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Rolls Royce’s much-awaited luxury electric vehicle is here

Enter the Rolls Royce Spectre, the EV that has been under the wraps for some time.

September 29, 2021 / 09:49 PM IST
The Rolls Royce Spectre (Image: roycemotorcars.com)

The Rolls Royce Spectre (Image: roycemotorcars.com)

Rolls Royce’s latest electric vehicle has been under the wraps for quite some time, generating considerable buzz. The British luxury car marque has been hinting at its first, ground-up electric car for some time, having teased us with concept images all the way back in 2016.

The car, dubbed the Spectre, will make its series-production debut in late 2023. In fact, much remains obscured about the Spectre, including its visual details. All we know is that it looks nothing like the radical concept that was teased back in 2016, and is closer in form to the RR Wraith. What we’ve seen is just a development prototype. The bigger news is that Rolls Royce, which is owned by the BMW Group, aims to phase out all internal combustion products by 2030 and the Wraith-based Spectre is the brand’s first step towards total electrification.

The modular ‘Architecture of Luxury’ aluminium space frame that’s being used for the current-gen Phantom and Cullinan will be the one on which the Spectre and indeed all future Rolls-Royce models will be pinned. According to CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos, the platform is “scalable and flexible” and can be used in a variety of vehicle segments. The platform is much lighter, and according to the brand, was built to be powertrain agnostic, and indeed, be primed for an electric powertrain, despite housing a BMW V12 in it, in the case of the Phantom.

However, that’s where the link with BMW ends. The brand has specified that it will not be retro-fitting Rolls Royce cars onto BMW platforms and will be making everything tailored specifically to their own requirements. As for a working prototype, Rolls-Royce has told Autocar UK that those will surface in the coming weeks, however they’re likely to continue to remain camouflaged.

This isn’t the first time Rolls-Royce has gone electric. Back in 2011, the Goodwood-based luxury carmaker built a one-off battery electric Rolls-Royce Phantom dubbed the 102EX. The brand claims that it was the first true luxury EV.

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In fact, electrification is a major part of the Rolls-Royce story, with the brand’s founders having originally envisioned an electric car to embody all the things the brand became famous for – silent power, smooth powertrain, instant torque and no emissions. In fact, both Henry Royce and Sir Charles Rolls, before founding Rolls-Royce, had been working on electric mobility in their individual capacity. It was the lack of developed battery technology and absent infrastructure that pushed them towards internal combustion.

For now, the Spectre remains, well, a spectre of electric luxury. There are no details on battery capacity, range, electric motor size or any other details that come with other EV announcements. All that is known for sure, is the Spectre will be the most silent Rolls-Royce of them all.
Parth Charan is a Mumbai-based writer who’s written extensively on cars for over seven years.
first published: Sep 29, 2021 07:32 pm

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