It’s finally arrived. The Rolls-Royce Spectre has appeared in all its glory and I, for one, am very excited. It’s the first ever fully-electric Rolls and production versions will be ready to roll at some point in late 2023. In my opinion, it’s a car that makes a lot of sense. Why do I think that? It’s actually not that difficult to explain…
The idea of an electric Rolls-Royce just feels right. The Rolls-Royce brand is all about supreme luxury. A Rolls-Royce is supposed to cosset you. It’s supposed to float you down the road from your manor to the country club peacefully and isolated from the outside world. The whole point of the Rolls-Royce experience is that it has to be relaxing and stress-free. If this is how you define what a Rolls-Royce is supposed to be, the best kind of powertrain for a Rolls is an electric one. The whisper-quiet luxury that’s possible from a top of the line electric powertrain really could put the Spectre in a class of its own.
It also looks great. That long bonnet and big grille (the largest grille fitted to a Rolls-Royce ever, by the way) is as traditionally Rolls as you can get, but it blends that well with more modern, angular features. The split headlights (the upper half being LED daytime running lights, whilst the lower half are the main beams) at the front look great, as do the vertical taillights. The side profile, doors and that rear window that swoops back down to the boot are very much a callback to the Wraith, whilst those aforementioned split headlights nod back to the Phantom Coupe that predated the Wraith. It’s all very, very fancy and much more of an appealing visual spectacle than a lot of other EVs that are currently knocking around.
The inside is classic Rolls too. There’s been absolutely no attempt at all to do the typical EV thing of saving as much weight as possible. No expense has been spared on the interior. It’s got exactly the same stuff you’d see in an ICE-powered Rolls in it. Only the utmost luxury will do and not even the EV doctrine of weight-saving has been allowed to compromise that. This is a Rolls-Royce, after all. It shall be done the Rolls-Royce way. No other way is acceptable. It even still has a traditional transmission tunnel that goes straight through the middle of the interior, albeit this isn’t entirely for aesthetic reasons. Some of the batteries that power this super coupe are packaged inside of that tunnel. But, let’s face it, a lot of the reason why it’s still there is because it’s part of the Rolls-Royce way of making an interior. Rolls customers will still want it. Why not just keep it, even though there is no transmission and no driveshaft required to run through there anymore?
This is why, I think, the Rolls-Royce Spectre could be the most important EV that’s been made so far. People have been talking about the advent of luxury EVs for years now. So far, we actually haven’t had a proper luxury EV. Sure, you could call a Tesla Model S or a Porsche Taycan a luxury EV, but they’re also both very sporty. The Mercedes EQS is a luxury EV, sure, but it’s definitely not built to the same standards as a Rolls-Royce. The Spectre is the true advent of the luxury EV. It’s the true beginning of a coachbuilt electric future for the cars of the world’s richest and most powerful individuals. There may be many big celebrities, business leaders and world leaders whose first electric car will be a Spectre. This will be especially true for the ones who are more ‘traditionalist’ about their cars and haven’t been swayed by Tesla, BMW or Mercedes.
Whilst Rolls-Royce is typically seen as a traditional British brand, it’s one that’s attracted a wider client base than you might think since BMW revitalised it in the 2000s. A whole gamut of influential people will end up being seen in a fancy-looking Spectre once they start hitting the streets. Everyone from business magnates to rappers to hollywood stars will want their names on the order books for one. That’s going to make it one of the most visible automotive status symbols in the world. A fully electric one, too! The gravity of this really can’t be understated. No matter where you are in the world, a Rolls-Royce equals wealth, status and power. Sure, the early Teslas were something of a status symbol amongst some car-loving celebrities. But, they didn’t really inspire the public imagination that much. The Rolls-Royce Spectre on the other hand? Well, it’s a Rolls. It’ll wow people anywhere it goes, regardless of what kind of powertrain is powering it. There’s no denying the ability for a car as prestigious as a Rolls-Royce to make everyone stop and stare.
Whilst I know that a lot of purists will baulk at the thought of any kind of electric vehicle, you really should pay attention to the Spectre. Before you know it, it’s going to become a car that takes over global high society. It is a Rolls-Royce, after all. All Rolls-Royces become synonymous with the highest of taste and class. The Spectre, however, will be much more important than that. It’s the first proper expression of a Rolls for the new, electric era of car manufacturing. It embraces the future of the automotive industry, whilst staying true to its Rolls-Royce roots. The combination of both of those things is going to make the Spectre an incredibly important car. Perhaps, it could be one of the most important cars ever made.