It'd be hard to dispute that Rolls-Royce excels at providing perhaps the pinnacle of automotive luxury. But they've been far less successful, thus far, at pivoting to greater efficiency. While other manufacturers are ditching V8s, Rolls-Royce does not even deign to use one; their current crop of cars employs either 6.6-liter or 6.8-liter V12s. But that's all about to change — and in a hurry.
On Wednesday, Rolls-Royce announced their first electric car will indeed be coming soon — in 2023, as a matter of fact. The new EV will be a two-door coupe called 'Spectre,' once again tying the company's model lineup into the spiritual world via moniker. It may be hard to tell thanks to the verbose camouflage, but this is indeed the Spectre in these shots — or at least, an early version of it.
The Spectre will be the first electric Rolls-Royce, but it won't be the last. The brand has said it will eschew a detour in PHEVille and go straight to electric cars. Given that the brand has vowed to go all-electric by 2030 and that it currently offers a range of five different vehicles — the Phantom and Ghost sedans, the Cullinan SUV, the Wraith coupe and Dawn convertible — odds seem good that the Spectre will eventually be joined by four-door and drop-top models.
In theory, Rolls-Royce should have the easiest time of any brand converting to EVs. The strengths of electric vehicles are being incredibly quiet and delivering smooth power. Rolls-Royce has essentially been pouring R&D over the decades into building combustion cars that try to feel like electric cars. The major drawback to electric vehicles — beyond range anxiety — is cost. And if Rolls-Royce buyers can afford custom $8,800 stools, they can pay a premium for an EV powertrain.