Rolls-Royce Spectre: new pictures revealed as luxury EV completes winter testing

Images show marque’s first EV undergoing performance and endurance testing ahead of 2023 on-sale date

Rolls-Royce has released new images and information about its Spectre all-electric coupe ahead of the car’s launch next year.

The new pictures show the luxury EV undergoing winter testing near the Arctic Circle as part of a 2.5-million-kilometre development programme.

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Still wrapped in its striking camouflage that contains quotes from co-founder Sir Henry Royce, the car is pictured enduring temperatures as low as -40C at Rolls-Royce’s bespoke proving ground at Arjeplog, Sweden

Over recent months, the all-new coupe has undergone more than 6,000,000km of testing to assess the performance of everything from its all-electric drivetrain and suspension to the door seals and air conditioning to make sure it meets the engineers’ and customers’ exacting standards.

With winter testing now complete, the Spectre is a quarter of the way through its 2.5m-kilometre development programme, designed to emulate 400 years of typical Rolls-Royce ownership.

The Spectre has been described by Rolls-Royce bosses as the most important car in its 118-year history, heralding a move away from massive combustion engines to an all-electric future. By 2030 the marque intends to be an all-EV brand.

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Using a modified version of the aluminium spaceframe that underpins the current Phantom, Ghost and Cullinan, the Spectre is being positioned as a successor to the Phantom Coupe - a two-door, four-seat super coupe that blends sleeker looks with Rolls-Royce’s famed luxury.

Rolls-Royce says the Spectre is inspired by the philosophy, design and dimensions of the Phantom Coupe and revives certain features, such as the Phantom’s split headlights. It also shares more than a little in overall design with the smaller Wraith coupe, from its shorter overhangs and long bonnet - spearheaded by the new Spirit of Ecstacy - to the gradually sloping rear roofline. It will also be the first Rolls-Royce coupe since 1926 to feature 23-inch wheels.

There are few hints to the interior design but it’s fair to assume it will draw on the reductive luxury approach taken by the latest Ghost. Passengers will sit low, “cocooned” by the deep dashboard and a completely flat floor should help with sound insulation.

Rolls-Royce hasn’t announced any details of the Spectre’s electric drivetrain, only stating that it will be in keeping with the “Rolls-Royce experience”, so expect plenty of power and big batteries to provide long cruising range.

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Underpinning the new drivetrain and the rest of the car’s functions is a new “decentralised” control system bosses are calling Rolls-Royce 3.0. With up to three times more electronic connections and functions than the Phantom, every element of the Spectre has its own controller and can communicate with other functions to offer new levels of adaptability and control.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars commented: “The announcement of every new Rolls-Royce motor car carries a great weight of expectation, but Spectre is unquestionably the most anticipated product in the marque’s modern history. This is because it is much more than a product. It is a symbol for our bright, bold electric future, and it represents a seismic shift in our powertrain technology.”

He added that the car had met its designers’ “most ambitious” expectations since testing began.

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