In an important announcement, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that it will switch completely to internal combustion engines by 2030 and switch to a purely electric vehicle portfolio. At the launch of its first production electric vehicle (EV) called the Rolls-Royce Specter, the company’s CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said the luxury brand “will no longer produce or sell an internal combustion engine” by the end of this decade. This decision mirrors that of Rolls-Royce’s chief competitor Bentley, which is owned by the Volkswagen Group and has also pledged to have an all-electric portfolio by 2030.
The world has also had its first glimpse of the Fastback-style two-door Rolls-Royce Specter, which is said to be based on the same “architecture of luxury” as the Phantom sedan and Cullinan SUV and will have nothing in common with any of the existing models Parent company BMW. Rolls says the Specter unveiled today – which looks very similar to the now-discontinued Rolls-Royce Wraith – is not a prototype but the “real deal,” and confirmed shipments of the Specter will begin around the world sometime in late 2023. It is very likely that the super-luxury EV will celebrate its world premiere sometime in 2022 or early 2023.
According to Müller-Ötvös, the Specter will be subjected to “the most demanding test program in Rolls-Royce history”. The testers will shortly begin test drives on the road and cover more than 2.5 million kilometers with the Specter, which corresponds to an average use of over 400 years for a Rolls around the world.
Quotes glaring all over the camouflage of the Specter unveiled today mean design details are neatly hidden, but you can expect to see a new take on Rolls’ iconic ‘Pantheon’ grille as well as the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot. The Specter in the official pictures rides on pretty cool-looking, aerodynamic alloy wheels, has a crouched stance, suicide doors, prominent side skirts and a taut surface.
No specs have been announced at this point, but it’s almost certain that Rolls will opt for nothing less than the best electric powertrain, so Specter buyers won’t miss out on the soon-to-be-retired V12 twin-turbo gasoline engine. Müller-Ötvös even went so far as to say that electric drives “are unique and perfectly suited for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars like no other automobile brand”. This is true to a certain extent, because Rolls-Royces are supposed to be incredibly quiet, but also have amazing performance. Expect a fairly large battery and multi-motor setup with the production-ready Specter.
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