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Truly Tested: Rolls-Royce EV Hits 1 Million Miles

Say what you will about Rolls-Royce’ plan to go fully electric – but you can’t say they haven’t done their homework. The brand’s all-electric Spectre prototypes have already been driven more than 2 million kilometers. That’s over a million miles to you and me, kids!

Rolls announced the metric milestone last week, while a few examples of the ultra-luxe coupé were in South Africa for hot weather testing. Fun fact: the road temperature reached 120 degrees (Fahrenheit, obviously).

Rolls-Royce engineers selected Augrabies in the Northern Cape and Franschhoek in the Western Cape Winelands for the extreme temperature tests, with the team working hard to refine every system, hardware item, and software protocol being developed for the new car in its final stages of testing as it nears production. This is where minor, incremental adjustments are the most critical – especially when you consider that Spectre has a whopping 25,000 separate performance-related functions to refine, and a clientele that will not tolerate squeaks or rattles.

Doubt that last claim? An old Rolls ad by David Ogilvy once declared that, “at 60 MPH, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

To their credit, the people behind the first-ever electric Rolls-Royce seem to know their place in the storied brand’s history. “There has never been a motor car like Spectre before,” said, Dr. Mihiar Ayoubi, Director of Engineering at Rolls-Royce, before adding that, “as the first all-electric Rolls-Royce, Spectre represents not just a new paradigm in our technology but the entire future direction of our brand.” Rolls-Royce engineers have been finessing the car’s regenerative braking, for example, for more than 1500 hours to ensure that the system, “feels effortless but present.”

Rolls-Royce: Tried and True

Image courtesy Rolls-Royce; via BMW Group.

As with anything else Rolls-related, the end goal of such a rigorous testing scheme is, of course, as symbolic as it is practical. “Only Rolls-Royce engineers could conceive this astonishing journey,” explains Ayoubi, “and only Rolls-Royce engineers could undertake it: the task is not to test a motor car but to elevate the benchmark of automotive excellence.”

Whether or not all that testing, combined with BMW’s electric-vehicle know-how and battery tech, will be enough for Rolls to hang on to its “standard of the world” title in the face of a seemingly reborn effort from Cadillac remains to be seen, of course, but I think the smart money’s still on the Spirit of Ecstacy to ride ahead.

Source | Images: BMW Group.

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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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