Earlier this year, at a bespoke testing facility in Arjeplog, Sweden, Spectre received the first ‘lessons’ in a finishing school that is custom designed to teach the motor car how to behave and react like a Rolls-Royce. Over the past months, the marque’s test and development engineers have shifted their focus from extreme conditions to more formal scrutiny in a location that reflects the motor car’s everyday use: the French Riviera where 625,000 kilometres of Spectre’s 2.5 million kilometre global testing programme will be driven on and around the French Côte d’Azur.
This phase is split into two parts, beginning at the historic Autodrome de Miramas proving ground, located in the French department of Bouches-du-Rhône in Provence. This includes irrigation units that create standing water, handling circuits with tight corners and adverse cambers, and a heavily banked 3.1 mile three-lane high-speed bowl, enabling Spectre to be tested at continuous high speeds.
The second phase of testing in the region occurs in the countryside surrounding the Autodrome de Miramas on the roads that many production Spectres will be driven on following first customer deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ In High Definition
A new suspension technology has been approved that ensures Spectre delivers Rolls-Royce’s hallmark ‘magic carpet ride’. This technology is now being refined at Miramas and on the roads of the French Riviera.
- New hardware component with electronic roll stabilisation uses data from the Rolls-Royce Flagbearer system, reading the road surface ahead, and Satellite Aided Navigation system, which alerts Spectre to upcoming corners.
- On straight roads, the system can automatically decouple Spectre’s anti-roll bars, allowing each wheel to act independently to prevent rocking motion.
- The configuration improves high-frequency distortions in ride caused by road surface.
- Once the data in the Satellite Aided Navigation identifies an upcoming curve the components are recoupled, the suspension dampers stiffen, and the four-wheel steering system prepares for activation to ensure effortless entry and exit.
- Under cornering, more than 18 sensors are monitored, and steering, braking, power delivery and suspension parameters are adjusted accordingly so that Spectre remains stable.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: Intelligent Architecture, Unparalleled Rigidity
The new technology paired with the aluminium ‘Architecture of Luxury” provides unparalleled control of Spectre. The dedicated Rolls-Royce platform provides Spectre with the most rigid body in the marque’s history.
- The architecture is reinforced with steel sections that provide increased torsional rigidity combined with aluminium body sections that represent the largest of any Rolls-Royce yet.
- The one-piece side panel, which extends from the front of the A-pillar to behind the rear tail-lights, is the largest ‘deep draw’ part ever produced by Rolls-Royce – extending nearly four metres in length.
- Likewise, the pillarless coach doors, which are nearly 1.5 metres in length, are the longest in Rolls-Royce history.
- Integration of the rigid battery structure Spectre’s architecture added support to the 30% improvement in structural rigidity.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: A Bespoke Electronic Architecture
Spectre is the most connected Rolls-Royce ever and each of its components are more intelligent than in any previous Rolls-Royce.
- Rolls-Royce software engineers developed a decentralised processing technology by sending more sophisticated data packets – that describe a variable input and response
- It features 141,200 sender-receiver relations and has more than 1,000 functions and more than 25,000 sub functions.
- This is three times more sender-receiver signals than a typical Rolls-Royce.
- Over the course of the Riviera Testing Programme, the marque’s engineers are creating a dedicated control for each of Spectre’s 25,000-plus functions.
- Responses calculate factors including weather, driver behaviour, vehicle status and road conditions.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: A New Aerodynamic Standard
Initial testing of the redesigned Spirit of Ecstasy mascot yielded an estimated drag coefficient (cd) of just 0.26, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created. Current wind tunnel testing, digital modelling and continuous high-speed testing in Miramas, indicated it has be reduced to just 0.25.
ROLLS-ROYCE SPECTRE: THE EXTRAORDINARY UNDERTAKING CONTINUES
The Spectre global testing programme continues: the Electric Super Coupé will still be tested for a further one million kilometres before the marque’s engineers will consider this undertaking complete. First customer deliveries of Spectre will commence in the fourth quarter of 2023.