Spectre it is then, says Rolls

Riley Riley

In keeping with other models, Rolls-Royce has decided to name its new fully electric car Spectre.

Previously the name has been used only for one early demonstrator and 10 experimental chassis.

It’s the first time that a production model will bear the name.

Of the current lineup, all but Cullinan which is named after the largest diamond ever discovered bear storied names from the past.

Phantom, Ghost, Dawn and Wraith all have namesakes spanning Rolls-Royce’s 118-year history.

In naming its first battery-electric vehicle, Rolls-Royce sought to maintain and strengthen these important ‘genetic’ links.

It also wanted to mark a definitive shift into new territory defined by innovation and progress.

The first use of Spectre dates back to August, 1910 when the marque built Chassis 1601, which was used in trials or as a demonstrator.

Managing director Claude Johnson named it ‘The Silver Spectre’ ­– the first recorded use of the Spectre name in the company’s archive.

In 1930, Sir Henry Royce began developing a brand-new V12 engine for a completely new chassis with independent front suspension.

However, his death in 1933 meant he never saw the project through to completion.

The new car, 30EX, was finally ready for road-testing in November, 1934.

As with all innovations, maintaining secrecy around the new V12 engine was commercially critical.

Therefore, together with its chassis number, 30EX was also assigned a codename: ‘Spectre’.

Like the EX cars of the past, the present-day Spectre represents a bold and enormously significant shift, both technically and philosophically, for Rolls-Royce.

As the first all-electric Rolls-Royce, it marks an evolution in powertrain technology arguably even greater than the introduction of the marque’s first V12 engine – the configuration, which after almost 80 years, is still used in every current Rolls-Royce model.

The Spectre name itself sits alongside Ghost, Phantom and Wraith as an evocation of silence, refinement and mystery; of something imagined and dreamlike that exists outside normal parameters and experience.

And though it has previously been given to individual and experimental cars, no series production Rolls-Royce has worn the Spectre nameplate until now.

This meeting of innovation and continuity makes Spectre the perfect name choice for a car of such singular and historic importance.

Rolls-Royce chief exec Torsten Müller-Ötvös said there is a pleasing symmetry between the Spectres of the past and the present-day incarnation.

“In our history, Spectre is a name synonymous with technical innovation and development, and Rolls‑Royce motor cars that go on to change the world,” he said.

“Though separated by almost a century, both the Spectres of the 1930s and our own today are the proving-grounds for propulsion technology that will shape our products and clients’ experiences for decades to come.”


CHECKOUT: Rolls wanted to build planes, not cars

CHECKOUT: Farman brothers built better cars than Rolls

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *