Who: The iconic British prestige brand
What: Its first all-electric car
When: Late 2023
Why: Because EVs are the future – even in ultra-luxury cars
At first glance the immense performance in near-silence would seem to make electric motors the ideal solution for future Rolls-Royce models. But then you realise the incredible amount of work that would be required to ensure that such a seismic shift would be as graceful as the cars themselves.
Which is why Rolls-Royce has carried out more than 2.5 million kilometres of real-world and virtual testing for its all-new, all-electric model – Spectre.
Due to go on sale in the final quarter of 2023, the Spectre has been under-going its final hot weather testing in South Africa recently. Test cars have been logging miles in the sometimes 50°C heat of the Northern Cape and Western Cape. This follows earlier testing in extreme cold, with the Spectre forced to endure testing just 55km from the Arctic Circle in temperatures as low as -40°C.
The Spectre has swapped Rolls’ trademark V12 engine for electric motors on the front and rear axles, which reportedly produce 430kW of power and 900Nm of torque. It’s powered by the largest battery in the BMW Group arsenal, a 106kWh lithium-ion pack that will provide up to 500km of driving range.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO, said this kind of brutal testing is vital to ensuring the car lives up to customer expectations.
“Spectre has already secured its place as the most anticipated Rolls-Royce in history,” he said. “This remarkable and transformative motor car represents the beginning of the marque’s bold electric era as well as our unquestionable technological leadership of the super-luxury space. Equally, this vast, ambitious and demanding testing process symbolises our promise to ensure Spectre is undoubtedly a Rolls-Royce first. A profound aspect of our approach to this precious brand is to inspire greatness in everything we do and with Spectre, we are elevating the automotive experience to unparalleled heights, creating a new benchmark of distinction.”
Other testing included laps at the Autodrome de Miramas, a former grand prix circuit from the 1920s which is now a testing facility for Rolls-Royce parent company, BMW.