Rolls-Royce announces the completion of winter testing of the Spectre, the next coupé from the English manufacturer considered by the company to be the spiritual heir to the Phantom Coupé. This is not to say that the reveal of Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric vehicle is just around the corner; there is still more than a year left for that and almost two for it to start being produced. However, it does mean that the project is moving forward and that there is some news to be revealed.
Test prototypes of the Rolls-Royce Specter successfully completed their winter regimen; the place where they were carried out was the frozen surface of Lake Kakel, in the Swedish forests of Arjeplog, where temperatures can drop to -40 degrees Celsius, the point where these degrees and Fahrenheit finally agree.
One of the objectives of these demanding tests is to fine-tune the chassis to ensure that the vehicle handles like a true Rolls-Royce. The manufacturer explains in a statement that “by driving on low-traction surfaces such as snow and ice, and deliberately destabilizing the Spectre, engineers can create dynamic circumstances at low speeds that would normally occur at high figures.” The statement adds that the tests allow “to refine the performance of the vehicle in cold climates in areas such as handling, control, stability, predictability and fluidity that define the Rolls-Royce experience”.
Another objective of the tests was to evaluate the integration of Rolls-Royce’s first electric powertrain with its current platform known as Luxury Architecture, a process known by the company as Rolls-Royce 3.0. This follows in the footsteps of Rolls-Royce 1.0, which marked the rebirth of the brand with the presentation of the Phantom VII in 2003, and Roll-Royce 2.0, which represented the arrival of Luxury Architecture and its application in completely new models. like the current Phantom, Cullinan, Ghost.
The electric powertrain involves the inclusion of more digital intelligence than any other car made by the company so far. The same statement explains that “Spectre is the most connected Rolls-Royce in history. Every component within it is smarter than in any Rolls-Royce before it. It has 141,200 sender-receiver relationships and has more than 1,000 functions with more than 25,000 sub-functions. For comparison, the current Phantom has 51,000 emitter-receiver relationships, 456 functions, and 647 sub-functions.” This adds complexity to the vehicle and requires quadrupling the number of cables used in its manufacture in relation to current models with internal combustion engines.
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Rolls-Royce engineers managed to integrate the 1,543-pound vehicle’s battery under the floor, but at only half the height of the frame rails, achieving an aerodynamic channel for the battery and allowing a profile under the perfectly even floor, plus a low seating position and an immersive cabin experience. The location of the battery also helps to muffle the sound and thus cover another of the typical attributes of the brand’s vehicles.
As an interesting fact, the development of the Specter required a redesign of the Spirit of Ecstasy, as the winged woman statuette that has adorned the top of the grilles of Rolls-Royce cars for the last 111 years is known.
Rolls-Royce warns that there are still 1.24 million miles of field testing to be carried out and that so far they have only completed 25 per cent of the planned tests before their first electric vehicle is ready to face the public. This is just the beginning.