Rolls-Royce is progressing with the development program of the Spectre, which is the most rigorous in its history. Following hot weather testing in South Africa, the automaker published new photos of its first production EV and gave us some insight into the extreme attention to detail.
In South Africa, the Rolls-Royce Spectre was driven from the Augrabies in the Northern Cape to the French Corner in the Western Cape, going through “twisting country roads replete with gravel, dust, and dirt” and blessing us with more real-life photos of its gold-painted zero-emission majesty. While those are undeniably cool, the over-engineering stories are the ones that caught our attention.
Read: A Rolls-Royce Spectre Convertible Should Only Be A Matter Of Time
Whereas mainstream automakers usually focus on the chassis and powertrain setup during testing programs for future production models, Rolls-Royce always takes a step further. After perfecting the Magic Carpet Ride of the suspension, the engineers turned their attention on more intriguing details. Believe it or not, they completed a “detailed analysis of a global range of sunlight exposure and types to ensure consistency of color quality” in the infotainment touchscreen, the digital instrument cluster, the ambient lighting, and even in the puddle lights that are visible only when opening the doors.
Furthermore, the Spectre’s 17-speaker sound system might have already been fine-tuned in the laboratory, but Rolls-Royce made its employees listen to a specially curated playlist with songs covering a wide range of genres in South Africa, so the system could be tested in real-life conditions. The impressive thing is that they went through this process despite the fact that the gains in the sound quality compared to the previous setup are described as “fractional”.
More importantly, after driving the EV in extreme weather conditions ranging from -40°C (-40 °F) in the Arctic Circle all the way up to 50°C (122°F) in South Africa, engineers will be able to make the final adjustments to the sealing materials, ensuring the optimum aero-acoustic performance in all conditions. Speaking of noise, Rolls-Royce scrutinized the speed at which the self-closing coach doors shut, so they generate the “perfect level of positive noise”.
Another example of the attention to detail is the 1,500 hours spent in finessing the feel of the regenerative braking system which can be a problem for first-time EV owners. Mind you, the Spectre is based on the Architecture of Luxury, with the fully electric powertrain producing 577 hp (430 kW / 585 PS) and the battery allowing a 323-mile (520 km) zero-emission range.
1.2 Million Miles Of Testing And Counting
The Rolls-Royce Spectre started testing in 2021 and has already completed about 80% of its development. The EV has traveled 2 million km (1.2 million miles) out of the total 2.5 million km (1.6 million miles) which is like circumnavigating the Earth a massive 62 times. The final 500,000 km (310,685 miles) of testing will be focused on “Lifestyle Analysis”, meaning that the car will go through “super-luxury situations” that are specific to the wealthiest Rolls-Royce clients.
According to Rolls-Royce, Spectre’s testing program replicates almost 400 years of normal use, ensuring that owners won’t have any issues with the car – at least during their lifetime. If you’re wondering, the first deliveries of the Spectre are scheduled to take place toward the end of 2023.