The Daily Telegraph

An electric dream comes true for Mr Rolls

Luxury car manufactur­er trumpets its ‘most perfect product’ ever – but it could cost more than £500,000

- By Craig Simpson and Andrew English

‘It is hoped that the car’s blistering performanc­e – along with its green credential­s – will establish a younger customer base for the company’

‘This may bring about a motoring world predicted by Mr Rolls 122 years ago, when the dominance of internal combustion engines was not assured’

FOR decades the owners of Rollsroyce­s have delighted in the purr of the car’s engines, unaware that the company’s founder envisioned something quite different in 1900.

But, after 122 years, Charles Rolls’s dream of manufactur­ing a “noiseless and clean” car has been realised, as the company revealed the Spectre – its first pure electric vehicle.

The British luxury car manufactur­er said that the Spectre is the “most perfect product” that it has ever created.

While its price remains unknown, there have been suggestion­s the car could cost more than £500,000 – making it one of the most expensive models the company makes. It will also accelerate faster than any of the company’s petrol-powered models.

It is understood that Rolls-royce hopes the Spectre’s performanc­e, together with its eco-friendly features, may encourage purchases by younger, more environmen­tally conscious customers wary of the pitfalls of navigating low-emission zones in cities.

The company has always sought to contrast the calm performanc­e of its cars with the noises and crackles emitted by luxury sports cars, so the adoption of a silent electric engine is seen as another step on that road and has been described by Rolls-royce as a “promise kept” to its co-founder.

Mr Rolls foresaw the rise of silent cars powered by batteries and said in 1900: “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration. They should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged.”

Torsten Müller-ötvös, the chief executive of Rolls-royce, said the Spectre fulfils this prophecy, is “perfectly in tune with the sensibilit­ies of our time” and marks out the “direction for the future” of the company.

He said: “This is the start of a bold new chapter for our marque, our extraordin­ary clients and the luxury industry. For this reason, I believe Spectre is the most perfect product that Rolls-royce has ever produced.”

While further tests will establish its full potential, it is estimated that the car will accelerate to 60mph in 4.4 seconds, despite its roughly three-ton weight. This matches the company’s fastestacc­elerating model, the Wraith.

Rolls-royce publicity material says the car was designed as a flagship product of a coming “all-electric era”. The company plans to phase out cars with internal combustion engines over the next eight years.

Rolls-royce’s launch of an eclectic car also comes after the European Union outlined plans to phase out petrol and diesel engines and effectivel­y “ban” new fossil-fuel cars by 2035. This may bring about the motoring world that was predicted by Mr Rolls 122 years ago, when the eventual dominance of the internal combustion engine was by no means assured.

The Scottish inventor Robert Anderson is thought to have pioneered the electric car in the 1830s, and his lead was followed by French technician Camille Faure and the American William Morrison. Electric cars accounted for 28 per cent of the total manufactur­ed in the US in 1900. As internal combustion engines became more reliable and charging times and range became an issue for electric car owners, their market share dropped. But their popularity has rebounded recently amid environmen­tal concerns.

 ?? ?? Spectre can accelerate faster than any petrol-engine Rolls-royce
Spectre can accelerate faster than any petrol-engine Rolls-royce
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