In 1900, Rolls-Royce co-founder, Charles Rolls, prophesied an electric future for the motor car. Having acquired an electric vehicle named The Columbia Electric Carriage, he foresaw its suitability as a clean, noiseless alternative to the internal combustion engine – providing there was sufficient infrastructure to support it. Today, more than 120 years later, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars fulfils the prophecy of its founding father.
Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, announced that he would bring a fully-electric Rolls-Royce to market within the current decade. Charles Rolls’ prophecy and Torsten Müller-Ötvös’ promise led to a historic moment. In September 2021, the marque confirmed that it had commenced testing for Spectre, the first Rolls-Royce to be conceived and engineered from the very beginning as an electric car.
“At Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, perfection is about more than making the very best products. It is a culture, an attitude and our guiding philosophy. Indeed, it is our founding father Sir Henry Royce who said ‘strive for perfection in everything you do’. Spectre has been conceived within this culture. It is perfectly in tune with the sensibilities of our time. It states the direction for the future of our marque and perfectly answers a call from the most discerning individuals in the world to elevate the electric motor car experience, because Spectre is a Rolls-Royce first and an electric car second. This is the start of a bold new chapter for our marque, our extraordinary clients and the luxury industry. For this reason, I believe Spectre is the most perfect product that Rolls-Royce has ever produced.”Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
To ensure that this transformative motor car was sufficiently prepared for the most demanding consumer in the world – the Rolls-Royce client – the marque devised the most exhaustive testing programme it had ever conceived. Spectre is being subjected to a journey of more than 2.5 million kilometres, simulating more than 400 years of use for a Rolls-Royce. On its completion in 2023, Spectre will represent a prophecy fulfilled, a promise kept and an undertaking completed.
Spectre is not only a historic moment for Rolls-Royce but also a historic moment for electrification – with Spectre, the marque confirms that the technology has reached a standard that can contain the Rolls-Royce experience. To that end, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that by the end of 2030 its entire product portfolio will be fully electric.
With Spectre, Rolls-Royce has harnessed a revolutionary ‘Decentralised Intelligence’ system that allows for the free and direct exchange of information between more than 1,000 vehicle functions, further elevating the marque’s celebrated quality of ride. Its designers have captured a contemporary yet timeless aesthetic that significantly progresses the brand’s iconography as it embarks on its electric age. Its craftspeople have created a suite of contemporary prêt-à-porter personalisation possibilities, including Starlight Doors and Illuminated Fascia, inspiring clients to realise their own Bespoke visions.
From the front, Spectre’s split headlight treatment is intersected by the widest grille ever bestowed on a Rolls-Royce. The vanes of the Pantheon grille are now smoother in section and have a flusher fit, designed to help guide the air around the motor car’s front.
Inside, Spectre is provisioned with the most technologically advanced Bespoke features yet, drawing inspiration from the timeless mystique of the night’s sky. For the first time on a series production Rolls-Royce, Spectre is available with Starlight Doors, which incorporate 4,796 softly illuminated ‘stars’. The coach doors can also be commissioned with a backdrop of wood Canadel Panelling, which takes its name from the cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design team spent their winters.
The ethereal night-time theme continues with Spectre’s Illuminated Fascia. Developed over the course of two years and more than 10,000 collective hours, it incorporates the Spectre nameplate surrounded by a cluster of over 5,500 stars. Located on the passenger side of the dashboard, the illuminations are completely invisible when the motor car is not in operation.
For this to be realised, a dedicated control has been handmade for each of the 141,200 sender-receiver variables, and in nearly all cases engineers have designed several more sub-variables for variations in climate, ground speed, road type, vehicle status and driving style. These have been crafted over the course of Spectre’s 2.5 million kilometre testing programme both on advanced proving grounds and on real roads around the world.
The first deliveries of the Rolls-Royce Spectre will commence in Q4 2023. For more information, click here.