Rolls-Royce is a luxury automaker for whom the entire point is to be extra, an automaker that makes cars to see and be seen in, cars for royalty, or those who pretend to be. But they aren’t much use if they are banned from city centers for having internal combustion engines. Enter the all-electric Spectre.
Rolls-Royce said Wednesday that the Spectre, a two-door coupé, would be here in 2023, while also confirming that the brand will go all all-electric by 2030.
Rolls-Royce announced the Spectre with its usual understated humility. Just kidding, Rolls’ announcement befits a brand which must always ratchet up the ridiculousness.
Rolls-Royce has always sought names that are ethereal and otherworldly for its most authoritative and powerful cars. Eery names like Ghost, Phantom, Wraith, Shadow and Spirit have, over the years, developed a unique nomenclature that sets Rolls-Royce’s apart, as an untouchable, almost unattainable rarity.
The emotions evoked by such mysterious names are of slight unease and heightened apprehension. Humans are naturally anxious about ghostly apparitions which inhabit an inexplicable environment which is not of this world. These phantasms seem like illusions – they are there, but not there, ephemeral in their rarity, totally silent as they pass through our life-space, fleeting in their appearances and gone in a whisp of time. And when they transit through our world, they create a sense of wonderment and a belief that we have encountered something untethered to our existence, an anomalous apparition.
This forceful alternative reality is fearful, but intriguing; threatening, yet attracting; beyond understanding, yet we lust after it. And only a few of us, indeed only a select, bold few, can cross the divide and command these transient, spectral beings to heel.
Spectre encapsulates this atmosphere to perfection. It evokes an omen or portent of great magnitude — it presages a fundamental change in our familiar earthly matrix. Rolls-Royce, the most revered and historic name in the history of luxury and automotive endeavour, is imminently about to introduce an electric car.
The name suits the car perfectly. A silent, menacing creation. Powerful and edgy, but in profile, smooth, sleek and elegant.
You will notice that there are no actual details here, either about price or power, and the only photos Rolls’ offers are like the one at the top of this post, a car with cheesy sayings on it. Yet, as Car and Driver notes, Rolls has previously said that its EV will need to at least be as powerful as its V12 cars; I would expect the Spectre to be properly quick and also cost something like $400,000.
It will also surely be pleasant enough to sit in while stuck in traffic in Monte Carlo, which is the Spectre’s fate. Unsaid is if there is some kind of James Bond tie in, something I would think Rolls would be above, though anything’s possible I suppose.