Rolls-Royce Spectre revealed as luxury brand’s first electric car

Coupe marks start of luxury marque’s shift to all-electric future with 2023 launch date confirmed ahead of pricing and drivetrain details

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 7:00 pm

Rolls-Royce has revealed the first glimpses of its debut electric car, named the Spectre.

The two-door coupe will arrive in late 2023 and lead the luxury brand’s shift away from combustion engines entirely.

Announcing the launch of its first EV, Rolls-Royce’s CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, confirmed that by 2030 its entire line-up will be purely electric.

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The brand previously said that while electric propulsion was well suited to its brief, it would only make the switch when it believed the technology was ready to offer the full experience Rolls-Royce customers demand.

Revealing the Spectre ahead of a highly visible testing programme, Müller-Ötvös called the announcement the “most significant” day in Rolls-Royce’s history since its founders agreed to go into business together in 1904.

He said: “We embark on this bold new future with a huge advantage. Electric drive is uniquely and perfectly suited to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, more so than any other automotive brand. It is silent, refined and creates torque almost instantly, going on to generate tremendous power. This is what we at Rolls-Royce call ‘waftability’.”

The camouflaged prototype shows a sleek coupe body, similar in size and shape to the existing Wraith. Printed over the bodywork are quotes from including one from XX emphasising how well electric power would suit a Rolls-Royce.

Müller-Ötvös was keen to emphasise that despite being owned by BMW, which has its own EV development programme, the Spectre will not share a platform with any BMW product.

Instead, it will use the same scaleable aluminium architecture which already underpins the Phantom, Ghost and Cullinan models.

He added: “Free of any group platform sharing strategy, we were able to integrate our plans for an electric powertrain into the architecture’s initial design and ensure that this extraordinary new product meets the extremely high expectations of our clients.”

While happy to talk about the ambitions for the car and the long-term plan for the brand, Müller-Ötvös revealed nothing about the Spectre’s drivetrain but said that on-road testing was already underway ahead of the car’s release in the third quarter of 2023.

The testing regime will, according to him, be the most demanding in the brand’s history, with cars “in plain sight” covering 1.5 million miles - equivalent to more than 400 years of use for an average Rolls-Royce  in “all conditions and terrains”.