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Is a Tesla not quite plush enough? Rolls-Royce's first electric car is here to fix that... if you've got deep pockets

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The three-tonne Spectre is the first electric car from Rolls-Royce.
The three-tonne Spectre is the first electric car from Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce has finally unveiled its first electric car, the Spectre, announcing that a 122-year-old prophecy has finally come true.

While it might be a bit dramatic to call it a prophecy, there’s weight to what Rolls-Royce has said upon the Spectre’s reveal - in 1900, Charles Rolls said the electric car is ideal for luxury motoring - or for any motoring at all - when compared to the petrol car.

“The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean,” he said of his ‘Columbia Electric Carriage’.

“There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.”

The Spectre is what Rolls-Royce hopes will be the turning point for its own brand of luxury mobility. Built on a version of the ‘Architecture of Luxury’ platform designed with electrification in mind, the three-tonne luxury four-seat coupe is set to hit customer garages at the end of 2024.

While it’s still in the late production stage, Rolls-Royce says the Spectre is capable of a WLTP-tested range of 520km, with a rate of 21.5kWh per 100km.

Unexpectedly, power and torque figures and an estimated acceleration time have been given before the vehicle’s final testing is complete.

Rolls-Royce says the Spectre will produce around 430kW and 900Nm, with those figures allowing a 0-100km/h sprint in just 4.4 seconds. Impressive for a very heavy two-door car, one that RR says weighs in at 2975kg. 

It is, however, understandable when you consider its size, and the almost 700kg of batteries needed to power it. The Spectre is 5.45 metres long, and 2.08 metres wide, with the battery being integrated into the structure of the car in a way that makes it a claimed 30 per cent stiffer than any Rolls before it.

To carry all this, Rolls-Royce uses a suspension setup it calls ‘Planar’ which essentially uses air suspension and damping to prevent both low and high frequency vibrations (big bumps and small bumps, respectively) from affecting the cabin.

It’s not new to the Spectre, but the new electric car does boast an 18-sensor array to help decide how much to prepare the suspension for behaviour like cornering, too.

While the use of pure electric power removes Rolls-Royce’s reliance on the admittedly iconic 6.75-litre V8, it isn’t expected to change what a Rolls-Royce fundamentally is, said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

“Spectre’s all-electric powertrain will assure the marque’s sustained success and relevance while dramatically increasing the definition of each characteristic that makes a Rolls-Royce a Rolls-Royce,” he said.

Australian hopefuls will have to wait a while longer to find out specifics for the local market, nor should they expect to see any landing in Australia before early 2025.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in Chris’ life, but loading up his 1990 VW Golf GTI Mk2 and moving from hometown Brisbane to work in automotive publishing in Melbourne ensured cars would be a constant. With a few years as MOTOR Magazine’s first digital journalist under his belt, followed by a stint as a staff journalist for Wheels Magazine, Chris’ career already speaks to a passion for anything with four wheels, especially the 1989 Mazda MX-5 he currently owns. From spending entire weeks dissecting the dynamic abilities of sports cars to weighing up the practical options for car buyers from all walks of life, Chris’ love for writing and talking about cars means if you’ve got a motoring question, he can give you an answer.
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