The Rolls-Royce Specter at a glance
- First ultra-luxury coupé with electric drive
- 430 kW/585 hp and 900 Nm torque
- 4.5 s from 0-100 km/h, Vmax 250 km/h
- 102 kWh battery from the BMW i7
- “Magic Carpet” air suspension
- Delivery start at the end of 2023
- Basic price from approx. 389,725 euros
The Rolls-Royce Specter is a stately appearance. The coupé measures 5.45 meters in length. Almost nine centimeters more than the technically closely related BMW i7.
The chicken-and-egg problem in the electric luxury class
When we stand in front of the new Rolls-Royce Specter (combined power consumption: 21.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km; electric range: up to 530 km)², we inevitably think, What does the illustrious owner of this luxury electric car do when the battery charge runs low while on the road? Does he call the “Flying Doctor”, does a concierge drive up with an emergency generator or does it have to be the poorly lit Ionity charging station at the rest area? Yes, even a regular Rolls has to be refueled without staff every now and then. But you don’t spend 35 minutes at a location that even ordinary drivers are reluctant to drive to. That’s how long it takes to ideally charge the 102 kWh battery from 10 to 80 percent. Maximum charging power? Up to 195 kW DC.
In the case of the Specter, the chicken-and-egg problem is taken to the extreme. Should the luxury electric cars come first and then the matching high-end charging hubs, or vice versa? Since we hardly know of any covered charging park that satisfies even the most basic needs, it will probably be a while before you can pull (alcohol-free) champagne and caviar from the machine when charging the Rolls-Royce Specter. Maybe a gap in the market. Because from what you hear, the 5.45 meter long E-Coupé is supposed to be quite impressive. Not only in the order books of the BMW subsidiary, but also in the bank accounts of its future owners.
The finest materials, tastefully combined: Anyone who puts together a Rolls-Royce is literally bathing in leather, wood and precious metal.
Light and shadow
When asked about the price, we were told that the test car would cost 440,300 euros before taxes. Of course, there is always room for improvement; the “basic configuration” starts at around 327,500 euros. Of course also before taxes. It goes without saying, right? What, on the other hand, is not at all self-explanatory: the 6.75-liter V12 is suddenly no longer automatically the first and only choice. Now the Spirit of Ecstasy on the old Phantom Coupé, so as not to forget its predecessor in spirit, will certainly shed a tear or two. Meanwhile, her colleague on the front hood of the Spectre, optimized in the wind tunnel, is basking in indirect light. It is optionally illuminated just as diffusely as the radiator grille mounted at its feet.
In combination with the narrow LED daytime and main headlights at night, this looks a bit like the epitome of a rogue car. The Specter, perhaps alongside the Tesla Cybertruck, would certainly look good in a dystopian apocalyptic film. What sounds like denigration is actually deep reverence. Everyone can think what they like about such expensive luxury cars. But some collect art to hang up, others to drive. Although the external appearance exudes pure nobility, the actual highlights are hidden behind the doors that open in opposite directions. For example, if desired, the portals can be illuminated from the inside by exactly 4,796 stars for the first time.
The very comfortable lounge chairs can be adjusted in numerous ways, air-conditioned and can be used for a whole range of massage programs. Small detail on the side: Even the seat rails are covered.
Hardly any vehicle interior is better insulated
Furthermore, in the test car there is plenty of precious metal, large areas of open-pore wood and, last but not least, the two-tone leather in Scivaro Gray and Charles Blue vying for the passengers’ attention. The quality is excellent except for small details. There is some fine criticism worth mentioning about the optional starry sky. Since the hand-worked light guides protrude at different distances from the leather cover to create the impression of lighter and darker celestial bodies, you occasionally get stuck on sharp-edged elements when you stroke over them. Certainly not entirely ideal for the vehicle price quoted. Meanwhile, we take a seat in the lounge chair, which can be adjusted in countless ways, and finally want to know how the first electric Rolls-Royce can be driven.
As is usual with the British, the Specter is started using the start button to the left of the steering wheel. On the right, switch the gear selector on the valance to “D” (or “B” for one-pedal driving) and almost three tons of car (around 700 kilograms are accounted for by the battery alone) start moving. And yes, the electric coupe is even quieter than a Rolls-Royce with a V12. No matter whether on country roads or motorways, the driver and passenger can always converse in a whisper. If that’s too spooky for you, you have the option of switching on an almost orchestral driving sound. This helps to better understand the power used and the speed achieved.
The Rolls-Royce Specter is extremely effortless to move. No wonder with up to 585 electric horsepower and 900 Nm of torque.
Effortless power development at V12 level
If desired, the 585 hp realm of silence can not only glide elegantly, but also rush away. If necessary, the Rolls sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. The speed is limited to a befitting 250 km/h. It does all of this quite outstandingly and in a way that is more “effortless” than almost any other electric car. The up to 900 Newton meters of torque are not simply thrown into the traffic area all of a sudden, but are presented at a higher V12 level. The result: your head rarely hits the headrest when accelerating, but rather is gently but firmly pushed into it. It is impressive how much the power development of electric motors can be modeled and optimized even more precisely.
The ride comfort in the Specter is equally impressive. As usual, a “magic carpet” in Rolls-Royce ensures that the occupants notice almost nothing of the road. In the case of the Stromer, the imaginative name hides a two-chamber air suspension with electronically controlled dampers, expanded to include active roll stabilization and all-wheel steering. This composition is well known from the new seven-series, although the chassis masters between Munich and Goodwood of course had more than one hand at the relevant points. In the end, no one should be able to claim that you’re just driving a pimped-up BMW i7 around here. Accordingly, the entire technology usually works discreetly in the background. The driver does not have to worry about such mundane things as selecting different driving modes. There simply aren’t any.
The front section of the Specter in particular looks impressive. The rear-hinged doors are the longest and probably heaviest that Rolls-Royce has ever produced.
Despite all the weighty luxury, the Specter can also be said to have a certain cornering dynamic. No, the 2+2 seater will certainly not be a thoroughbred sports car, but maneuvering this yacht on 23 inch wheels does provide a certain amount of driving pleasure. The valance can be controlled smoothly and with sufficient precision. Perfect for making the stopover up to your own Alpine resort near Kitz’ or Moritz. The all-wheel drive coupe always has enough power and traction anyway. What the electric scooter lacks for the first time, however, is the lack of energy consumption. Where a V12 likes to use more than 18 liters, the Specter only needs around 25.5 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers under winter conditions. Less than an Audi Q8 e-tron! The 102 kWh battery can last for almost 400 kilometers.
Looking at the digital qualities of the Spectre, it can be said that the now Stone Age iDrive system of previous Rolls-Royce models has been replaced by a more modern evolutionary stage. Fortunately, it does not yet correspond to what BMW uses in its newer mass-produced vehicles. You could also describe it as saying that the British took over the most sophisticated components from the parent company during the four-year development period. Voice and manual input, like the telephone connection (with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), work in a self-explanatory manner. The two displays are razor-sharp and, despite all the digitalization, there is still an analogue-operated automatic air conditioning system.
Instead of the V12, the Specter only has a massive cover. A “frunk” (or other creative use) would have been appreciated.
An unused opportunity
The Rolls-Royce Specter obviously didn’t want to do without the long hood. Above all, this hides powerful coverage and an unused opportunity. Knowing that the Specter shares its “Architecture of Luxury” platform with the combustion engine models Phantom, Ghost and Cullinan, one could have at least thought about a small “frunk”, i.e. a compact front trunk. Equipped with the finest leather or carpet, equipped with a handcrafted picnic set, for example. An addition to the otherwise rather sparse rear luggage compartment, which at around 380 liters only has the capacity of a Golf 8.
The Rolls-Royce Specter is currently one of the most expensive electric cars on the market. Prices start at around 389,725 euros.
The Rolls-Royce Specter once again takes automotive luxury to the extreme. Now powered electrically instead of petrol. Thanks to the very effortless power delivery, the absolute silence and a respectable power consumption, you’ll hardly shed a tear for the drink-addicted V12. The interior is exquisitely furnished, and a lot has changed in terms of infotainment. But if you don’t have half a million euros in your account for a car, you can also get the same drive and chassis technology, prepared differently, in the BMW i7. However, this is not a completely inexpensive pleasure. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)
Technical data – Rolls-Royce Spectre
|Rolls Royce Spectre
|2x current-excited synchronous machines (SSM)
|Electric all-wheel drive, 1-speed automatic
|Max. system performance
|up to 430 kW (585 HP)
|Continuous performance (30 minute performance)
|135 kW (184 hp)
|Max. system torque
|up to 900 Nm (limited)
|102 kWh lithium-ion (net)
|Bidirectional charging (V2X)
|Max. charging power AC/DC
|Combined power consumption (WLTP)
|21.5 kWh/100 km²
|Test consumption according to on-board computer
|25.5 kWh/100 km
|CO2 emissions combined
|Range according to WLTP
|up to 530 km²
|Range measured in the test
|up to 400 km
|Acceleration (0-100 km/h)
|approx. 2,890 kg
|approx. 380 l
|Basic price Rolls Royce Specter
|from approx. 389,725 euros