The main body of the battery runs under the car between the front and rear wheels, right?
“Yes, and its mounting adds a lot to our overall body stiffness. The flexible design of our EV architecture allows us to mount it in a very novel way. Sometimes the underbody mounting of batteries in big cars can cause an odd kind of flexing that leads to non-linear responses when the car is cornering. We’ve been extremely careful with that, and the result is a car that’s very predictable, with near-instant steering responses. This reduces the driver’s awareness of the car’s weight – useful, because it’s quite heavy. We’ve also been extremely careful with local stiffness around the suspension mounts to reduce road disturbance. With such a quiet powertrain, you need that.”
Did you have a big debate about what noises the Spectre’s driver should hear?
“We did. Obviously there’s legislation about what you should hear from outside, but our research showed us that buyers would be unlikely to agree on what they should hear inside the car. So we will offer two configurable solutions: silence and, well, something else that we’re not quite ready to reveal. Let’s say it will be our surprise.”
The Spectre has lots of sophisticated chassis hardware. Can you run us through it?
“Sure. We have active all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. We have air springs, too, and all of this is controlled by electronics that monitor both the driver’s needs and the condition of the road. Our control systems are decoupled into domains — lateral, longitudinal and vertical [better known as comfort]. We have anti-roll bars that decouple when the car is travelling straight, for the very best ride composure.”
How would you describe the result?
“The Spectre is extremely refined and very powerful but so easy to drive. That’s what we wanted above all. It has endless power, although not in the sense of chasing acceleration times. Above all, it’s predictable, waftable and luxurious – everything our buyers need from a Rolls-Royce.”