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In-depth reviews

Rolls-Royce Spectre review: almost the last word in fully-electric luxury

The Spectre is Rolls-Royce’s admirable first step into the world of electric cars, but it’s not quite perfect

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Unquestionable prestige
  • Brisk performance
  • Beautifully built

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Exceptionally heavy
  • A bit tight on space
Range0-62mphWallbox charge time (0-100%, 7.4kW)Rapid charge time (10-80%, 195kW)
329 miles4.5s13 hours (approx.)34 mins

Rolls-Royce Spectre verdict

Although the brand’s modern combustion models are already incredibly smooth, the Rolls-Royce Spectre’s electric powertrain gives it a whole new level of silence and refinement. The materials and build quality are as exquisite as always, too. However, the UK’s battle-scarred roads are still able to upset the Spectre’s ride quality more than we’d like, and there’s much less room inside this Roller than its bulky size would suggest. For now, though, there’s nothing else like it on the market, and Rolls-Royce’s first electric car is indeed a very special one.

Details, specs and alternatives

There are already a reasonable number of electric cars that offer plenty of luxury, such as the BMW i7, Mercedes EQS and Lucid Air. However, it’s safe to say that Rolls-Royce pretty much falls into its own category when it comes to sheer opulence and prestige. This means the Spectre, the brand’s first EV, needs to truly be something special if it’s going to tempt loyal customers away from the silky-smooth V12s of the Phantom, Cullinan and Ghost. 

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Take one look at the Spectre’s mammoth £330,000 starting price and you’ll quickly get the idea of who this car is aimed at. ‘Mainstream’ isn’t a term that appears in the Rolls-Royce dictionary, but just because a car is pricey doesn’t automatically mean it’ll appeal to those with deep pockets. What it needs is impeccable build quality, the plushest of materials and the very latest technology. Unsurprisingly, the Spectre has these in spades.

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Climb through the rearward-hinged powered doors and you’ll find the usual swathes of leather and wood inside, with an incredibly high standard of fit and finish throughout. The overall design doesn’t venture too far from the rest of the current Rolls-Royce line-up, but it’s still an incredibly pleasant place to be. The dashboard consists of a digital instrument panel, a sizeable central touchscreen and the usual metal switchgear and vents. Purists can rest easily, too, as there’s still an analogue clock.

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Of course, it’s underneath where the Spectre is most unique. Powering this near three-tonne brute is a twin-motor powertrain producing a combined 577bhp and 900Nm of torque, and this drives all four wheels. This set-up allows the Spectre to sprint from 0-60mph in a healthy 4.5 seconds, and then on to a top speed of around 120mph. 

It’d be frightfully uncouth to drive so quickly around the country club, though, so opting for a gentle cruise instead will see the 102kWh battery return up to 329 miles of range, according to Rolls-Royce. When the time comes to recharge, the Spectre’s 195kW rapid charging capability allows it to top up from 10% to 80% in 34 minutes. 

Range, battery size & charging

RangeWallbox charge time (0-100%, 7.4kW)Rapid charge time (10-80%, 195kW)
329 miles13 hours (approx.)34 mins

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is very large and very heavy, so it needs a hefty battery in order to keep it on the move. The battery in question is a 102kWh unit that the brand claims will return up to 329 miles between charges. While this figure pales in comparison to the Lucid Air’s 400-plus miles, it’s still a reasonable amount for a car that has plenty in common with a stately home, including its weight (nearly three tonnes).

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Hook the Spectre up to a rapid charger and it’ll top up from 10% to 80% in 34 minutes at a rate of 195kW. Alternatively, if you don’t like the idea of being out in public for too long, a 7.4kW wallbox will have the Spectre fully charged from 0% to 100% in around 13 hours. 

Rolls-Royce claims that the battery pack’s cells are produced using 100% green electricity, while the Spectre’s thermal management system helps to optimise its performance.

Running costs & insurance

If you’re seriously considering this £330,000 luxury car, then we doubt you’ll be too fussed about running costs. But, if you’re curious, the Rolls-Royce Spectre should cost around £30 to fully charge at home at a rate of 30p per kWh. As always, charging at a public station will cost more than this, but that probably won’t be an issue.

Insuring a six-figure luxury car is never going to be a low-cost endeavour, and you can expect premiums for the Spectre to be steep. On the plus side, though, if you are hoping to save a few pennies, the fully-electric powertrain should prove slightly less costly to repair and maintain than the combustion-powered Rolls-Royce models.

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We’re not suggesting that some Rolls-Royce owners would ever consider a spot of tax dodging, but the Spectre is exempt from VED road tax until April 2025. It also avoids the London Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Performance, motor & drive

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
4.5 seconds120mphFour577bhp

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is big, bold and unashamedly conspicuous, so it obviously needs the performance to match. While it’s not designed nor intended to hit the track, the dual-motor powertrain provides plenty of oomph to allow the Roller to switch from an elegant wafter to a punchy performer in just a split second.

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The Spectre has a combined 577bhp on tap from its twin motors, as well as a brawny 900Nm of torque. Plant your right foot and this plethora of fine leather, wood and metal will sprint from 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds, which is enough to pester a number of performance cars. Top speed is a steady, but somewhat civilised, 120mph.

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Some Rolls-Royces are truly astonishing when it comes to ride quality, but this is where the Spectre falls a bit short of the mark. While its standard air suspension still manages to keep things incredibly comfortable and quiet, it doesn’t cope as well with the UK’s roads as we’d hoped. Potholes and imperfections cause upsets in the ride, while the chunky A-pillars and door mirrors make for a noticeable amount of wind noise. That said, the powertrain itself is near-silent and the Spectre is still incredibly comfortable.

When navigating around narrower roads, the four-wheel-steering system has a pleasant weight to it and helps to keep things in check. The brakes are also pleasant to use, with a very smooth transition from regenerative braking to mechanical. However, engaging the single-pedal driving mode results in quite an aggressive response whenever you lift off the throttle.

Interior, dashboard & infotainment

The Spectre’s interior will be rather familiar to anyone who has previously been fortunate enough to set foot inside another modern Rolls-Royce. There’s a seemingly endless array of the finest leather, wood and metal (no scratchy plastics here), and the dashboard design follows a very similar layout to the one found in the Phantom and Cullinan. 

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There are two screens: one digital instrument display and a large central touchscreen infotainment system. Both are neatly integrated among the more traditional switchgear and, as usual, there’s also an analogue clock.

If you’re a keen stargazer, you’ll be pleased to know that Rolls-Royce’s Starlight headliner features in the Spectre, but here it is also accompanied by Starlight doors (a first for the brand). This makes the cabin feel extra special at night, and there are 4,796 ‘stars’ to admire.

Boot space, seating & practicality

LengthWidthHeightBoot space
5,475mm2,144mm1,573mm380 litres

The Spectre’s platform was not designed exclusively for EVs, so as a result it suffers when it comes to accommodating the battery. Due to the sacrificed space, the Spectre only has a 380-litre boot capacity. 50 of these litres make up underfloor storage for the cables, so there won’t be that much room for your golf clubs and weekend luggage. 

Without a bulky petrol engine underneath it, the enormous bonnet is mostly for show, too, while passenger space is better described as cosy rather than palatial.

Reliability & safety rating

The Spectre is still a complex and tech-filled car, but it does have the advantage of having fewer moving parts than a combustion-powered model. It’s too early to know how owners are getting on with their Spectres’ reliability, but Rolls-Royce’s build quality is among the best in the business.

It’s unlikely that the Spectre will find itself in the hands of Euro NCAP’s safety testers, but the aluminium spaceframe is very sturdy and there’s plenty of safety technology to go with it.

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