Is This The World’s Most Luxurious Electric Car?

By Jeremy Taylor

2 months ago

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is a magnificent feat from the world's most luxurious car marque

The battery-powered Rolls-Royce Spectre is a landmark moment for the world’s most luxurious automotive brand. Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Talbot-Ponsonby take a magic carpet ride…

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Review: Rolls-Royce Spectre

Rolls Royce Spectre driving down a road

J-TP – Something a little special on the driveway this week – even the postman took a selfie.

JT – He drives a Peugeot electric van which, he couldn’t resist telling me, has more room in the boot than the Rolls.

But you could buy a fleet of electric vans for Spectre money! I quite like the idea of asking Rolls-Royce to spec one up in Royal Mail Red with gold livery. So, is this a peerless EV for those with very deep pockets?

Well, since BMW took over the Rolls-Royce of car-makers in 1998, just a trickle of sumptuous models has flowed from the Goodwood factory. However, what founders Charles Rolls and Henry Royce would have made of a plug-in battery vehicle, rather than one powered by petrol, is anybody’s guess.

At least they would be proud that Rolls-Royce has beaten rivals Bentley and Aston Martin in bringing a production EV to market. Whatever lies under that enormous hood, this is a sensational car.

And it suggests Rolls is well-placed to shift its entire model range to battery power by the end of 2030, or there abouts. That retractable Spirit of Ecstasy atop the Spectre’s Pantheon grille is wafted down the highway by a substantial 102kWh battery. Twin motors drive both front and rear wheels, output is a hefty 577bhp.

The interior of the Rolls Royce Spectre

That’s enough to smoothly haul 2.9 tons of Spectre from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds and on to a silent top speed of 155mph. Awesome performance.

Priced from around £332,000, you might say this two-door, four-seat coupe ought to be amazing. Of course, that’s the cost before you add all those must-have, personalised extras that make this car so special. There’s no option list as such but if sir or madam want, they can probably have.

Peace and quiet on the move never cost this much or felt so good. You found Spectre uncannily easy to drive, with no pointless paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel, no daft drive modes and definitely not, heaven forbid, a squeak or a rattle. Any down sides? 

Just the battery range – a modest 245 miles in real-world driving conditions. Oh, and those enormous door mirrors which wreck the styling of the entire car – but I understand were necessary to meet some kind of US regulations.

Yes, what were they thinking? Huge ears! And the open pore walnut in our test car looked like wood trim found in Ikea. No accounting for taste, I suppose. That aside, from the huge automatic doors – close them by tapping the brake pedal – to the sublimely comfortable ride, Spectre is the pinnacle of electric transportation. 

Who would pay this sort of money for a car?

Well, someone is because the first model in a new generation of Rolls-Royces is sold out for the next 15 months at least…

The Spectre beside a lake


Discover more about the Rolls-Royce Spectre at

Jessica Talbot-Ponsonby is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.