There’s no going out on a limb here. No flannel or fawning. Not even a hint of hyperbole. Quite simply, the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre is the best, most astonishing car in the world.
No ifs, ands or buts. Nothing on four wheels comes remotely close.
Yes, it is that awesome. This all-electric, two-door, four-seat super-coupe defines everything that the legendary British car maker stands for. Supernaturally silent, exquisitely refined, slingshot fast, and so smooth it feels like it’s riding on fluffy layers of stratocumulus.
And if ever a car was designed to be electric it’s this. The massive, Texas-sized lithium-ion battery pack takes up most of the underside of the car, delivering an atomic power station’s worth of energy.
Providing volts and watts to electric motors front and rear, it can summon up an impressive 584 horsepower and locomotive-like 664 lb-ft of torque. Escaping the pesky paparazzi, the Spectre can whoosh from standstill to 60mph in a mere 4.4 seconds.
With batteries brimmed, it’ll also deliver an estimated 264 miles of range. Nothing too special here, but prospective buyers told Rolls that the number was plenty-sufficient. For journeys longer than that, they’d take the jet.
But the real beauty here is that the Spectre is a Rolls-Royce first, and an electric car second. See it in the aluminum, as we did during a long day’s test drive through California’s glorious Napa Valley, and it makes the kind of visual statement only Mount Rushmore matches.
While it may look like an evolution of Rolls’ last two-door coupe, the gorgeous Wraith, it’s closer in size and stature to the fabled Phantom Coupé that quietly slipped out of production in 2016.
But despite the voluminous proportions – you could land a Eurocopter on the hood – this is the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever, boasting an astonishingly-low 0.25 coefficient of drag. There are bars of Dove less slippery.
Put that down to the rakish fastback rear, the lower and wider Pantheon-esque grille, and mind-numbing attention to detail. Even the gossamer wings of the iconic Flying Lady on the hood have been re-sculpted to flow through the air more efficiently.
Climb aboard, and yes, the rear-hinged “suicide” doors continue, only here they close with a simple squeeze of the brake pedal as if aided by some invisible Jeeves-the-butler.
Inside, Rolls designers resisted the temptation to go all Blade Runner with the cabin. There’s no wall-to-wall glass mega-screen, no oversize Tesla-esque central tablet.
Yes, the new dash is now digital, and the central display is indeed a touchscreen. But the wonderful organ-stop vents continue, so too the quirky rotating discs for interior temperature, and a knob to control audio volume.
Also featured is that fabulous Starlight Headliner, where the leather roof liner shimmers with pinhead-sized, fiber optic “stars”. Only now the starlights cascade down to the doors and rear cabin for the full, starry-starry-night twinkle treatment. Passengers will be awed and amazed.4
As they will with the way this Downton Abbey-sized leviathan wafts down the road.
No, there’s not a Lucid Air, or Tesla Plaid-like sledgehammer to the chest when you step on the throttle. Instead, the Spectre surges forward like it’s rolling on a tidal surge of acceleration, with no soaring of engine revs, no jolt of shifting gears. As the digital speedo needle sweeps around the elegant dial, all you hear is the whisper of sleeping kittens exhaling.
In addition to the eerie silence, what will surprise and delight, is just how athletic and agile the Spectre is for a vehicle that’s more than 300 pounds portlier than Rolls’ Cullinan SUV.
Put that down to the I-beam stiffness and rigidity of the Spectre’s aluminum spaceframe chassis, its rear-wheel steering, and grippy 23-inch Pirelli P Zero rubber at each corner. And of course, having a 1,500-pound battery mounted low.
As for the price of all this magnificence, Spectre starts from $420,000, though few owners will be able to resist the bewildering array of temptations offered by Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke department. Think $500,000 or more, with the first deliveries towards the end of the year.
Best car in the world? Without a shadow of a doubt.