The Rolls-Royce Spectre, the company’s first all-electric model, has edged closer to production after completing Arctic winter testing at the Arjeplog proving ground in Sweden, just 34 miles south of the Arctic Circle Arctic.
Testing in Sweden was designed not only to ensure the Specter can withstand and perform in extreme temperatures, but also to give engineers a better understanding of the car’s dynamics.
By sliding the car over the frozen lake of Arjeplog, which is a favorite of many automakers, Rolls testers experienced what the company calls “de-escalation time”, meaning they can achieve the kind of destabilized conditions such as drifts and skids at low speeds that would normally be experienced at much higher speeds.
This allows engineers to tune and fine-tune the chassis and ride control systems to optimize performance, comfort and handling in real-world scenarios.
As grueling as testing in the Arctic is, the Specter’s time at Arjeplog represents only about 25% of the car’s 1.55 million test miles, or about 400 years of use, according to Rolls. -Royce.
“Refining the all-electric drivetrain that underpins Specter challenges the very definition of engineering,” said Mihiar Ayoubi, Director of Engineering.
“Our task is to teach every component and system how to think, behave and communicate like a Rolls-Royce, which sees much of the engineering pivoting from the workshops into the digital space.”
The Spectre’s new platform will likely mean it’s a bit larger than the current Wraith, representing more of a successor to the deceased Phantom Coupe rather than the Wraith itself.
Another clue to the Spectre’s larger size is the wheel size, which runs at 23-inches in diameter rather than the Wraith’s maximum 21-inch rims.
The Specter is kept as low as possible and its windshield steeply sloped and redesigned Spirit of Ecstasy statuette – now lower and more aerodynamic than before – increases aerodynamic efficiency.
The Specter has substantial overall length, however, due to the large high-voltage battery under the cabin floor. This, according to Rolls-Royce, adds around 700kg to the car – around the same weight as an older Mini – but has the added benefit of providing additional soundproofing.
Rolls-Royce, prone to hyperbole in its marketing materials, claims the Specter is “the fulfillment of a prophecy”. There is some merit to this claim, however, as after Charles Rolls tested a Colombian electric car in 1900, he commented:
“The electric car is perfectly quiet and clean. There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be set up.
Although Rolls-Royce had experimented with electric concepts over the years, including the discreet 102EX Electric Phantom in 2011 and the wild 103EX in 2019, it wasn’t until January 2021 that reports of a Rolls-Royce electric production model have emergedalthough at the time it was rumored that it would be called “Silent Shadow”. The name Specter was officially announced in September last year.
The first customer deliveries of the Specter are expected towards the end of 2023.