- All-new super luxury EV from Rolls-Royce
- Coupe body style but longer than a Mercedes EQS
- Twin-motor battery-electric drivetrain makes 577 hp
2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre: The Lady Flies Electric
A Rolls-Royce first, electric second
What is the Spectre?
Rolls-Royces have always been about smooth, near-silent propulsion. Since the brand came under the BMW umbrella in 2003, that has come from a V12 engine. But aside from sentimentality over gasoline, there are few reasons that all-electric power won't improve the characteristic R-R experience. That's where the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre EV comes in.
It's a very large ultra-luxury coupe, powered exclusively by a battery-electric drivetrain. In the Rolls-Royce lineup it fits between two V12s, the top-of-the-range Phantom sedan and the Cullinan SUV. It's the first EV that's so luxurious and decadent, and it signifies a major shift in buyer priority among the super-wealthy. They want sustainability, or at least the impression of it. But it's the decadent design and interior furnishing that'll doubtless appeal most. "A Rolls-Royce first, electric second," they say.
Am I Ready for an EV?
What's powering the Spectre?
The Spectre has electric motors sourced from BMW that are used front and rear. Combined they make 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. They're fed by a battery with a capacity of more than 100 kWh. The battery uses the same chemistry as the one in the BMW iX M60 but is a different shape. There's as yet no quoted time for DC fast charging, although if we look at the BMW, it should peak around 200 kW if you can find a charger that powerful.
Rolls-Royce says it expects the Spectre to have an estimated range of 320 miles on a full charge. That's by using the WLTP standard used in Europe. EPA estimates are always a little different, but a range of around 300 miles seems plausible to us.
That power has a three-ton car to shift, so acceleration won't snap your neck. This is not the car for drag-strip battles with a Tesla S. The quoted time for a sprint from 0 to 60 mph is 4.4 seconds. But a Rolls-Royce isn't about violence; the powertrain will be calibrated to allow drivers to move almost imperceptibly from rest and into the traffic. "Waftability," the company calls it. The captain will have to issue a stern command from the bridge before the ship goes full-steam ahead. But when it does, performance will be imperious.
How does the Spectre drive?
We've yet to drive the Spectre but we do know chassis technology is a strong point. Four-wheel steering is aimed at improving both agility in tight areas and stability at speed. It also has air springs, sophisticated active stabilizer bars and adaptive dampers to provide the best of both ride comfort and handling composure. A forward-facing camera reads the road for curves and bumps and prepares the chassis systems accordingly.
How's the Spectre's interior?
The two doors are rear-hinged, so the driver and front passenger simply walk in. The doors power-close at the touch of a button. As usual for the marque, an umbrella is embedded in the door in case of inclement weather. Dignity for the occupants is everything.
Once inside, they will find modern, almost minimalist decor, but plush and beautifully crafted. A near-limitless choice of colors and textures is available for the trim. One Rolls-Royce signature dish is the Starlight feature in the headliner, literally thousands of illuminated pinpricks like a galaxy. In the Spectre, buyers can choose to have that effect extended to the doors and dash.
Although it's a two-door coupe, the Spectre can accommodate four adults, Rolls-Royce claims. Its 126.4-inch wheelbase is the same as that of a Mercedes-Benz EQS, and it's actually approximately 7 inches longer than the Mercedes when measured nose to tail.
How's the Spectre's tech?
The instruments are beautifully rendered analog dials in a digital screen, and as an advantage, their design and color can complement the trim. Although most other cars have moved to largely touchscreen control, Rolls-Royce maintains significant numbers of beautifully tactile physical knobs and switches. They include those for the climate system and a screen controller that resembles an iDrive unit from BMW. But you'll have to search hard to find any visible components shared with a BMW. Brand differentiation is impressively thorough.
Like any EV, a phone app will remotely show range, charging status and many other features. Rolls-Royce's app also links to human concierge services, too. Driver assist features are comprehensive, but Rolls-Royces are used by most owners as special-occasion cars. So high-level assistance isn't demanded by the drivers, the company says.
The Spectre is a big step for Rolls-Royce, but parent company BMW has electric drive well sewn up, so there's little reason to fear. Besides, range will be more than sufficient because Rolls-Royce owners don't do road trips — they take the jet. Most of all then, the Spectre has to succeed as a Rolls-Royce, which means majestic, hedonistic, smooth-riding and silent. There's no reason to suppose it won't be exactly that.