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Rolls-Royce debuts Spectre, marque’s first fully electric car

The Rolls-Royce Spectre has been fully unveiled with the brand’s first electric model marking a ‘bold new chapter for the luxury marque, as it moves toward an all-electric lineup by 2030.

PHOTO:AFP

Infrastructure challenge may stall usage in Nigeria

The Rolls-Royce Spectre has been fully unveiled with the brand’s first electric model marking a ‘bold new chapter for the luxury marque, as it moves toward an all-electric lineup by 2030.

Based on the same all-aluminium platform as the current Ghost, Phantom and Cullinan, as well as bespoke Coach built vehicles, the Spectre is a two-door, four-seat grand tourer imagined as a spiritual successor to the Phantom coupe and fills the gap left by the now discontinued Dawn and Wraith models.

First announced in September 2021, the model is now undergoing final testing before customer deliveries begin in late 2023.

The announcement gives the brand a strong first statement among the ultra-luxury set. In January, Bentley announced it would spend $3.4 billion to produce five all-electric vehicles beginning in 2025 and switch to an entirely electric portfolio by 2030. With the Spectre, Rolls Royce has beaten its archrival in bringing the first all-electric ultra-luxury model to market. The Spectre is to be sold at a starting price of $413,000.

However, the $413,000 Rolls Royce Spectre is not the world’s most expensive electric vehicle (that title goes to the $2.4 million Rimac Nevera hypercar) nor is it the fastest. Its EPA-estimated range of 260 miles falls short of the industry-leading Lucid Air Grand Touring ($154,000), which gets 516 miles on a full charge.

Already, more than 300 U.S. buyers have put down deposits for Rolls-Royce’s first electric vehicle prior to its unveiling on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Officer, of Rolls-Royce, Torsten Muller-Otvos, said that the buyers visited the company’s headquarters in Goodwood, England over the past two weeks to get a sneak peek at the Spectre.

But infrastructural challenges may stall usage in Nigeria as two years after the Stallion Group launched the first-ever electric car assembled in Nigeria, less than 200 units have been sold because consumers have remained resolute in their romance with fossil fuel consumption, even as access to electricity to charge the vehicles undermine adoption.

While the main issue with electric cars has never been the price or the road that a potential owner will worry about, the concern has been where to charge them, considering the hours of electricity needed to keep the vehicle running, just as there are limited or non-existent charging points.

Similar in look and size to the two-door Rolls-Royce Wraith but larger, and built on the same all-aluminium architecture that underpins the flagship Phantom sedan and midsize Ghost sedan, the Spectre produces 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.

It has a zero-to-60 mph sprint time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph, roughly equal to that of the Ghost but far slower than the roughly three seconds claimed by the faster—and far less luxurious—variants of the Porsche Taycan or Tesla Model S.

Total driving range under electric power is 260 miles, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates; Spectre will be able to charge from 10-80 per cent full in 34 minutes.

Müller-Ötvös noted that the vast majority of Rolls-Royce owners would never use a public charging station.

The two-door coupe uses a highly sensitive “planar” suspension system that can decouple the car’s anti-roll bars to allow each wheel to act independently, preventing the rocking motion that occurs when one side of a vehicle hits an undulation in the road. This also reduces high-frequency sounds caused by poor road-surface quality and helps preserve the marque’s reputation for producing the quietest, smoothest vehicles on the market.

Set on 23-inch wheels and with a fastback body style, the Spectre is longer and heavier than the Wraith and harkens back to the Phantom coupe that Rolls Royce produced from 2008 to 2016. (It doesn’t have a trunk in the front, as do many lesser EVs such as those from Lucid and Tesla. Battery-electric systems and fluid containers for the windshield wipers occupy the space under the hood.)

For accessibility in Nigeria, General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Coscharis Group, Abiona Babarinde, said as expected, anyone in Nigeria that is interested in having the new Spectre will be serviced by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Lagos, which is the exclusive franchise owner of Rolls Royce in the country. Besides, he said deliveries of the car would begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.