Wander and his team are tasked with eliminating so-called “hidden entrances” in pursuit of any unwanted vibrations. There is some rustling around the door mirrors that they are working on, and the sound the door locks make when they close may be the cause of the amplification.

But they must also strike a Rawlsian balance: absolute silence is not healthy for man. “It can also be a safety issue,” Wunder says. “There needs to be a certain level of noise for the driver to position the car correctly on the road and know what to do on the approach to the turn. The noise helps the driver to navigate.”

Wunder and team have just returned from Aughrabi, further north in South Africa than our current location, where temperatures can reach 50-plus degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), threatening the Specter’s door seals and challenging hardware. The campaign to make this first electric Rolls-Royce as perfect as any car can be is nearing the finish line.

Family ties

Jason Barlow tested an early version of Rolls-Royce’s first-ever electric car for WIRED in South Africa.

Photo: Mark Fagelson/Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

My two hour drive certainly suggests that the world of electric cars is about to get a new benchmark. Full technical details will remain undisclosed until closer to the car’s official launch at the end of June, but as part of the BMW Group, Rolls-Royce can draw on the competencies that have made iX and i7 such convincing machines. The Specter shares some hardware, but Rolls-Royce is determined to put space between itself and its German relative, primarily to increase handling fluidity.

To help with this family separation, Rolls-Royce has developed special software (to ensure that signature smooth movement). It will also have an even more powerful battery – I’m guessing 120kWh, which is quite a lot. The Specter is good for a confirmed 664 lb-ft of torque, and its output (yet to be confirmed) is sure to top the 600-horsepower threshold. If the motors are the same as BMW’s, they will be of the electrically excited synchronous type rather than fixed permanent magnets, eliminating the need for rare earth metals in the rotor.

The charging software is constantly being improved, and Rolls claims a WLTP range of 310 miles. Of course, this won’t matter much to Rolls’ multi-car customers, because the Specter is unlikely to become a daily driver or be found far beyond Belgravia or Bel Air.


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