HomeMakeAudiRolls-Royce Unveils Its First All-Electric Car—And It Took 11 Years to Build

    Rolls-Royce Unveils Its First All-Electric Car—And It Took 11 Years to Build

    The ultra-luxe British automaker has just rolled out the Spectre, an electric car with 577 horsepower that can zip from 0–60 mph in under 4.5 seconds and lasts 260 miles in a full charge

    car in yellow and black

    Back in 2011, Rolls-Royce created an experimental concept car. Called the 102EX, it was a rolling test bed for a reemerging technology, and it was meant to pose the question: What would an electric Rolls-Royce be like? We had a chance to drive it back then, and we felt very strongly that electrification—with its refinement and silent, torque-y rush of immediate power—was well suited to the mission of the pinnacle luxury brand, which privileges, well, refinement. Rolls thought otherwise—believing that the market conditions, the technology, and its customers were not ready—and didn’t put it into production.

    Now, 11 years later, Rolls has caught up to its own vision of the future—and to its customers, many of whom already own a Tesla or other EV. It has just unveiled its first production electric car. Named, like many of its vehicles, for a spooky apparition (Ghost, Shadow, Phantom), it is called the Spectre. And like all of the company’s products, it is at once imposing and elegant, with a broad front end—utilizing the widest-ever iteration of the marque’s signature Pantheon grille—a sweepingly rounded prow, a tucked-in slab-sided profile that chamfers into muscular rear fenders, and a lovely tapered fastback that looks to be inspired by contemporary yacht design.

    side profile of car

    The all-electric car features 577 horsepower that can zip from 0–60 mph in under 4.5 seconds and lasts 260 miles in a full charge.

    If it reminds you of the brand’s most recent coupe, the Wriath, that is intentional. Rolls-Royce styling is geological in its evolution so as not to bring shame upon clients who own last year’s model. Instead, it focuses on refinement and details. To wit, the rear sections of the aforementioned grille are sandblasted and embedded with LEDs to provide contrast and presence. The giant rear-hinged “suicide” doors are impregnated with the latest iteration of the brand’s proprietary Starlight technology: thousands of tiny soft LEDs that flicker celestially. The wheels are 23″, the largest on any two-door, to offset the extra thickness of the battery pack in the base of the car. And the battery pack itself is sandwiched under its necessary cooling and wiring ductwork, providing a flat underfloor and nearly 1,500 pounds of sound deadening for the cabin.

    side profile car

    The vehicle includes a tapered fastback that seems to be inspired by contemporary yacht design.

    inside of car

    The giant rear-hinged “suicide” doors feature thousands of tiny, soft LEDs that flicker celestially.

    The heft of those cells contribute to the Spectre’s overall mass. At over 6,500 pounds, it weighs nearly a half ton more than the brand’s flagship Phantom Extended Wheelbase. But don’t worry. The electric motors in the Spectre more than compensate for this, producing 577 hp, outpacing the Phantom’s twin-turbocharged V12 and providing enough thrust to motivate this big roller from 0–60 mph in under 4.5 seconds. If you’re gentler with the go pedal, the brand estimates that the car will wring 260 miles from a charge, more than enough for a round trip from the Upper East Side to Easthampton.

    inside of car

    A look inside the spacious and luxe interiors.

    inside of car

    The expected base price for the vehicle will be around $400,000.

    Rolls has not announced exact pricing, but it has indicated that the Spectre will be positioned between its Cullinan SUV ($341,000) and Phantom sedan ($460,000), so we would expect a base price around $400,000 before extortionate options like cigar humidors, picnic gear, champagne coolers, and rose-gold-plated home charging systems. First customer deliveries are expected in late 2023. We look forward to test driving one and reporting back to you here.


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