It’s 1900, and Charles S. Rolls, cofounder of automaker Rolls-Royce, makes a prediction about the future of automotive industry.
“The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged,” he wrote.
It will take more than a century for his vision to become reality, but is one that’s finally beginning for Rolls-Royce with the introduction of the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre coupe. It is the beginning of a transformation into a pure electric vehicle brand, a conversion the company expects to complete by 2031.
The 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre coupe is the first fully electric Rolls-Royce ever made. Using the same all-aluminum architrecture as the Phantom sedan and Cullinan SUV, the Spectre’s two-door fastback lines recall that of the Wraith, but its bountiful size and lavish style compellingly assert Rolls-Royce’s entry into the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) space. But true to form, the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre proves to be a Rolls-Royce first and an electric vehicle second — thank goodness.
It’s Rolls-Royce’s first coupe sold in the U.S. market since the 2021 Rolls-Royce Wraith.
With styling that recalls the Wraith without mimicking it, the Spectre coupe is about the same size as the Phantom Coupe, measuring a whopping 215+ inches in length. But look closer, and you’ll find many of the car’s details have been massaged to improve aerodynamic efficiency. It can be seen in the clean, simply carved shapes that define the Spectre, ones clearly designed to air airflow. And check out the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. It’s shorter than before, and its wings have been reangled for improved airflow. And the Spectre wears the widest grille ever fitted to a Rolls-Royce.
But its form is classic Rolls-Royce, wearing lines that easily lends itself to two-toning, which it wears particularly well. Its overall form is enhanced by an absence of cut lines, and shapely sheetmetal that beautifully captures and plays with light. Uniquely, it lacks a B-Pillar, lending amore open feel to the cabin despite its high beltline. As with all modern Rolls-Royce, the wheel center caps employ ball-bearings to keep the Rolls-Royce logo upright.
Being that the Spectre is a Rolls-Royce, this is every bit a grand touring coupe, with room for four. Notably, the backseat seatbacks are made from a large single piece of leather that wraps seamlessly from the seatback into the side panel. Interior furnishings are incredibly posh; no one does this better than Rolls-Royce. Handcrafted, the company’s ability to craft bespoke interiors ensure that no two Rolls-Royces are alike. For example, for the first time, buyers can select the color of the instrument dials as part of the company’s Bespoke program.
Then again, there’s nothing quite like a Rolls-Royce interior. While customers usually opt for the Starlight headliner, which emulate a sky full of stars, the feature is now available on the Spectre’s interior door panels, as well as on the passenger side of the instrument panel. If you prefer, you can opt for Canadel paneling made from exquisite hardwoods.
But perhaps the interior’s most unusual feature is one that closes an open driver’s door when the driver steps on the brake pedal. And the lambs wool floormats? Heavenly.
Dual electric motors are mated to a single-speed transmission, providing 190 kW of power to the front axle and 360 kW to the rear. Together, they provide 584 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard. Running 0-60 mph takes a mere 4.4 seconds. Range is estimated to be 264 miles, which should prove sufficient given that Rolls-Royce owners drive their cars an average of 3,200 miles a year.
Clearly, the Rolls-Royce is far from the only vehicle most of the customers own.
The Spectre draws its juice from a 102-kWh lithium-ion battery, made from cobalt and lithium from strictly controlled sources in Australia, Morocco, and Argentina.
Refilling the battery pack from 10% to 80% is 34 minutes using a 195 kW (DC) fast charger, according to Rolls-Royce. It can also produce a 100-km charge, that’s 62 miles, in around nine minutes.
Safety and Technology
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre.
You’d expect the Spectre to have the requisite advanced driver assistance systems, and it does. But it lacks any sort of automated driving system, as the company won’t install one until the technology is perfected.
The company has redesigned its infotainment system, which has named Spirit. It can be controlled via touchscreen or through a console-mounted controller and category buttons. As with other automakers, there’s a Rolls-Royce Whispers app that allows drivers to access the car remotely.
Rolls-Royce kept stating that the Spectre is a Rolls-Royce first and a BEV second. And that’s truth, not marketing babble. Still, it comes as no surprise, as a BEV’s instant torque, silent driveline, and lack of gear shifting produce the requisite smooth, silent personality. Power delivery is strong but linear, reaching 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. So you won’t get the neck-snapping torque of some BEVs, but it’s perfectly in keeping with the Spectre’s demeanor.
The car uses an updated version of the Ghost’s Planar Suspension System, which decouples the Spectre’s anti-roll bars, which allows each wheel to act independently, preventing side-to-side rocking while delivering the plush ride you’d expect from Rolls-Royce.
But cornering causes the anti-roll bars to recouple, while the dampers stiffen and the four-wheel steering to activate. It makes this large couple remarkably agile as well as comfortable, endowing it with a balance that’s rarified.
And the hallmarks of driving a Rolls-Royce remain intact, such as the delicately thin steering wheel, and the power reserve gauge, which shows how much power you have left.
2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre Specifications
|Dimension||L: 215.6 inches/W: 79.4 inches/H: 61.9 inches/Wheelbase: 126.4 inches|
|Powertrain||Dual synchronous motor, 1-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive|
|Range||264 miles (estimated)|
|Performance Specs||584 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||$420,000; As tested: Not available|
|On-Sale Date||Available for ordering now|
The best thing you can say about the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre is that it is every bit the Rolls-Royce, a vehicle that exists unchallenged, as there’s nothing that rivals it. Despite being a BEV, it delivers the exact same experience that you’d get from an internal combustion engine Rolls-Royce. It just happens to be electric.
That, and the ability to customize many of the its details, make it a sublime choice for those who desire a BEV.
2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre — Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre?
It’s $420,000 before options which easily push the price above $500,000.
Is Rolls-Royce Spectre fully electric?
What is the most expensive Rolls-Royce?
The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, custom built by the company’s Coachbuild division and estimated to cost $28 million.