Electric cars

Rolls-Royce puts the all-electric Specter through winter testing near the Arctic Circle as part of a 2.5 million km test program

Rolls-Royce puts the all-electric Specter through winter testing near the Arctic Circle as part of a 2.5 million km test program

British luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce motor cars shared the latest update on its upcoming all-electric Specter, as it has undergone winter testing in Sweden in temperatures as low as -40℃ (-40℉). With the completion of winter testing, Rolls-Royce shared that the Specter has now covered 25% of the planned 2.5 million test kilometers (~1.55 million miles), simulating 400 years of use on the new electric vehicle.

Rolls-Royce is a luxury automobile manufacturer with over a century of experience dating back to the early 1900s in England. Since then, the “RR” logo has gone through several name changes and business divisions, separating into a Holdings company build aircraft enginesand an automotive company to focus on luxury vehicles.

Since 2003, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has belonged to BMW AGproducing famous vehicles like the ghost and Wraith. Despite a well-documented history of combustion, company founder Charles Rolls predicted an all-electric future following an electric car journey in 1900:

The electric car is perfectly quiet and clean. There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be set up.

The current iteration of the Rolls company began fulfilling that prophecy in 2011, introducing a Phantom electric concept called the 102EX. This was followed by the truly futuristic 103X alongside plans to eventually switch to all-electric, completely skip PHEVs.

Last September, Rolls-Royce unveiled the Specter – its first all-electric production model and the first model for the automaker promise to go all-electric by 2030. Before the Rolls-Royce Specter can reach customers in late 2023, it must endure 2.5 million km of testing, including sub-freezing winter conditions.

The next Specter during winter testing in Sweden / Source: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce Specter passes winter testing with more to come

According to a recent press release from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the Specter recently completed winter testing at a bespoke facility in Arjeplog, Sweden, just 55 km (34 mi) from the Arctic Circle. The tests included basic functions as well as vehicle improvements at temperatures between -26 and -40℃.

While in Sweden, the Rolls-Royce team monitored driving factors such as noise, vibration and harshness, but also tested the efficiency of systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling. The release expands on a technique it calls “defused time”:

By driving on low-traction surfaces such as snow and ice and deliberately destabilizing Spectre, engineers can create low-speed dynamic circumstances that would normally occur at high speeds. This can be examined and guided in-situ and at idle, allowing vehicle cold-weather performance to be tuned and fine-tuned in areas such as handling, controllability, stability, predictability and “waftability” which defines the Rolls-Royce experience. The de-escalation time allows engineers to create unparalleled detail in the car’s response, teaching Specter to think, behave and communicate like a brand-worthy Rolls-Royce.

Although this is the first fully electric vehicle to enter production for Rolls-Royce, it represents much more than that. It will be the most connected Rolls-Royce ever, with over 1,000 different functions and 25,000 sub-functions. It will also feature the automaker’s former aluminum chassis architecture, now integrated with an all-electric powertrain.

With the above components combined, the Specter represents “Rolls-Royce 3.0” and its dawning of an all-electric era. Although winter testing is now complete, the Specter still has a long way to go according to CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös:

The announcement of every new Rolls-Royce-powered car carries great weight of expectation, but Specter is undoubtedly the most anticipated product in the brand’s modern history. That’s because it’s more than a product. It’s a symbol of our bright and bold electric future, and it represents a seismic shift in our powertrain technology. It is for this reason that we have created a test program as important and historic as Specter itself. The extraordinary undertaking of teaching Specter to think and behave like a Rolls-Royce will cover 2.5 million kilometres, a simulation of over 400 years of use for a Rolls-Royce. Today, I can confirm that 25% of this journey has now been completed and that the results are up to our most ambitious expectations.

It is not yet known where the Specter will be tested, but according to our calculations, it still has approximately 1.875 million kilometers to go. According to Rolls-Royce, the first customer deliveries of the Specter are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023. Check out the Specter in action below:

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