Last September, Rolls-Royce announced that its first-ever electric vehicle (EV) – the Spectre – will come to market in the fourth quarter of 2023. In a recent update, the British carmaker said “a new Rolls-Royce motor car always begins its life in winter,” and the Spectre has done just that, having concluded winter testing at a facility located in Arjeplog, Sweden, just 55km from the Arctic Circle, where temperatures can drop to a very frigid -40 degrees centigrade.

The Spectre is part of the Rolls-Royce 3.0 plan, which represents the beginning of the marque’s electric future – all its product will be fully electric by 2030. As such, winter testing is important to ensure that all systems operate as they should in extreme conditions.

Unlike its previous creations, the company says the Spectre will be most connected Rolls-Royce ever, featuring 141,200 sender-receiver relations and has more than 1,000 functions with more than 25,000 sub functions. By comparison, the Phantom has 51,000 sender-receiver relations, 456 functions and 647 sub functions.

Like the Phantom, the Spectre is built on the company’s Architecture of Luxury, albeit developed further to integrate the necessary electronic and electric powertrain architecture. Rolls-Royce claims a “free and direct exchange of detailed information between these 1,000+ functions with no centralised processing,” which required the length of cabling to be increased from around 2 km in existing products to 7 km in the Spectre.

Driving in snowy conditions also allows Rolls-Royce to assess and refine the Spectre’s NVH and dynamic performance. So far, prototypes of the model have undergone more than 500,000 km of testing, which sounds like a lot, but is still just 25% of the 2.5 million km that Rolls-Royce insists in its testing programme to simulate 400 years of use.

The provided images of the prototype provide a better idea of what the Spectre will look like when finished, and while it does invoke the Wraith at first, the two-door model is touted as the spiritual successor to the Phantom Coupe that was produced between 2008 and 2016. Key Rolls-Royce cues are evident, including the redesigned Spirit of Ecstasy ornament, a long bonnet and pantheon grille.

The Phantom Coupe’s split headlamps are also adapted for the Spectre, which will also be the company’s first coupe to get 23-inch wheels since 1926. Away from sight, the flexibility of the platform enables a highly aerodynamic channel for the battery, providing a perfectly smooth underfloor profile.

A low windscreen rake, a sleek profile and other design solutions result in a drag coefficient of just 0.26, at least for early prototypes. Rolls-Royce also notes that by creating wiring and piping channels between the floor of the car and roof of the battery, its engineers have created a secondary function for the battery – 700 kg of sound deadening.