All-electric Rolls-Royce concludes winter testing 55km from Arctic Circle

March 30, 2022

Rolls-Royce has concluded winter testing of its electric Spectre grand tourer at a specialist facility in Arjeplog, Sweden ahead of first deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Spectre is the automaker’s first production electric vehicle (EV), and represents the start of Roll-Royce’s transition to an electric-only range by 2030. Said to be a spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupé, the Spectre two-door coupe is built on Rolls-Royce’s new aluminium Architecture of Luxury, which also underpins the current Phantom, Ghost, and Cullinan.

Rolls-Royce is aiming to complete a total of 2.5 million kilometres of development driving in the Spectre, which apparently equals 400 years of use, before the testing program is complete. At the testing facility around 55km from the Arctic Circle, the Spectre has to deal with temperatures around the -30 degree mark. A number of carmakers use Arjeplog to torture test their cars due to the consistently freezing temperatures.

Rolls-Royce says every one of its new cars begins its testing in the winter as it’s a great for noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) tests of the door rubbers, bushing compounds, fastening materials, and bonding agents. It also gives engineers a chance to see the efficiency of the car’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling systems. Rolls-Royce says its engineers work to more relaxed timeframes than are common in the industry, which allows them to really dial into how the Spectre should “think, behave and communicate like a Rolls-Royce worthy of the marque”. During this time the engineers are working on the Spectre’s chassis-control systems, powertrain management, and electronics control.

By doing driving tests on ice, Rolls-Royce aims to deliver the “waftability” – that’s effortless comfort in all conditions, from what we can ascertain – that defines the brand’s experience. The Rolls-Royce engineers have also designed a secondary use for the Spectre’s battery pack, which is 700kg worth of sound deadening. On the design front, the Spectre will feature a split headlight look that’s reminiscent of the Phantom Coupé. It’ll be the first Rolls-Royce to be fitted with 23-inch wheels since 1926.

Thanks in part an aerodynamically-designed Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet ornament, the Spectre in prototype form also has a drag coefficient of 0.26. Under the skin, the Spectre has a total of seven kilometres worth of cabling to connect and create more than 1000 electronic and powertrain functions with no centralised processing.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.