The first electric Rolls-Royce is a replacement of sorts for the old Phantom Coupe.
Despite the fact that electric cars were quite popular in the early 20th century, Rolls-Royce has never built one, until now. The Spectre is the first, an ultra-luxury coupe that serves as a replacement for the old Phantom Coupe. It heralds a new era for Rolls-Royce, which intends to be all-electric by 2030.
The battery pack is integrated into the Spectre’s extruded aluminum spaceframe, and while Rolls-Royce doesn’t mention the energy capacity in its press release, it does tell us the battery pack weighs over 1500 pounds. Specifications aren’t finalized, but Rolls-Royce says that the electric powertrain will offer 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque—similar figures to its current V-12—and estimates the range will be around 260 miles.
While not quite as large as the old Phantom Coupe, the Spectre is still enormous for a coupe. Its overall length of 214.685 inches is nearly as much as a long-wheelbase Mercedes S-Class, and it weighs 6559 pounds. Despite that, it does 0–60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155 mph.
Rolls-Royce does a couple of interesting things with the Spectre’s suspension, too. It’s a development of the “Planar” suspension system used on the new Ghost, which utilizes tuned mass dampers on the front upper wishbones, and a camera system that reads the road ahead and adjusts the air springs and adaptive dampers to compensate. In the Spectre, the ability to decouple antiroll bars is added. This helps isolate each wheel from another when driving straight, but when the car figures out you’re about to start cornering, it reengages the antiroll bars.
The design is typically Rolls-Royce, with a long fastback roofline and rear-hinged doors that recall the old Wraith, and a backlit front grille like the Ghost. The Spirit of Ecstasy badge is ever-present on the hood, and the Spectre gets the very en vogue lighting setup of thin daytime-running lights up top, smoked headlight lenses below. Wheels are 23 inches, a necessity to balance out the size of the car, says Rolls-Royce.
Inside, it’s all familiar Rolls-Royce, too, though the interior spec on this launch car is quite lurid. The signature Rolls-Royce starry night motif—which uses thousands of fiber-optic lights integrated into the headliner to recreate a starry night—now extends to the doors. Naturally, there’s a limitless amount of customization options for both exterior and interior.
Rolls-Royce isn’t announcing an exact price, but it says it should be somewhere between the $350,000 Cullinan and the $450,000 Phantom. Customer deliveries are expected in about a year’s time.