarities in design with the two-door Rolls-Royce Wraith. It features a slim front grille (the widest grille on a Rolls-Royce) flanked on both sides by split headlight units.
The headlights and tail lights are the most obvious change of the Spectre. The headlights feature dual vertical LEDs just like the tail lights with slightly different shapes.
While the tail lights are rectangular, the headlights start as a rectangle on the outside but curve into a crescent as they move toward the grille. Overall, the design retains the Rolls-Royce signature without aggressive deviation from their ICE models.
Another remarkable design alteration on the Spectre is the spread of the ‘starry night’ effect from just the roof to the doors. In total, 5,876 tiny lights illuminate the doors.
There are over 44,000 color combinations available for the Spectre. However, Rolls-Royce recommends the chartreuse and black two-tone paint job because it accentuates the curves running through the length of the vehicle.
Unlike what we generally know with EVs like Tesla and Lucid where the trunk is a storage space, the Spectre lacks a trunk while the hood has a space where the battery-electric system sits as well as containers that holds fluid for the windshield wipers.
Rolls-Royce has an edge over other luxury brands in the switch to EV. While other brands emphasize the revving of the engine, Rolls-Royce has always been about silence. The use of battery-powered propellers makes it easier to preserve that identity.
However, Rolls-Royce is not leaving anything to chance. The Spectre includes 1,543, pounds of sound-deadening equipment that further guarantees silent driving.
That weight of the sound-deadening equipment pushes the total weight of the Spectre to 6,559 pounds. Also, it uses an ultra-sensitive ‘planar’ suspension system that decouples the anti-roll bars of the vehicle. This allows each of the 23-inch wheels to move independently.
This crablike motion prevents the rocking motion passengers feel when one side of the car drives through an undulation in the road. The movement also deadens the high-pitch sounds that result from poor road-surface quality.
Redesigned Spirit of Ecstasy
Its iconic spirit of ecstasy that sits on the hood and pops out when the car is turned on got an upgrade too. The figurehead comes crouched and lower than its predecessors. The wings are flattened and her head is tilted higher.
According to Müller-Ötvös, the company has invited some clients to see the car, and “the intake of orders has been delightful—and highly encouraging.” Delivery of orders for the Spectre Coupe will commence in Q4 2023.