Rolls Royce reveals its first electric car, complete with star-lit cabin

Published Oct 18, 2022


“The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.”

These words were uttered by Rolls-Royce co-founder Charles Rolls at the turn of the last century, and now, more than 120 years later, that prophecy is coming true. The Rolls Royce Spectre, revealed on Tuesday, is the British firm’s first electric model.

The Spectre is the first of many battery models as the carmaker is aiming towards an all-electric future by 2030. And given that the marque is known for its near-silent, wafty cars, there is no denying that electrification suits it to a tee.

The large coupe model will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2023, but it is already available for commission. If you even have to ask about pricing you probably can’t afford one, but for the record, Rolls Royce says its new EV will be positioned between the Cullinan and Phantom.

The Rolls Royce Spectre is formed around the company’s latest scalable aluminium architecture that was introduced with the Phantom back in 2017. This platform, which is said to be free of any BMW influence, can accommodate both electric and internal combustion models.

Rolls Royce says that all technical data on its new Spectre is preliminary and could change between now and launch, but, as it stands, the company is anticipating outputs of 430kW and 900Nm, enough to allow a 4.4-second 0-100km/h sprint, while the WLTP range is estimated to be around 520km.

Expect to see a galaxy of stars when you enter the cabin through the rear-hinged doors. In addition to the starlight roof lining that we’ve seen on other models, the Spectre is the first Rolls Royce to have Starlight Doors, which incorporate a total of 4 796 softly illuminated lighting ‘stars’. This romantic theme continues on the dashboard, which includes a cluster of 5 500 stars on the passenger side of the dashboard, which become completely invisible when the car is not in operation.

Of course, the cabin is very much a bespoke creation that depends on the customer’s desires, and Rolls Royce says the trim and specification possibilities are near endless.

To ensure that it has that ‘magic carpet’ ride that customers have come to expect, the Spectre comes with a sophisticated Planar suspension system, which Rolls Royce describes as an “orchestra” of systems with precisely defined responses to driver inputs and road conditions.

The Planar system can decouple the car’s anti-roll bars allowing each wheel to act independently, thereby preventing the rocking motion that occurs when one side of a vehicle hits an undulation in the road.

“Perfection is about more than making the very best products. It is a culture, an attitude and our guiding philosophy,” Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös enthused. “Our founding father, Sir Henry Royce said: ‘Strive for perfection in everything you do’.”

“Spectre has been conceived within this culture. It is perfectly in tune with the sensibilities of our time. It states the direction for the future of our marque and perfectly answers a call from the most discerning individuals to elevate the electric motor car experience, because Spectre is a Rolls-Royce first, an electric car second,” Müller-Ötvös said.

IOL Motoring