The two-door coupe is just the start, with Rolls saying its entire lineup will be electric by decade’s end.
Rolls-Royce has announced that its latest product, the Rolls-Royce Spectre, will be a two-door coupe that is fully electric.The Spectre sits on the same Rolls Architecture of Luxury as the existing range.The automaker says it will be on sale by end of 2023—and that all Rolls-Royce vehicles will be electric by decade’s end.
Rolls-Royce has long seemed to be a brand waiting for electrification, something the company has been dropping increasingly broad hints about for more than a decade. It showed an EV concept based on the previous-generation Phantom—named the 102EX—at the Geneva auto show in 2011, and a much more radical, spat-wearing 103EX five years later. More recently, it said its entire portfolio will be fully electric by 2030.
Now the company has released some more details about what will become the first fully electric Rolls-Royce production car. The Spectre will be on sale by the end of 2023, and although Rolls-Royce has only released these few images of a slogan-strewn prototype, this makes clear that the car in question is a coupe with what appears to be rear-hinged doors. The company says that road driving of prototype versions is about to begin, which will cover 1.5 million miles of testing around the world before the launch.
Other details are lacking. We know that the Spectre will sit on the modular Architecture of Luxury aluminum platform that underpins the Phantom, Cullinan, and Ghost. No details have been released about the future car’s powertrain, but Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has previously confirmed to us that any electric Rolls would need to offer at least the same level as performance as that provided by the company’s existing V-12–powered models. These are famed for their refinement and wafty manners but are impressively potent when unleashed; the company claims a 4.3-second zero-to-60-mph time for the current Ghost. So we should consider that a baseline.
The 102EX used a 71.0-kWh battery pack and a pair of electric motors that delivered a combined 389 horsepower to the rear axle, but we can safely expect the production Spectre to be considerably more potent, and also to substantially better the modest 124 miles of range that was claimed for that concept.
While we have waited a long time for the first electric Rolls-Royce, the company is keen to point out that it could have arrived far sooner. Before jointly founding the semi-autonomous company Charles Rolls experienced an early electric car called the Columbia and is reported to have said: “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged. But for now I do not anticipate they will be very serviceable—at least for many years to come.”
That delay looks set to be 123 years—but it’s better late than never.
While Rolls-Royce says the Spectre name has been chosen to match the equally ethereal Ghost, Phantom, and Wraith, it has thrown up a strange PR coincidence: the announcement is being made on the same day the new James Bond movie No Time To Die officially opens in the U.K., with the car carrying the same name as 007’s last cinematic outing, 2015’s Spectre. Could the world’s most famous spy be set to switch his automotive loyalties in future iterations of the long-running franchise?