Close this window
Get Hotcars Premium. Start your free trial today
A spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupe, the Spectre offers more power, better acceleration, more luxurious ride, and a more aerodynamic body
Whenever someone mentions Rolls-Royce, people would immediately recognize and think about some of the most luxurious cars in the planet. The brand sits among the most prestigious in the world of luxury world. In fact, only the richest of the rich can avail of its offerings.
Currently, sitting on top of Rolls-Royce’s luxurious vehicle lineup is the Phantom full-sized luxury sedan. Now in its eighth generation, the Phantom represents the pinnacle of what the brand has to offer – from power to luxury. As a luxurious limo, the super-expensive Phantom four-door sedan focused on how to make its passenger feel luxuriously comfortable while travelling from point A to point B.
Nevertheless, Rolls-Royce had also built a two-door coupe version of the Phantom that shifts the focus from the ride to the drive. Based on the seventh-gen Phantom sedan, the Phantom Coupe delivers the promise as the most driver-oriented model in the Phantom line. But Phantom Coupe is now gone.
It has been around six years since Rolls-Royce dropped the Phantom Coupe. However, the brand recently introduced the spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupe – the Rolls-Royce Spectre super electric luxury coupe. For several reasons, the Spectre is better than its V12-powered spiritual predecessor.
As a flagship, the Phantom – including the Phantom Coupe – has been representing the best that Rolls-Royce can offer. However, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, implied that the Phantom won’t be the “most perfect product” in the near future. This honor, as per Rolls-Royce’s top honcho, would belong to the Spectre.
Rolls-Royce developed the Spectre as its first fully electric motor car – to fulfill a prophecy and keep a promise. After experiencing an early electric car called the Columbia in April 1900, Charles Rolls became fascinated with the future of EVs. He foresaw that the electric car would be a perfectly noiseless and clean alternative, especially when sufficient charging infrastructure is in place.
It took more than a century for Rolls-Royce to fulfill this prophecy, as the carmaker was still unconvinced that there exists an available technology to support the so-called Rolls-Royce experience. Thus, the carmaker had to content itself in using the best in internal combustion motoring to defining a true luxury experience – with the Phantom evolving through the decades.
As it turned out, the Phantom or even the Phantom Coupe won’t fulfill Rolls’ prophecy, as it comes with a bulky yet powerful 6.75-liter V-12 engine under its hood. Only an all-electric luxury car could do the job, as it wouldn’t only be in tune with the sensibilities of the modern time, but also answers a call to elevate the vehicle experience.
Aware of Rolls’ words, Rolls-Royce started experimenting with an electric powertrain. In 2011, the carmaker unveiled the 102EX, a fully operational all-electric Phantom. The fully electric 103EX followed in 2016, providing vision that applies into the next decade.
A window of opportunity opened in 2017, when Rolls-Royce launched the current generation of the Phantom. The current Phantom sits on the carmaker’s proprietary aluminum architecture called the ‘Architecture of Luxury’. Since it’s essentially a scalable and flexible spaceframe, this architecture could underpin not just different internal combustion engine models, but also electrified vehicles. Furthermore, this new architecture would allow the development of a vehicle that is a Rolls-Royce first, and an electric car second.
Following a promise from Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce fast-tracked the development of a new electric car and related powertrain technologies, resulting in the announcement of the new Spectre. But Rolls-Royce wouldn’t do things in haste, as the carmaker ensured that it would subject the Spectre to the most demanding testing program in its history – more than 1.5 million miles of road-testing on all four corners of the world.
The Spectre thus demonstrates how perfectly the Rolls-Royce is suited to electrification, while heralding the beginning of an all-electric era for the carmaker. The V12-powered Phantom Coupe is gone, and the Spectre is now closer to reality. With Rolls-Royce promising to fully electrify its lineup by 2030, the current Phantom luxury sedan will be the next to go.
Interestingly, the Spectre is better than the Phantom Coupe in other ways. For instance, its electric powertrain offers more power than the V12 mill of the Phantom Coupe. The Spectre has preliminary power figures of 577 hp of output and 664 lb-ft of torque, while the Phantom Coupe offers 563 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque. Moreover, the Spectre can accelerate from nil to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is much quicker than the Phantom Coupe's 5.6 seconds.
In addition, the Spectre’s electric powertrain and planar suspension should result in a noiseless, magic carpet ride. Coupled with a luxurious interior bespoke to the luxurious taste and preferences of the customer, these elements promise a whole new level of comfort and luxury that a V12-powered Rolls-Royce can’t offer.
It's also worth mentioning the fact that the Spectre is Rolls-Royce’s most aerodynamic car so far, thanks to its very low drag coefficient of 0.25cd. In comparison, the Phantom Coupe has a drag coefficient of 0.36cd.
Rolls-Royce is still testing and optimizing the Spectre, which means waiting customers could expect changes in the specs when the carmaker finally launches the electric luxury sedan in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Julybien Atadero writes from the island of Cebu covering various automotive topics including new sports cars, classic muscles, pickup trucks and SUVs. While I like peace and quiet, I love playing with my kid. When I have nothing else to do, I watch documentaries and animations.
The Rolls-Royce Spectre Completely Outshines The V12-Powered Phantom Coupe – HotCars
Close this window