Rolls-Royce Spectre: Super-luxury EV arrives in the U.S.

  • The spiritual successor to the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe
  • Delivers an EPA-estimated range of up to 291 miles
  • Priced at USD 420,000 (excl. USD 2,750 destination charge)
  • Now on sale in the U.S.

While the Spectre is Rolls-Royce’s first-ever fully-electric production car, the famed British luxury marque had fiddled with the idea of pure-electric power in a vehicle over 120 years ago. In April 1900, Charles Rolls experimented with a car named ‘The Columbia Electric Carriage,’ which was powered by an electric motor. Even back then, the outcome was a ‘noiseless’ and ‘clean’ mode of private transport.

Despite its relatively low-volume business model and niche market positioning, Rolls-Royce has pledged to transform its entire product line-up to fully electric propulsion by 2030. Needless to say, the Spectre is the one to spearhead the brand’s journey into an all-electric future.

Here’s everything we know about the Rolls-Royce Spectre:

Design

The Rolls-Royce Spectre’s silhouette is identical to the Wraith. However, it’s actually the spiritual successor to the erstwhile Phantom Coupe, which was commissioned in limited numbers between 2009 and 2016 before being discontinued. The new ‘Ultra-Luxury Electric Super Coupe’ boasts the widest iteration of the brand’s Pantheon stainless steel grille at the front, consisting of 24 vanes featuring a more aerodynamic design for improved airflow management and illuminated by 22 LEDs.

The upper portion of the main grille is flanked by ultra-thin LED DRLs, situated just above the near-rectangular LED headlights that are placed inside darkened chromium housings. The design of the heavily chiseled front bumper and its lower apron add to the Spectre’s visual width.

On the sides, the long hood, sloping roofline, and elongated wheelbase are reminiscent of the Phantom Coupe, but the lines here seem sharper and more purposeful. The character line running along the doors, called the ‘waft line,’ is supposed to represent the lifting bow of an accelerating power boat and the automaker’s famed ‘magic carpet ride.’ It is for the first time in almost 100 years that a two-door Rolls-Royce coupe features massive, 23-inch alloy wheels.

At the rear, the Spectre has jewel-like, vertically aligned LED tail lights and a concave rear apron with comprehensive aero cues. Affectionately called the ‘island of detail’ by Rolls-Royce designers, the tail lights are colorless so that they can match the myriad of body colors the company offers to its clients.

Aerodynamic Spirit of Ecstasy

Rolls-Royce has redesigned the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy that sits atop the bonnet of its cars. On the new Spectre, the figurine sits lower and is more dynamic and closer in design to the original sketches made by creator Charles Sykes more than 100 years ago. The symbol is now 82.73 mm (3.3 in.) tall, down from the older figurine’s 100.01 mm (3.9 in.) height, and designers have tweaked the robe as well for improved aerodynamics.

Rolls-Royce Spectre Spirit of Ecstasy
The Spirt of Ecstasy on the Spectre is also leaner and more athletic than ever. Image Source: Rolls-Royce

The Spirit of Ecstasy’s wings are more upswept to reduce drag, and she now stands with one leg forward with her body tucked low and the eyes pointed towards the road ahead. For comparison, earlier, she had a less athletic stance with her feet together and knees straight and was bent at the waist. Put all this together, and the Rolls-Royce Spectre scores a drag coefficient of 0.25 Cd, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce car ever. However, the Mercedes EQS is the industry’s most aerodynamic car right now, with a drag coefficient of only 0.20 Cd.

Interior & features

Stepping into the Spectre feels eventful, which is typical of a Rolls-Royce. The power-operated rear-hinged doors offer a wide aperture, with each door measuring 1.5 meters or 59.1 inches in length. These are ‘Starlight Doors’ with 4,796 individual LEDs mimicking stars in the night sky. As with other Rolls-Royce cars, customers of the Spectre have an almost infinite choice of personalization options available to them. Rolls-Royce doesn’t believe in saying no to the demands of its discerning clientele.

The front section of the Spectre’s luxurious cabin features an all-new dashboard and center console design. Even the circular AC vents are much larger than in the Wraith. Like the gas-powered model, the electric car has circular control knobs in charge of handling similar functions. The three-spoke steering wheel is new.

The passenger-side dashboard gets the ‘Spectre Illuminated Fascia,’ which consists of over 5,500 LEDs arranged in star-like patterns. The passenger display’s graphics go well with the Starlight Headliner, which consists of hundreds of fiber-optic lights for that blissful night-sky experience with the occasional shooting star animation. Rolls-Royce offers customers of the Spectre the option to customize the color of the dials within the crisp-looking fully digital instrument cluster. Furthermore, the digitized needles have their own star animations.

The Rolls-Royce Spectre can be had with custom stitching, embroidery, and intricate piping along the seats, dashboard, and doors, depending on individual customer requirements. The front seats are inspired by traditional British tailoring, with certain sections available in colors that either match or contrast the interior’s base shade.

Rolls-Royce cars have always been known for their quiet and refined cabins, and it’s no different with the Spectre EV. There are extensive sound-deadening measures for pin-drop-silence inside the cabin, even making use of the 700 kg (1,543 lbs.) battery pack as a large sound-dampener. When factoring in the relative lack of moving mechanical components, this is likely to be the quietest Rolls-Royce to date.

Computing

Rolls-Royce claims that the Spectre is the most connected and intelligent RR model to date. The onboard system is capable of 141,200 sender-receiver relations, has more than 1,000 functions, and over 25,000 ‘sub-functions.’ Rolls-Royce says its engineers have enabled a free and direct exchange of information between over 1,000 functions with no centralized computing while also taking into account deviations in variables involving climate, ground speed, road type, vehicle status, and driving style.

The Spectre’s unique ‘Decentralized Intelligence’ system has led to 7 km (4.35 mi.) of cabling compared to the 2 km (1.2 mi.) used on gas-powered Rolls-Royce models. Moreover, developers have written over 25 times more algorithms to integrate the systems and offer new features, which speaks is a testament to how futuristic this luxobarge EV really is.

Specifications

Dimensions

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is 215.6 in. long, 79.4 in. wide, and 61.9 in. tall and has a 126.4 in. wheelbase. It is based on the Rolls-Royce 3.0 ‘Architecture of Luxury’ platform. Designed specifically for pure-electric applications, the all-aluminum spaceframe used for the Spectre has allowed engineers to incorporate the core structure of the car with the heavy battery pack, leading to a chassis that’s 30% stiffer than any previous RR model. Instead of complex channels for wiring and HVAC piping, the new architecture in the Spectre has enabled Rolls-Royce to route these essentials between the floor and the battery pack for improved efficiency.

Rolls-Royce Spectre side profile live image
The Spectre is the first Rolls-Royce since 1926 to run on 23-inch wheels.

Planar suspension and four-wheel steering

With a laser focus on comfort, the Spectre has fantastic ride quality. To ensure its Planar suspension system works flawlessly, Rolls-Royce conducted extensive experiments in environments that ranged from -40º C (-40º F) to 55º C (131º F).

During the evaluation period, Rolls-Royce drove the Spectre near the Arctic circle in Arjeplog, Sweden, down across southern Africa, and around the French Riviera. This allowed it to fine-tune the suspension system of the Spectre so that it responds appropriately and quickly to changing surface conditions, always delivering the signature ‘magic carpet ride’ despite the huge wheel size.

The Planar system essentially works by decoupling the anti-roll bars between the front & rear axles when poor road conditions are detected, thereby allowing the wheels to move independently on one another. When a corner is detected, the system recouples the anti-roll bars and stiffens up the dampers to reduce body roll. Computers monitor up to 18 different sensors simultaneously and command rear-axle steering accordingly to activate, making the Spectre’s corner entry & exit a tidy affair.

Range

The Rolls-Royce Spectre has a lithium-ion battery pack with a net or useable energy storage capacity of 102 kWh. If equipped with 22-inch wheels, it consumes 41 kWh per 100 miles and delivers a range of 291 miles. On upgrading to 23-inch wheels, the energy consumption and range figures change to 45 kWh/100 mi and 266 miles, respectively. All these efficiency figures come straight from the EPA.

The 102 kWh battery pack can be charged at up to 22 kW (AC)/195 kW (DC). Fully charging it using a 22 kW AC charger takes 5 hours and 30 minutes. With a DC charger that allows it to use its maximum input (195 kW), a 10-80% charging session can be completed in 34 minutes.

Performance

The Spectre uses two motors in a format that’s typical of most twin-motor EVs – one at the front and one at the rear, which gives it an AWD drivetrain layout. The motors generate 430 kW (577 hp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.-ft.) of torque. The near-3-ton electric coupe can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The company’s intention in this aspect is to ensure the car feels effortless to drive with quick acceleration, not outpacing other electric cars.

AspectRolls-Royce Spectre Specification
Length5,475 mm (215.6 in.)
Width2,017 mm (79.4 in.)
Height1,573 mm (61.9 in.)
Wheelbase3,210 mm (126.4 in.)
Curb weight2,890 kg (6,371 lbs.)
Turning circle12.7 m (41.6 ft.)
Seating capacity4
Drivetrain LayoutAWD
Power430 kW (577 hp)
Torque900 Nm (664 lb.-ft.)
Battery Pack Capacity (Net)102 kWh
EPA-estimated Energy Consumption22-inch wheels: 41 kWh/100 mi
23-inch wheels: 45 kWh/100 mi
EPA-estimated Range22-inch wheels: 291 miles
23-inch wheels: 266 miles
Maximum AC Charging Power22 kW
Lowest AC Charging Time (0-100% SoC)5 hours and 30 minutes
Maximum DC Charging Power195 kW
Lowest DC Charging Time (10-80% SoC)34 minutes
Rolls-Royce Spectre specifications (Source: Rolls-Royce and EPA)

Production

Rolls-Royce makes the Spectre at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility (and headquarters) in Goodwood, UK. The demand for the electric coupe is way higher than Rolls-Royce expected, as per a report Autocar published on May 22, 2023.

Price & Release Date

The Rolls-Royce Spectre retails at USD 420,000 (excl. USD 2,750 destination charge) before options and its deliveries in the U.S. have commenced. The white Rolls-Royce Spectre seen here has plenty of expensive options and costs a whopping USD 510,875. Order books for deliveries in 2024 are full.

TopElectricSUV says

As Rolls-Royce’s inaugural electric vehicle, the Spectre captivates the attention of potential buyers and even the public at large. Given the renowned brand reputation and focus on opulence and comfort, Rolls-Royce is likely to encounter minimal obstacles when presenting the Spectre to those contemplating a purchase despite it not having a combustion engine. Benefiting from the brand’s esteemed heritage and impressive product lineup, the Spectre is positioned to become the coveted electric vehicle that so many aspire to own!

Rolls-Royce Spectre FAQs

What is the Rolls-Royce Spectre release date?

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is on sale in the U.S.

What is the Rolls-Royce Spectre range?

The Rolls-Royce Spectre delivers an EPA-estimated range of up to 291 miles.

What is the Rolls-Royce Spectre price?

The Rolls-Royce Spectre retails at USD 420,000 (excl. USD 2,750 destination charge).