Rolls-Royce's first EV is the $413,500 Spectre coupe

It may be the quietest-riding Rolls yet.


Rolls-Royce has officially begun its transition to electric cars. The luxury British manufacturer has unveiled its first ground-up EV, the Spectre coupe. The "spiritual successor" to the Phantom looks much like its stately gas-powered counterparts (apart from a low 0.25 drag coefficient), but promises to be even quieter and smoother thanks to its powerplant. The brand is still finalizing specifications. However, it expects the all-wheel drive machine to make a 0-60MPH dash in 4.4 seconds and achieve an EPA range of 260 miles. Those aren't exceptional figures, but the emphasis here is on a pampered ride, not absolute performance.

That decision is reflected in the interior. The design includes the now-obligatory instrument and infotainment displays, plus a digital fascia for the passenger. In keeping with Rolls-Royce's bespoke design philosophy, you can even have the company customize the color of the on-screen dials. An "Eleanor" assistant can handle in-car tasks, and a Whispers app can both send curated location recommendations (such as restaurants) as well as remotely control basic car functions like the locks and heating.

This isn't just a reworked version of the company's existing designs, either. The Spectre uses a new aluminum platform (the "Architecture of Luxury") tuned for EVs, and boasts "starlight" doors with 4,796 points of light. It's very large for a coupe at 16ft long and 6.6ft wide, and even required the company's first 23-inch wheels in over a century. This is for leisurely soirées and trips to the golf club, not all-out blasts down country roads.

The Spectre is available to order now, with first deliveries expected in the fourth quarter of 2023. Pricing starts at $413,500 in the US, but that's before the customization process — expect to pay considerably more to get the design just so, right down to the colors of the signature in-door umbrella. Even more so than rival ultra-luxury EVs like the Cadillac Celestiq and expected Mercedes-Maybach EQS, this is aimed at customers who will spend whatever it takes to get their dream car.