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More Details Emerge as Rolls-Royce Completes Winter Testing of Spectre EV
Rolls-Royce’s first electric car, the Spectre, arrives in late 2023.Winter testing is now complete, with another 1.24 million miles of testing to go.The company assures us the new car will have the distinct Rolls-Royce feel.We still have a long way to go before Rolls-Royce delivers the first all-electric Spectre Coupe in late 2023. So expect a lot more of these little information dumps to be made between now and then. Rolls can’t unload all its secrets now and expect you to wait patiently for almost two years. “For God’s sake man, don’t buy a Tesla,” you can almost hear them saying.Thus, herewith is another information cache pushed out the back of the plane and parachuted into your lap, or laptop. The main news this time is that the all-new Spectre has successfully completed its winter testing regimen, in the remote Swedish forests of Arjeplog, a place that looks on Google Earth like it has Hobbits and Ewoks. Specifically, work was done on the frozen surface of Lake Kakel, where seemingly every carmaker on Earth—and many component makers such as Bosch and ZF—have tested for decades. The lake is 85 miles from the Norwegian border and 34 miles from the Arctic Circle. And it is cooooooold up there, down to -40 degrees (Fahrenheit or Celsius, this is the one point where they are both the same).In addition to making sure nothing cracks in the cold, Rolls engineers run on the ice surface to tune the chassis and make sure the car handles with the feel of a proper Rolls-Royce. VIEW PHOTOS Locals drill holes in Lake Kakel as freezing starts in the fall to increase the rate and thickness of ice formation. Rolls-Royce “By driving on low traction surfaces such as snow and ice and willfully destabilizing Spectre, the engineers can create dynamic circumstances at low speeds that would ordinarily occur at high speeds,” Rolls said in a release. “This can be reviewed and guided in situ and in slow motion, in doing so parametrizing and finessing cold-weather vehicle performance in areas such as handling, controllability, stability, predictability, and the ‘waftability’ that defines the Rolls-Royce experience. More Spectre-scopy Catch a Glimpse of the Rolls-Royce Spectre EV The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail Commission Top 10 Scary Halloween Cars – Boo! “De-escalated time enables engineers to create unparalleled detail in the motor car’s response, in doing so schooling Spectre to think, behave and communicate like a Rolls-Royce worthy of the marque. Following more than half a million kilometres (310,000 miles) of testing, 25% of this process has now been completed.” The next goal of testing was the integration of Rolls-Royce’s first electric powertrain into its unique architecture. Rolls calls this process “Rolls-Royce 3.0.” Rolls-Royce 1.0 was the then-all-new Phantom with its own chassis introduced in 2003. 2.0 was to take that new architecture and apply it to all new Rolls-Royce cars: Phantom, Cullinan, Ghost, and coachbuilds like the picnic car shown last year. 3.0, featured in this release of information, involves more digital intelligence than any Rolls yet made.“Spectre is the most connected Rolls-Royce ever, and each component within it is more intelligent than in any previous Rolls-Royce. It features 141,200 sender-receiver relations and has more than 1,000 functions with more than 25,000 sub functions. By comparison, Phantom has 51,000 sender-receiver relations, 456 functions and 647 sub functions.” This requires a lot of wires, up from just over a mile’s worth of wiring in the current products to over four miles in the Spectre. Even with the use of multiplexing, wherein the number of physical wires in a car is kept to a minimum by using the same wire for multiple functions thus saving weight and complexity, the added functions on the Spectre required more wires. VIEW PHOTOS The Spectre has completed one-fourth of its planned testing, with 1.24 million miles still to go. Rolls-Royce As for that new architecture, Rolls emphasizes the coming Spectre is not a Wraith successor so much as a Phantom Coupe heir. “Indeed, when it came to styling Spectre, the marque’s designers considered the dimensions and emotionality of Phantom Coupé, and other grand coupés from Rolls-Royce’s past. Not only did they create this emotion with Spectre’s fastback silhouette and size, but they also carried forward a key design feature of Phantom Coupé: the iconic split headlights, a design tenet that Rolls-Royce has owned for many decades.” Rolls, as part of the BMW Group, reiterated that the architecture of its models both current and future is unique and not shared with anything in the BMW brand line. This allows for innovative designs, such as placing the 1543-pound battery pack under the floorboard but only taking up half the height of the frame rails. “By placing the floor halfway between the sill structures rather than on top or underneath the sills, there is a highly aerodynamic channel for the battery, providing a perfectly smooth underfloor profile. Likewise, this creates a low seating position and enveloping cabin experience.”Such a battery placement also helps with sound deadening. There are still 1.24 million miles of testing to go—they’re only one-quarter through—before you can get your electric Spectre at the end of next year. So look for more updates as time marches on.