Rolls-Royce has provided an update on its first electric vehicle, the Specter, which goes on sale in late 2023. The car is a large coupe that Rolls-Royce regards as the spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupe, and is set to introduce several firsts for brands beyond just the powertrain.
Prototypes are put to the test around the world, even earlier in the harsh winter of northern Sweden. Currently, Specter prototypes are being driven in the south of France, a natural playground for Rolls-Royce. According to Rolls-Royce, many of its customers often visit the French Riviera and, as a result, more than half of the Specter’s test program will take place there.
One of the key elements being tested right now is a new suspension system designed to offer maximum comfort. It is an electronic roll stabilization system that uses data from various sensors that can read the road surface, as well as information for the navigation system.
On straight roads, the system can automatically decouple the anti-roll bars, allowing each wheel to act independently. This results in a much smoother ride as there are no more vibrations or rocking motions that can be experienced when only one side of the vehicle hits a bump or bumpy ground.
For the approach to curves, identified by navigation, the anti-roll bars are re-attached, the shock absorbers stiffened and the steering system on the four-wheel steering adjusted according to the speed of the vehicle, all so that the entry and exit from the curve are as smooth as possible. For cornering, there are more than 18 sensors used to monitor things and make changes to systems like suspension, steering, braking, and power delivery.
Another aid to driving and comfort is the Specter’s rigid aluminum space frame platform design, which is said to be around 30% stiffer than other Rolls-Royce models. The platform is a modified version of the one that debuted in the latest Phantom. It has been reinforced with steel sections in the Specter. The car’s battery, which weighs 1,500 pounds and is mounted in the floor, also acts as a structural element to further increase stiffness.
Rolls-Royce Specter prototype of 2024
The Specter’s body will be primarily aluminum, with some panels being the largest ever fitted to a Rolls-Royce. For example, there will be a side panel that extends from the A-pillar all the way to the rear lights, measuring approximately 157.5 inches in length. Likewise, the doors of the pillarless carriages will be the longest in Rolls-Royce history, measuring approximately 59 inches in length.
Rolls-Royce has yet to detail the Specter’s powertrain, but we know it will be powerful as Rolls-Royce described the car as a combination of supercar and grand tourer.
Rolls-Royce engineers completed about 40% of the Specter development. In total they will have covered more than 1.2 million miles. This will be in addition to the simulated tests which should represent 400 years of regular use.