Rolls-Royce is testing Specter EV on the French Riviera (because of course it is)
Rolls-Royce has given an update on the development of its first electric car, the Spectre. And, to be honest, I get a little jealous of the company’s test and development pilots.
First, the Specter ventured to Arjeplog in Sweden’s Arctic Circle, where manufacturers put new vehicles through arduous cold-weather testing. Now that that’s been sorted – and Rolls says the Specter’s testing program is around 40 per cent complete – the prototype cars are off to spend their summer in the south of France.
Here, on the scenic French Riviera, they will cover nearly 400,000 miles of test driving, both on public roads and at a testing facility called the Autodrome de Miramas, which includes nearly 40 miles of roads and 20 test track environments (including a three-mile banked bowl) to fine tune the car. Oh, to be a Rolls-Royce development driver…
I’m joking of course. Developing and testing new cars, let alone a company’s first electric vehicle, is a long and arduous process filled with tedious stress testing and problem solving. The French stage of Rolls’ Specter development will see prototype vehicles see their new electronic suspension fine-tuned to ensure the added weight of a big battery doesn’t spoil the marque’s smooth, comfortable ride.
Speaking of which, Rolls-Royce says its Flagbearer system, where GPS and a camera are used to prepare the suspension for corners ahead, has been upgraded.
The company said: “Once a turn is confirmed as imminent by satellite navigation data and the Flagbearer system, the [anti-roll bars] are recoupled, the suspension dampers stiffen and the four-wheel steering system prepares for activation to ensure effortless entry and exit. When cornering, more than 18 sensors are monitored and steering, braking, power and suspension settings are adjusted accordingly to keep Specter stable.
With the majority of Rolls-Royce owners now driving themselves (until recently their preference was, for decades, to be driven), perfecting everyday use on the roads in par will feature prominently on engineers’ task lists.
The company claims the Specter is the stiffest Rolls-Royce to date, by around 30 per cent thanks to the built-in battery, and with a drag coefficient of 0.25 it’s also the most aerodynamic, which helps improve range while reducing wind noise, which will have no place to hide without a V12 engine under the bow.
While no doubt a bonus for test drivers, Rolls-Royce has a good reason for developing the Specter on the roads of the French Riviera – it’s where many owners like to drive their own car. The company adds, “This disposition to test under local, real-world conditions is repeated in key markets around the world, as the brand goes to great lengths to ensure its products meet – and often exceed – customer expectations. its very demanding customers. group of customers.”