Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveils its first fully electric motor car and explains its importance to its expanding global Home at Goodwood
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Here it is – sleek, subtle and absolutely stunning. As the world’s media got the first glimpse of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ ultra-luxury electric super coupe hand-built at the company's Home at Goodwood near Chichester there were gasps of admiration. Less audible but no less real was the delight that the company had kept its promise to start to move its range of cars to all-electric this decade – securing more than 2,000 local jobs as well as major expansion plans for the eco manufacturing plant.
Spectre is not just great for the environment - it will bring another major boost to the Chichester economy. At a press debut this week at the Goodwood plant, the chief executive officer of Rolls-Royce Torsten Müller-Ötvös, spoke of the importance of the company's West Sussex base: "Our home is the centre of something very special, something to be proud of.
"This is not a car factory. This is where Rolls-Royces are built by hand. It's where dreams become reality. Where the most skilled and dedicated craftspeople, designers and engineers, find their home - and where our clients come to experience the magic of Rolls-Royce and bring their own bespoke visions to life."
He referenced the major expansion plans for the Goodwood site that the Observer revealed exclusively earlier this year. You can read that story here: https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/business/would-you-wait-a-year-for-a-new-rolls-royce-built-at-chichester-3559792
"Our home here at Goodwood serves us exceptionally well. It is known the world over as the centre of luxury manufacturing excellence. But now the time has come to upgrade, to expand and also to improve here.
"We have plans that allow us to modernise and progress our paint-shop and provide more space for logistics and engineering disciplines and this will also enable even more extensive and detailed bespoke commissions as we transition into a fully electric era for Rolls-Royce.
"Our proposed new campus will secure not only the 2,000 plus highly skilled jobs we have so proudly created but also the positive economic impact of our company in this beautiful corner here of England.
"Of course rarity is and always will be an essential part of our brand's promise. But should the ultra-high and luxury segment continue to expand as I firmly believe it will, we must be in a position where we can continue to meet the demand for our highly sought-after product.
"This expansion is about securing the future success of Rolls-Royce. And never forget success for Rolls-Royce is success for the UK, for West Sussex and for the BMW group [which owns Rolls-Royce Motor Cars].
"Any growth will be defined by the same commitment we made when we first imagined this place - to minimise impact wherever possible. With our large living-roof and grounds which are carefully managed for nature and wildlife, we are almost invisible unless you know we are here.
"In addition to growing demand for bespoke and coach-building, an increasing number of our clients have been asking me when are you going to take Rolls-Royce electric? Well, in 2011 we demonstrated that we were already thinking about electrification when we revealed our fully operational, experimental electric Phantom. We used this car to find out how an electric Rolls-Royce would fit with our clients' lifestyle.
"Then five years' later we showed our vision for the marque several decades into the future. Since showing these cars the question 'when?' got asked more. A lot more. So I answered with a clear promise - Rolls-Royce will go electric starting this decade. Starting, in fact, right now.
"I invite you to prepare yourselves for one of the most historic moments in the long story of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. One hundred and twenty two years ago ... a brilliant young engineer Henry Royce was a great advocate of electric motors. He manufactured them for cranes and similar applications. Later, as his interest turned to automobiles, he created internal combustion engines that replicated the characteristics of electric motors.
"But it was Charles Rolls who truly, truly prophesied an electric future when in 1900 he drove in an early electric car called the Columbia Electric Carriage. And he spoke about his vision for the future of electrification to a reporter from the Motor Car Journal and this is what he said: 'The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There's no smell or vibration and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.'
"What an incredible prophesy. And an electric drive is uniquely and perfectly suited to a Rolls-Royce, more so than any other automotive brand."The company's investment in all-electric comes after it has has continued to achieve record results.https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/business/investment-pledged-for-chichester-as-rolls-royce-announces-its-best-results-ever-3521046
But you cannot drive away a new car today – even if you can afford the price tag … Spectre is available for commission immediately, but you will need to wait a year until quarter four of 2023 to take delivery of it.
SPECTRE DIMENSIONS:Number of doors / seats 2 doors / 4 seatsVehicle length 5453 mm / 214.685 inVehicle width 2080 mm / 81.889 inVehicle height (unladen) 1559 mm / 61.377 inWheelbase 3210 mm / 126.378 inTurning circle 12.7 mKerb weight 2975 kg