Rolls-Royce has been bullish on electrification, even going so far as to say that it will never make a hybrid or PHEV — they’re just too compromised and Rolls’ customers don’t want them. CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös previously said “when the time is right” and earlier this year the brand promised its first production EV by 2030. Turns out it’ll arrive a lot sooner, as on Wednesday Rolls-Royce announced that its first electric car, called the Spectre, will go on sale at the end of 2023. Not only that, every single car that Rolls-Royce sells will be fully electric only by the end of the decade.
The brand previously dabbled in electric cars, releasing the BMW Group. No details about potential range or specs were given, but Müller-Ötvös promises Rolls’ required characteristics of silence, power and ‘waftability’ are perfectly suited to an electric powertrain.in 2011 that was basically just an electric Phantom. But the Spectre will be something totally new, a unique model riding on Rolls’ modular Architecture of Luxury. That platform was designed to accommodate electric powertrains from the very beginning, and Rolls’ announcement seems to point to the Spectre using bespoke batteries and motors that aren’t shared with the rest of the
The Spectre prototype in the released photos is covered in a camo wrap that features some frankly hilarious quotes from company founder Charles Rolls, but we’re still able to glean a lot about the car’s design. While it’ll be a two-door coupe with a sleek fastback roofline and overall shape very reminiscent of the discontinued Wraith, Rolls-Royce is adamant that the Spectre isn’t a — one of those is coming later. The Spectre has a super crisp line running from the suicide door’s handle to the rear quarter panel and overall the surfacing is a lot sharper than what we’ve seen from other Rolls-Royce models. Deep side skirts make the Spectre seem lower than it actually is (and hide the mass of the battery packs) and the wheels have a cool aerodynamic design. And don’t worry, the Spectre will have Rolls’ iconic Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and ‘pantheon’ grille, though it remains to be seen whether the grille will be open or blocked off.
As for the Spectre name, Müller-Ötvös says it ‘perfectly fits the ethereal and other worldly environment within which [its] products exist,’ adding that the moniker has been reserved specifically for the brand’s first EV. He went on to say that Spectre is ‘a name given to otherwordly beings synonymous with great power and apparition, creatures of an alternative realm that make their presence felt through fleeting manifestation. A spectre forces the world to pause. It dominates the space it occupies. Then, as quickly as it appears, it dissipates, leaving a wake of exhilaration, energy, and intrigue.’ I want what he’s having.
Real-world road testing of the Spectre has already begun, with Rolls saying it has devised the ‘most demanding testing program’ it’s ever put a new car through. Over 1.5 million miles will be covered, the equivalent of 400 years of driving, and the cars will be tested in all conditions and terrain types. Rolls-Royce says that customer deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2023, so expect a public reveal to happen at some point in 2023, or maybe as soon as next year. As for price, we have to imagine that it will be well into the six-figure range with a likely starting price of around $400,000 — at least.