Rolls-Royce is gearing up for the next chapter in automotive history with the Spectre, the manufacturer's first all-electric vehicle.
The motor was unveiled for the first time on Tuesday following much trumpeting from petrolheads around the world, who have been keenly awaiting its big reveal since the concept was first mentioned in dispatches last year.
In fact, Rolls-Royce describes the Spectre as being a “prophecy fulfilled”, citing one Charles Rolls, the company’s co-founder along with Henry Royce, who mentioned how much he valued fossil fuel-free propulsion — more than 120 years ago.
Electric cars, he said, had the potential to be a clean and largely noise-free alternative to those powered by internal combustion engines, as long as you had enough charging points — an opinion you might indeed think of as being seriously ahead of the game.
No surprise that the Spectre exudes elegance and style visually, but you’d expect nothing less from a brand that has done its best to incorporate such concepts into its very DNA.
The look of the new arrival might be said to most closely resemble its Wraith sibling, with the fastback roof (as automotive designers are keen to describe such things these days) being a prominent feature.
Rolls-Royce, however, says the composition of the Spectre has been influenced by “haute couture, modernist sculpture, nautical design, tailoring and contemporary art”.
The front headlights sit either side of the widest grille to have been put on one of the marque’s products, with the view of the car from the side purposefully resembling something along the lines of a luxury yacht.
The car has undergone some rigorous testing, which included more than 2.5 million kilometres on the road. That, Rolls-Royce suggests, simulates more than 400 years of use for one its products.
Some of this land testing, which is ongoing, took place in harsh climates — from the freezing temperatures in Arjeplog, Sweden, to the scorching sun in southern African — while other areas proved less challenging, such as the pleasantly warm French Riviera.
Rolls-Royce says the exact specifications of the Spectre are still being calculated, but early data shows the vehicle will have a range of 520km, around 900Nm of torque, and a 0 to 100kph time of 4.5 seconds.
Rolls-Royce’s chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos says the Spectre possesses all the qualities that have given the brand the kudos it has built up over the years.
“This is the start of a bold new chapter for our marque, our extraordinary clients and the luxury industry,” he said.
The company has made the commitment to have a fully-electric portfolio by 2030.
As is usual with launches of this kind, no exact price has been mentioned but Rolls-Royce says this is likely to be somewhere between the Cullinan at £301,975 ($341,628) and the Phantom at £410,575 ($464,489).
The vehicles will be delivered next year, so there's still plenty of time for customers to heed Charles Rolls's words and seek out the nearest charging points.