Spectre: Not Your Grandfather’s Rolls-Royce

My grandfather used to peer through the windows of car dealerships as a boy, dreaming of one day owning a Rolls-Royce. 

The author’s grandfather (left) shows off his car to visitors. Courtesy Sarah Hodges

He was fiercely proud of the car when he was finally able to buy one. He showed his beige and cream colored Rolls off to visitors and, much to my mother’s dismay, enlisted his children to handwash it.

I recently test-drove the Rolls-Royce Spectre, the luxury automaker’s first all-electric vehicle, and understand a little bit more of what the fuss was about. 

The Spectre’s butter-leather seats certainly feel luxurious, and cruising is a better word than driving to describe traveling down the street in one. The interior roof of my Spectre was adorned with stars, and the paint on its exterior glittered with real crystals.

The Spectre’s backseat was roomier than those of other electric vehicles where I’ve been a passenger. There was ample room for a car seat, though I’m not sure how many owners would want a messy toddler to travel in one. The interior of the car was extremely quiet and the tech, while present, wasn’t overwhelming. An analog clock existed near the car’s touchscreen and didn’t seem out of place there. 

That’s not to say, though, that this is your grandfather’s Rolls-Royce. The Spectre has plenty of James Bond-esque features that new owners will appreciate. 

The Spectre, like recent predecessors, has built in holders designed to dry wet umbrellas as the car travels. And don’t even think about stealing the redesigned Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. Try to lift it up, and the ornament will come clamping down on the fingers of a potential thief or curious reporter.

The Spectre has impressive acceleration; it can go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, but I wasn’t about to test that myself. The Spectre can travel an estimated 266 miles between charges, which is good news for potential owners who would rather charge at their Highland Park mansions than the nearest Kroger.

The Spectre, at almost 18 feet long with 23-inch tires, cut an impressive figure cruising down the streets of University Park. The SUV driving behind me on Lovers Lane gave me plenty of space. Other vehicles yielded the right of way, which I appreciated given the more than $500,000 price tag of the model I test drove.

There are very few negative things to say about the Spectre. As a relatively short person, I thought that the driver’s side mirror was so large it obstructed my view. I also wasn’t a fan of the oversized, rear-hinged doors, which I can foresee being a problem in tight parking spots at NorthPark.

I was happy to return the Spectre unscratched to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Dallas, 5300 Lemmon Ave. Avondale Dealerships celebrated the opening of the new home of Rolls-Royce in Dallas on May 9. 

Potential Spectre owners, especially fussier ones, might need to be patient if they decide to make a purchase. Some Spectres are available this year, but for other models, you’ll need to wait until spring of 2025.

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