The electric Rolls-Royce Spectre won’t float into showrooms until 2023 at the earliest, but the company is already taking deposits.
Rolls-Royce wouldn’t be drawn into how many it’s taken, either in terms of the number of deposits or their monetary value, as it traditionally doesn’t like to talk sales figures.
However, regional sales manager Ian Grant said there’s been a “pleasing” number.
Interest in the company’s first electric vehicle has been spread around the country, and includes prospective buyers both new to the brand and existing Rolls-Royce clientele.
The Spectre will launch in the fourth quarter of 2023, and Rolls-Royce says it’s doing its “level best” to get them in Australia at this time too.
The company will offer a smart charging box to buyers, as well as consultative services via local suppliers to ensure customers have the correct charging set-up in their homes.
Mr Grant says there’s been no backlash against Rolls-Royce’s introduction of an electric car, or its plans to transition to an EV-only lineup by 2030.
“I think the people that we’ve been speaking to so far, they’re keen on the immediate power delivery, and the driving dynamics of the vehicle,” said Mr Grant.
“And actually, that’s one of the reasons why we took the decision to bring our first EV in the two-door model.
“And I believe that the type of person who’s going to be buying will actually potentially use this car on a daily basis for inner-city driving, and ensuring that they’re being as sustainable as they can be.”
Mr Grant’s purview also includes the Thai market, where he says the company has also seen strong demand and is taking deposits.
Rolls-Royce isn’t disguising its Spectre prototypes much, not that you can really disguise a full-sized grand tourer with a monolithic grille.
The camouflage wrap includes a quote from company co-founder Charles Rolls, uttered in 1900. In an interview with The Motor-Car Journal, he said “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.”
Under the skin, the Spectre will be built on a variation of the aluminium Architecture of Luxury that underpins the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Cullinan, and Ghost.
Although it’s owned by the BMW Group, Rolls-Royce says its architecture isn’t a variation of the CLAR used beneath everything from the BMW 3 Series to the iX electric four-wheel drive.
The German-owned British luxury brand has confirmed it’s skipping hybrids entirely, unlike fellow German-owned Brit Bentley.
Bentley will debut its first EV in 2025 and go entirely electric by 2030.
After decades of purely petrol power, Rolls-Royce explored EVs in 2011 with the Phantom Experimental Electric (aka 102EX), a fully operational, road-legal prototype of an electric Phantom albeit one not intended for production.
Based on the contemporary Phantom, the 102EX had a pair of electric motors on the rear axle making a total of 290kW and 800Nm.
Its 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time was said to be under eight seconds, considerably slower than the V12 Phantom’s 5.7s sprint.
Its biggest downside — and reportedly the reason development was stopped — was its range, at just 200km.
Rolls-Royce then debuted the Vision Next 100 (aka 103EX) concept car in 2016, again an experimental car powered by an electric drivetrain albeit with a unique platform and autonomous driving technology.