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Rolls-Royce Spectre

SPEC SAVER (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Rolls-Royce enters the EV era with this Spectre coupe. Jonathan Crouch takes a look

Ten Second Reviewword count: 50

The Spectre takes Rolls-Royce into a new fully electric era. This huge four-door coupe has been tested over one and a half million miles to deliver a fittingly opulent interpretation of full battery motion for the world's moneyed elite. Excess combines with efficiency to provide a rather unique end result.

Backgroundword count: 197

There isn't anything more logical than an electric Rolls-Royce. Founder Henry Royce trained as an electrical engineer and when at Cambridge, owned an electric car, a US-built Colombia Electric Carriage, a genre of automobile that back in 1900 he predicted would be 'very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged'. We're still battling with that issue, but the time is long past for Rolls-Royce to be offering an EV. The company's dabbled with the idea for decades, back in 2011 producing a one-off electric Phantom called the 120EX to test reaction from customers. Who turned it down on account of its Tesla-derived powerplant's feeble range, slow charging and restricted battery life. So Rolls-Royce has spent the last decade working on something better, aided by the might of its BMW parent - and this is it, the Spectre, unveiled at the end of 2022. A four-seat two-door coupe, it introduces an extended aluminium spaceframe platform that will underpin all the forthcoming new EVs from the company as it moves towards positioning as an electric-only brand by 2030. That's quite a change but the Spectre, we're promised, is full of recognisable brand DNA. Let's see just how much.

Engines and Tech Specword count: 303

Rolls-Royce must have been tempted to give the Spectre some kind of electrified combustion engine option, but recent advances in EV technology from parent company BMW ultimately made that unnecessary. The car has finally ended up with a huge battery around 106kWh in size and more than necessary to preserve a halfway-acceptable range (estimated at 320 miles), given that kerb weight is just shy of 3-tonnes. There's an electric motor on each axle of course, hence the nominal AWD system, and a combined output of 577bhp and 900Nm of torque: think 62mph in 4.5s on the way to 155mph. As you'd expect, progress is almost silent - but doesn't have to be. A selectable artificial sound is available and even if you don't activate it, sound levels are tuned for what the brand calls 'the right kind of silence'. Surprisingly, there are no driving modes: only a 'B' heightened brake regeneration setting to maximise off-throttle energy harvesting. That enables 'one pedal' driving in most circumstances. Rolls-Royce is particularly proud of the Spectre's digitally integrated evolution of the brand's Planar suspension set-up. This is an orchestra of systems with precisely defined responses to driver inputs and road conditions, delivering Rolls-Royce's hallmark 'magic carpet ride'. The Planar system can decouple the car's anti-roll bars, allowing each wheel to act independently, preventing the rocking motion that occurs when one side of a vehicle hits an undulation in the road. This also reduces high-frequency ride imperfections caused by shortcomings in road surface quality. Once a corner is identified as imminent, the Planar system recouples the components and stiffens the dampers, then the four-wheel steering system is then prepared for activation to ensure effortless entry and exit. Under cornering, 18 sensors are monitored, and steering, braking, power delivery and suspension parameters are adjusted so that Spectre remains stable.

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£350,000.00 (At 17 Feb 2023)

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Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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