Eight cars divided equally between two different residences. On average, this is the fleet of a Rolls-Royce owner, who is therefore already a collector of a certain level when he decides to treat himself to a limousine (or an SUV) with the Spirit of Ecstasy dominating the grille. In 2021, 5,586 rolled out of the Goodwood plant, or 49% more than the previous year, resulting in record sales. This, together with the fact that the average age of buyers has dropped to 43, seems to paint a rosy future for the most luxurious of British brands. But woe to lowering the level of attention, as Andi McCann told us, i.e. the Head of the Rolls-Royce driving school, who however does not teach to go fast, but to be perfect chauffeurs “We are a small brand and our cars have a long life cycle, we can’t make wrong experiments or choices, otherwise we wouldn’t survive. When we take a road, we have to be sure”.
Thus, the near future is called Spectre, or rather the first 100% electric Rolls-Royce which in the name declares its being absolutely silent. The debut is scheduled for the end of 2023, the date on which it will pave the way for other battery-powered cars, given that they have already announced from across the Channel that by 2030 the entire range will be electric. The Spectre, therefore, will be the first of a long series and was developed by traveling 2.5 million kilometers all over the world, to guarantee the absolute quality standards of the brand. It is a 5.5 meter long coupé with doors that open against the wind and a Cx of only 0.25 to improve consumption and not disturb the silence of the electron propulsion which makes 585 HP and 900 Nm available. at 100 km/h it takes only 4.5 seconds, despite a dry weight of 2,975 kg also due to the 700 kg of batteries which should guarantee 520 km of autonomy.
While waiting to touch it with our hands, we drove a large part of the current range, specifically the “small” Ghost and the Cullinan SUV which share the same technical base, with an aluminum frame and a 570 HP 6.6 V12 bi-turbo petrol engine and 850 Nm. Choosing one or the other is a philosophical question, but the on-board experience is of the highest level in both cases. Double glazing and sound-absorbing materials which are also found in the roof, trunk and floor for a total of 100 kg, filter out any noise from outside. Even the air conditioning ducts are smooth so as not to hear the noise of flows. The electronic suspensions, on the other hand, communicate with the front camera which scans the road and with the navigator; the sum of their data results in a stepless adjustment of the damping to “glide” on all bumps. In other words, you are immersed in a traveling living room covered only with fine woods and leathers, assembled with painstaking precision.
The construction of a single specimen, in fact, requires between four and five weeks and is carried out completely by hand. In the Goodwood plant, in fact, there is no real assembly line, but there are stations along which the cars move. And in each of these specialized technicians work on a single task. Returning to the passenger compartment, its soundproofing is such that it becomes the perfect place to listen to music with the 1,300 Watt system equipped with two active microphones that identify and counteract disturbing frequencies. The icing on the cake is the sky – Imperial, for the more conservative – quilted with 850 stars which are actually 152 LED diodes. Of course, if you want, you can also sit in front to drive. In that case, in addition to the overflowing but at the same time velvety thrust of the engine, we appreciate the console where the analog commands prevail “Luxury is having everything you need at your fingertips without being overwhelmed by technology” McCann states.
Rolls-Royce Ghost (Cullinan), card
What are: the “smallest” limousine and SUV of the British brand
Dimensions: length 5.54 (5.34) meters, width 1.98 (2.00), height 1.57 (1.83), wheelbase 3.29
Trunk: 507 (526) liters
Motor: 6.6 V12 bi-turbo, 571 HP at 5,000 rpm and 850 Nm from 1,600 rpm
Exchange: 8-speed automatic with torque converter
Traction: whole wheat
Merits: comfort, quality of life on board, space on board, performance
Defects: modest trunk, lack of equipment in the standard equipment
Production: Goodwood, Great Britain
Prices: prices of the Rolls-Royce Ghost start at 325,000 euros, while for the Cullinan they go up to 368,000 euros