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The Rolls-Royce Spectre: silence just got quieter

 Published 17th August 2022
General Guides  New Launches 

Before we start let's be absolutely clear: you're not going to lease this car. There may be one or two of you in the position to think about it, but 99% of you are just going to have to dream. The few of you in the remaining 1% should be delighted to hear that the all-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre isn't too far away.

In September 2021, Rolls-Royce confirmed that it had commenced testing of the first all-electric Rolls-Royce, the Spectre. The engineers have now begun the second phase of testing in a location more suited to the Spectre's spiritual home – the French Riviera.

This Electric Super Coupé will be the first all-electric super-luxury car specifically designed for continental touring. The French Riviera presents a perfect combination of the types of conditions that will be demanded from Spectre's drivers, ranging from the technical coastal corniche to faster inland carriageways.

Testing on the Côte d'Azur

The French phase is part of Spectre's 2.5 million kilometre global testing programme. Split into two parts, a total of 625,000 kilometres will be driven on and around the French Côte d'Azur. The historic Autodrome de Miramas – host to the 1926 French Grand Prix and now a state-of-the-art testing and development facility – and the surrounding Provence countryside will be completely undisturbed by thousands of miles of utterly silent and emission-free Rolls-Royce testing.

And in typical Rolls-Royce fashion, there isn't a single mention of power, acceleration, or speed to be found. The Spectre is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever made, and every decision that has been taken so far is purely for the sake of comfort.

Rolls-Royce has built the Spectre on an exclusive, all-aluminium spaceframe platform that's both light and strong. The batteries have also been cleverly integrated into the chassis to stiffen it further and create the most rigid body in the history of the company. At 1.5 metres long, the pillarless doors are also the longest ever fitted to a Rolls-Royce so getting in and out should be as effortless as the driving experience.

The months of continual testing have also led to a new suspension technology that ensures Spectre delivers Rolls-Royce's hallmark ‘magic carpet ride'. It's massively complicated and involves ridiculously clever engineering and computer stuff that we can't even begin to comprehend properly.

the Rolls-Royce spectre rear view

But we'll have a stab at it.

Basically, the Spectre knows exactly where it is and what the road ahead looks like. On straight roads it can decouple the anti-roll bars so each wheel acts independently, preventing any bumps and potholes from causing the body to rock and smoothing out the ride to Rolls-Royce standards. Using data from the sat nav the car knows when a corner is approaching and automatically recouples the anti-roll bars, stiffens the suspension dampers, and prepares to activate the four-wheel steering. A multitude of sensors then monitor steering, braking, power delivery and suspension during the corner, constantly adjusting each wheel to keep the car as smooth and stable as…well, as a Rolls-Royce.

According to the luxury car maker, when Charles Rolls himself drove a 1900 electric car named the Columbia, he made a prediction: “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.”

It's taken a while, but when the Rolls-Royce Spectre goes on sale at the end of 2023 it will embody the fulfilment of that prediction.

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