Our Five Takeaways After Driving the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre

We got some decent seat time in it while blasting down the highway, carving curvy bends and even stuck in traffic hell.

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We get it, there’s a specific image when you’re in a Rolls-Royce. The brand has become synonymous for elegance, luxury, timelessness and heritage dating back to the early 1900s. And it’s not every day we get some serious seat time with one, but that’s exactly what happened with the new Spectre.

Announced back in 2022 and now making its way into owners’ hands, the Rolls-Royce Spectre is the brand’s all-new, all-electric two-door luxury coupé that’s a far departure from the huge, hulking V12s of its near and far past. Beyond its striking looks and overwhelming presence, the all-electric RR is not all-show-and-no-go. Quite the opposite in fact: the Spectre’s electric powertrain outputs the equivalent of 577 horsepower, 664 lb-ft of torque, and accomplishes 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. Technology behind its power combines with classic Rolls-Royce luxury elements and design features, thus merging its immense driving capabilities with the sort of elegance you’d expect from a luxury yacht, or a private jet perhaps.

We were invited by Rolls-Royce to an exclusive invite up to Burlington, Canada and had some private seat time in our very own Rolls-Royce Spectre. We were able to drive it on long stretches of highway as well as curvy backroads, and our six-strong convoy even invaded a few suburban neighborhoods in Toronto. After our full day, we were able to deduce our thoughts and feelings into five specific keywords that fairly describe how we’d summarize the Rolls-Royce Spectre.

“Silence”

A quiet, serene interior cabin space is kind of what Rolls-Royce is known for, where its customers barely need to whisper in order to hold full conversations. But the Spectre takes things to a completely new level.

Previously in RR vehicles, the engine noise does creep into the cabin a tad, as well as some tire noise. The Spectre however – being fully electric – has completely removed the former element from the equation. Much like modern EVs, there’s barely any indication the system is even fired up, and the Spectre is no exception. While you would also expect tire noise to enter the interior, we were shocked at how we could barely hear it as we drove on the Toronto expressways. Even more surprising was when we realized our car was equipped with Pirelli winter tires which are often so loud you’d need to crank the volume up on the stereo a few clicks just to overcome it. Nevertheless, even with the chunky rubber, we couldn’t hear a thing.

Autocar and Edmunds both recorded noise decibels of around 50-57 dB at normal-to-cruising speeds, and as low as mid-30 dBs at idle – these levels are similar to slight rainfall hitting windowpanes, to leaves rustling in an isolated field somewhere. To discuss these numbers inside a coupé is beyond impressive – most modern cars, EV or not, record 60-80 dB easily.

“Comfort”

What’s the by-product of a quiet interior? Comfort, of course. Let’s start with auditory.

Near-silence means you can have deeper, richer conversations with your passenger, enjoy your music clearer, or just bask in the glory of a sunset as you head home from a long trip. No need to worry about feeling fatigued or having a headache after climbing out – even after a near-four-hour traffic jam back to our hotel in Burlington, we felt sound-minded and calm.

Ultra-soft, plush leather upholstery: check. Heated and cooled massage seats: piece of cake. Everything inside the Spectre reinforced an extraordinary level of refinement and luxury, which continued the trend of comfort and elegance. There were also extra attention-to-detail touches we liked while behind the wheel, such as the ease of reach for all the controls, the tactility of buttons and stalks never making any strong impact on our fingers upon engaging with them, and even the arm rests’ heights felt as if they took our measurements before building the car. The only parallel we could draw that even remotely compared to our comfort level would be us sat in a full-body spa chair, in Cabo, in June.

“Solid”

Remember when laptops began ditching hard drives and started adopting SSD (Solid State Drive) storage? That analogy is the Spectre, in a nutshell.

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is equipped with a 102kWh lithium-ion battery, that powers electric motors front and rear. This in turn means there’s no engine up front, no oil flowing, no alternator whirring, no belts circulating. For all intents and purposes, the Rolls-Royce Spectre felt like one solid, milled piece of aluminum, unfortunately broken up by four tires and two doors.

What does this mean for the people inside? Well, imagine a car where nothing rattles. There are no interior trim pieces flexing, or plastic creaking as you went over a bump. In fact, the one and only instance of a jolt was when we ran over a sizable pothole on Queen Elizabeth Way, and even that felt much like someone had stomped on the floor with a bit of anger – nothing more. If you’ve ever complained about chassis flex or a car’s NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) being too intense, take a ride in the Spectre and be utterly and completely spoiled for the rest of your life.

“Driver”

When we were chatting with the executives and representatives at Rolls-Royce about the Spectre, one thing became apparent – it’s a driver’s car.

The coupé body lines, two-door configuration and generally-lower seating position means the Spectre is a car RR expects you to drive and enjoy, rather than be driven in it by a chauffeur like the other vehicles in its lineup. And we got this feeling easily as we climbed in, set our driving position perfectly with the steering wheel, and familiarized ourselves with the accelerator pedal. The power fed in smoothly and was infinitely modulated, and the handling – while not nearly “sporty” – did react more like a car you interact with personally and not a carriage you ‘happen to be along for a ride in.’ To put it simply, you would have no qualms to driving the Spectre, as your limousine to pick up others, reach the office or, dare we say, run errands or even travel long distances as a grand tourer.

On the other hand…

“Passenger”

We couldn’t deny ourselves the joy of sitting in the passenger seats, both front and rear.

Let’s start in the back. The rear seats were a bit disappointing, as the coupé body style limited a bit of headspace and overall space around our arms and legs. We were of course not short of room, but compared to the Ghost sedan, there was a sizeable difference both laterally and vertically. This also meant there were no fold-out tables attached to the back of the front seats or heated/chilled cup holders, as that’s not really what the Spectre is about. But take into consideration you’re picking up someone from the aforementioned airport – their seating position for a coupé that’s heated and massage-capable (if optioned) is unrivaled by competing cars and car brands.

The front passenger seat, however, could very well be the best seat in the Spectre. Take everything we said about the driver seat, the comfort, the quietness and the smoothness of the ride, and minus the need to stop, steer, and go – this thus becomes the ultimate scenario. Our ride-along passenger at one point rubbed it in as we were stuck in our 200+ minute traffic jam; when we proclaimed that that there was no better place to be stuck on the highway “than here in a Spectre,” he replied with a snarky “well… my seat’s better than yours right now” as he reclined even further and shut his eyes. Touché.

The Rolls-Royce Spectre is available for inquiry now, with pricing starting above $422,000 USD.

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