Rolls-Royce has vowed to abandon the internal combustion engine by the end of the decade. The ultra-luxury brand from Goodwood will be rocking down to the electric avenue in a couple of years with the launch of the Spectre. Originally teased at the end of September, the zero-emissions coupe has now been caught by our spies for the very first time.
Spotted freezing on a trailer, the prototype might look an awful lot like a Wraith, but it's technically an entirely different car. For starters, it's not based on a BMW platform as is the case with the V12-powered coupe, but rather on Rolls-Royce's own (and pompously called) "Architecture of Luxury" shared with the latest Ghost, Phantom, and the Cullinan SUV.
Gallery: Rolls-Royce Spectre spy photos
It does have the same rear-hinged "suicide doors" as the Wraith, but the side profile has a more pronounced coupe silhouette with a heavily sloped roofline and a smaller quarter glass. If you're wondering why the overhangs are this long given the model's electric-only nature, that's because it does not ride on a dedicated EV platform. It'll be the same story with the CLAR-based BMW i7 electric saloon.
Speaking of Rolls-Royce's parent company, the Spectre will get a split headlight design to echo the next 7 Series, X7 facelift, and the production-ready XM SUV – all of which are coming in 2022. In one of the close-up spy shots, you can easily notice two cutouts in the camouflage to make the upper daytime running lights visible. The main headlights are mounted lower on the bumper, reminding us of the recently introduced Concept XM.
RR has pledged to keep its imposing grille alive even on electric vehicles, and it will be living up to that promise judging by this thinly covered prototype. At the back, we are being given the impression of vertically arranged taillights, but looks can be deceiving since the quarter panels have a bulge around the visible LEDs. It leads us to believe the rear lights are bigger than what we can see for the time being.
Technical specifications are shrouded in mystery, although we've heard through the grapevine that Spectre will use the same setup as the BMW iX M60. Bavaria's second M car after the i4 M50 will premiere next week at CES in Las Vegas with all-wheel drive courtesy of dual electric motors producing a combined output of over 600 bhp. The torque figure should easily eclipse that of the iX xDrive50, which offers 564 pound-feet (765 Newton-metres).
Rolls-Royce will have the Spectre on sale towards the end of 2023.