When a motoring manufacturer describes its new vehicle as “the car that changes everything” (a bold statement if ever there was one), many of us who regularly try to decipher marketing speak are inclined to remain unfazed.
However, when the brand in question is Rolls-Royce and the fulsome runaround in question its first ever petrol-free offering, you are likely to pull a mental handbrake turn on those initial nonchalant feelings. So, that is the situation here.
The name of the vehicle in the headlights is the Spectre, and, aside from the claims about the car altering all, the brand also asserts this is the world’s first ultra-luxury electric coupe.
It marks the UK manufacturer’s inaugural step into non-fossil-fuel powered motoring, and, Rolls-Royce says, its latest creation makes zero concessions regarding performance, comfort or ride quality.
This much is certainly true. And, even at first glance, obvious.
The Spectre looks and feels like any of Rolls-Royce’s greatest hits, metaphorically pushing all the pleasure buttons for anyone driving it, riding in the back, or, indeed, just going past one parked at the kerb while out walking the dog.
The car has a definite air of athleticism, which is not a trait you’d necessarily associate with this particular manufacturer of ultra-high-end vehicles.
The brand’s design team has done a neat job in giving the car the usual DNA so distinctive of the Crewe-based company’s vehicles, but rounding the chassis out in a way that, from certain angles, reminds you of something like a classic 1950s Jaguar XK120, say.
As soon as you get inside, it becomes apparent that the no-compromise claims are 100 per cent on the money (although, admittedly, that’s not something anyone familiar with Rolls-Royce would have been in any doubt about in the first place).
The magic-carpet ride quality which the brand cites as one of the key qualities of all its cars is amplified by the silence of the engine – if, indeed, amplify is an acceptable word to use when describing a heightened sense of calm.
The Spectre is powered by a pair of electric motors that will get the car up to 100 kph in a smidgen north of four seconds.
Despite this evident sports-car acceleration, the sensation inside the cabin at even the highest speeds is one of serenity, feeling, as it does, no more dramatic than a gentle jaunt across the flattest sand on the most stable, chunky-tyred beach bike.
Even in places where supercars and the like are commonplace – Dubai, being an obvious example – the Spectre stands out.
Rolls-Royce thinks of itself as the world’s most luxurious brand (bar none) and that does seem to filter through when you’re driving along in one.
So, it would indeed be fair to say the Spectre marks a significant moment in the history of the brand.
Particularly as Charles Rolls, the company’s founder alongside Henry Royce, was a champion of the concept of electric vehicles right back when the company first started.
It only took the manufacturer 120 years to get around to actually building one, of course, but, looking at the positives, you might consider the Spectre to be a sound example of good things coming to those who wait.
Even so, had he lived to a spectacular age due to some form of medical wizardry, Mr Royce himself might have been tapping his pocket watch and saying: “About time.”