Big news from Rolls-Royce: the company has officially announced its first fully electric model. The hand-built English touring car, with marketing steeped in stagnant traditionalism and the cryptic allure of aristocratic belonging, has been the niche of the industry most resistant to the powertrain revolution underway. The definitive production-ready appearance of the new Rolls, called the Spectre, is almost a watershed moment.
As far as Rolls designers and engineers were concerned, of course, the need to develop an EV represented an opportunity of the highest and most fertile order. The model that has emerged can out-ghost a Ghost, or vanish into the night more readily than a Silver Shadow. The name itself suggests the pure silence hiding in the EV powertrain; a spectre is generally considered to be a strictly visible apparition. Rolls-Royce has always been proud of the quiet inside the cabins of its cars. This one will be quiet outside, too.
The Spectre’s extensive R&D period allowed Rolls to use its considerable technological muscle. An aluminum spaceframe stands as the foundation of the model’s structural anatomy which, the company tells us, results in a car that’s 30% stiffer than any other ever produced by the firm. Other nifty details await the tire-kicker shopping for an EV in the mid six figures; high on the list is the redeveloped suspension system, a planar design that employs or removes the system’s anti-roll bars to create a floating sensation. On their website, the Rolls marketing patter call the effect tantamount to a ‘magic carpet ride’.
Like the Wraith, the car sports a fastback design (in mythological terms, the spectre and wraith share certain attributes). The Spectre’s range is 320 miles, which is considerable given the model’s three-ton-plus curb weight; the powertrain delivers 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Rolls isn’t discussing battery specs just yet, but the architecture must have a large footprint.
The 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre starts at $413,500. Hundreds of orders have already poured in.