Soon everyone will be driving a Rolls-Royce. Well almost !
The DNA of the car of tomorrow
The music critic of RealPaper of Boston, Jon Landau, wrote in 1974: “I saw the future of rock, and his name is Bruce Springsteen. After lounging behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce, one is tempted to formulate the same kind of opinion. Here’s why.
The owner of a Rolls-Royce probably has no idea, but his vehicle reflects, more than any other, the automotive values of tomorrow: expensive, padded, quiet. And – it’s coming soon – electric.
But before going any further, let’s get rid of the shocking question without further delay: the bill to be paid. From a Rolls-Royce, the public remembers that it is overpriced. Incidentally, it is the most frequently mentioned comment these days with regard especially to electric vehicles. A situation unlikely to reverse, if we believe some analysts. Moreover, during the pandemic period, the average cost of a new model, all engines combined, exceeded $50,000 in Canada. Caught in a vice between continuous inflation and the crisis in raw materials, household incomes do not follow, which forces them to fall back massively on the second-hand market. Preferably not quite young models.
Problems that the owner of a Rolls obviously does not face. With a bill which, all taxes included, flirts with half a million dollars, the clientele – aged on average 43 years old – probably does not worry (hopefully) about the end of the month. And there are more of them than you think. Last year, a record year, more than a third of Rolls-Royce’s Canadian allocation was intended for the Quebec market alone.
In its own way, but all the same long before the rebirth of the electric vehicle, Rolls-Royce introduced a different relationship to the automobile. If it does not yet enjoy such a propellant, the customers of a Rolls have always praised the virtues of peaceful driving.
With its air suspension – a luxury that many electric vehicles offer to hide their weight – a Rolls gives the impression of sliding on the road, like a hovercraft.
Potholes, cracks and undulations in the roadway (even in Quebec) shine as the wheels pass. Effortlessly. And noiseless since the rims are lined with foam insulation. It’s the little touches like these that set a Rolls-Royce apart. Nothing disturbs the tranquility of the occupants. Even the ticking of the clock on the dashboard has been silenced. Today, its clockwork is no longer mechanical, but quartz.
The future at the end of the line
Here, no oversized infotainment screens to furnish the decor. The Ghost, like all Rolls, not only excites sight, but also smell, touch and hearing. She prefers to wrap her occupants in leather, wool, wood and other noble and precious materials. It will seem counter-revolutionary in the vegan and minimalist era that we are no doubt going through, but that is not the point. By creating a subsidiary called Bespoke (“tailor-made”), Rolls-Royce makes sure to realize the wildest dreams of its esteemed clientele and this one pays it back. On average, it spends just over $100,000 on customizing its “carriage”. Depending on the requirements and requests, it takes 6 to 24 months before taking delivery. A delay that any new vehicle buyer currently faces, isn’t it? In addition, Rolls-Royce’s business approach resonates these days with other manufacturers. They believe that, faced with the changes underway, the best strategy is to produce less and sell at a higher price. So isn’t the car becoming a luxury good again? The question is valid.
For now, the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot spreading its wings at the end of the bonnet cuts through the air on the breath of a – rare – V12 engine. A flexible, energetic, soundproof and condemnable engine from an environmental point of view. This is due to disappear, in the very short term, to make way for an electric thruster. The very one that will propel the Specter that Rolls-Royce intends to market in the fall (see our boxes in the “Specifications” tab), not without pride. The notebook is already filled with orders. “We underestimated the demand, recognizes Martin Fritsches, president of Rolls-Royce of the Americas, and we have a great problem to manage on our hands. Indeed, some 6,000 Rolls-Royces are produced each year and there is no intention of increasing production. “For exclusivity reasons of course, but also because of the limitations of the assembly plant [celle-ci ne peut être agrandie] and difficulties in recruiting qualified craftsmen, continues Mr. Fritsches. We must therefore modulate our production accordingly. »
The Spectre, whose prototype has accumulated more than 2 million kilometers of driving, will come in the form of a coupe. This will offer a potential range of 426 km, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “This is going to seem curious to you, but this criterion [autonomie] is not a concern of our future buyers,” says Mr. Fritsches. One can understand why, these being, on average, owners of… six models. All Rolls-Royces.
Rolls Royce Ghost
Visible in dealerships
15.2 L/100 km (winter conditions)
We love less
Infotainment system from another age
The pleasure increases with use.
- Turbocharged 6.7L DOHC V12
- 563 hp at 1600 rpm
- 627 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm
- Empty weight: 2435 kg
- Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 4.9s
- Top speed: 249 km/h (electronically limited)
- Standard: 8-speed automatic
- Optional: none
- Drive mode: all-wheel drive
Tank capacity and recommended gasoline
- Wheelbase: 3277mm
- Length: 5537 mm / Height: 1549 mm
- Width: 1955 mm (exterior mirrors excluded)
In an interview he gave in 1901 to MotorCar Journal, Charles Royce confided that “the electric car is perfectly silent and clean. There is no smell or vibration, and it should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be set up. But for now, I don’t think it will be very useful, at least for many years. This prophecy is about to come true with the launch of the Specter in late fall. This majestic coupe will be the first in a series of electric vehicles, the British brand having already indicated that, from 2030, all of its products will have a wire at the wheel.
Tastes like colors
Primary hues like cobalt blue, mint green, lemon yellow, orange, fuchsia pink and poppy red don’t just brighten up fashion shows. They also titillate cars and Rolls-Royces in particular. As long as the buyer signs a blank check, he can count on specialized craftsmen to shape (and color) all his fads. And unlike Ferrari for example, no one at Rolls-Royce will discuss your tastes. “Bad taste has its rights just like good”, said Friedrich Nietzsche.
The Press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: BMW Series 2, Buick Encore GX, Ford Mustang, Subaru Solterra and Toyota Prius Prime. If you own one of these vehicles or are considering purchasing one, we would love to hear from you.