The new car will begin global testing imminently and prototypes will cover 2.5 million kilometres to simulate 400 years of use.
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive of the Sussex-based manufacturer, said: “I am proud to announce that Rolls-Royce is to begin the on-road testing programme for an extraordinary new product that will elevate the global all-electric car revolution and create the first – and finest – super-luxury product of its type. This is not a prototype. It’s the real thing, it will be tested in plain sight and our clients will take first deliveries of the car in the fourth quarter of 2023.”
Spectre fulfils the 1900 prophecy of the marque’s founder, Charles Rolls, of an electric future for motor vehicles.
Rolls said: “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged. But for now, I do not anticipate that they will be very serviceable – at least for many years to come.”
Müller-Ötvös said: “Charles Rolls’ prophecy has been the subject of constant consideration during the marque’s Goodwood era. But we have not been satisfied that available technology could support the Rolls-Royce experience. Until now. Now is the time to change the course of the future of luxury.
“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.
“In 2017, we debuted Phantom, and with it the marque’s proprietary aluminium architecture: a scalable and flexible spaceframe that would underpin all forthcoming Rolls-Royce motor cars. This unique technology – developed for Rolls-Royce by Rolls-Royce and reserved for the marque’s exclusive use – was created to form the foundation of not just different internal combustion engine models, as it now does with Cullinan and Ghost, but models with completely different powertrains.
“To this end, our forthcoming electric car benefits from the Rolls-Royce architecture and therefore the extraordinary experience of a Rolls-Royce on the road. 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.”
“This Rolls-Royce is the fulfilment of a prophecy and it represents a promise kept as we embark upon a unique undertaking. It is the beginning of a new legacy for our brand. In that spirit, we have decided on a completely new name for this car. A name that is as powerful and evocative as the nameplates that have served us so perfectly for the past century – names like Phantom, Ghost and Wraith. It’s a name that perfectly fits the ethereal and other worldly environment within which our products exist – a name that we have reserved especially for this moment: Spectre.
“Spectre is a name given to otherworldly beings synonymous with great power and apparition; creatures of an alternative realm that make their presence felt through fleeting manifestation. A spectre forces the world to pause. It dominates the space it occupies. Then, as quickly as it appears, it dissipates, leaving a wake of exhilaration, energy, and intrigue.
“This name perfectly matches the extraordinary Rolls-Royce that we are announcing today – a motor car that makes its presence felt before disappearing into a world inaccessible to all but the very few. As a quintessentially British brand, we have selected the British spelling, however the meaning is universal.
“With this new product we set out our credentials for the full electrification of our entire product portfolio by 2030. By then, Rolls-Royce will no longer be in the business of producing or selling any internal combustion engine products.
“Spectre is the living fulfilment of Charles Rolls’ Prophecy. My Promise, made on behalf of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, is kept. Now we begin a remarkable undertaking. I am proud that we will continue to propel the world’s most progressive and influential women and men into a brilliant, electrified future.”