Rolls-Royce Spectre Tests Its Mettle In The Arctic Circle: Here’s What We Know So Far

Rolls-Royce tested it in temperatures as cold as -40F

2023 Rolls-Royce Spectre
(Images: Rolls-Royce)

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is 25% through its 1.5 million mile testing regimen.

BMW Group has been at work testing its new large electric sedans near the Arctic Circle, and that continues with the Rolls-Royce Spectre. The company announced its new zero-emissions model late last year, but we haven’t heard too much about it since. On Wednesday, Rolls-Royce mentioned a few more numbers, but it will still be about 18 months before customers see these cars, in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Spectre rides on Rolls-Royce’s “Architecture of Luxury” platform, and they’re billing it as a super coupe to replace the Phantom Coupe, rather than the smaller, recently departed Wraith model. It brings massive 23-inch wheels into its design — the first of the brand’s cars since 1926 to do so — and its steeply raked windshield and rear diffuser contribute to a drag coefficient of 0.26.

It’s RR’s most intelligent car ever, according to these figures

This car will also be the “most connected” Rolls-Royce to date, and went into elaborate detail about the 141,200 “sender-receiver relations” it features. You can interpret that to mean “do something and something happens” or vice versa, and apparently the Phantom has 51,000 of these sender-receiver relations. The new, electric Rolls-Royce Spectre has “1,000 functions with 25,000 subfunctions”, whereas the Phantom has 456 functions and 647 subfunctions.

All of that is to say, admittedly in an abstract fashion, that this car is far more intelligent than the aging Phantom. Rolls-Royce says that the Spectre has 7 kilometers (or 4.35 miles) of cabling, which enables the powertrain architecture and electronics to carry out those 1,000-plus functions with “no centralized processing”. On its face, that sounds great for components talking directly to each other without having to wait around on a monolithic CPU to figure it all out, but I can’t help but think that would be terribly complicated (not to mention eye-wateringly expensive) to troubleshoot. Then again, we are talking about one of the most opulent luxury brands around with the most affluent customers, so…hush my mouth, maybe.

2023 Rolls-Royce Spectre

No other technical specs yet

Want to know more hard numbers on the Rolls-Royce Spectre? So would we, but the automaker hasn’t yet revealed any of that information officially. Odds are, we’ll see at least a dual-motor configuration capable of matching the outgoing Phantom for power and acceleration. Mind you, out-and-out grunt isn’t really what the company’s aiming for. That’s especially true when they talk about the battery architecture acting as 1,500 pounds of sound deadening, by creating wiring and piping channels between the floor of the car and the roof of the battery pack.

Rolls-Royce still has a substantial amount of on-road testing to go. The 2.5 million kilometer (1.5 million mile) testing program simulates 400 years of use for the average owner, so hopefully the result will be a phenomenally good luxury car that cements the brand’s reputation in what is their most important shift since its founding in 1904.

The Spectre doesn’t have small shoes to fill, either, going by how remarkable the Phantom’s been over the past two decades: