Fully electric Rolls-Royce Spectre concludes winter testing programme

Rolls-Royce has completed the winter testing programme for its first-ever fully electric vehicle, Spectre, just 55km from the arctic circle.

Testing was carried out at the manufacturer’s bespoke facility in Arjeplog, Sweden, just 55km from the arctic circle, where temperatures drop to -26 degrees centigrade and are further cooled to -40 degrees centigrade.

Engineers performed a series of very basic tests in extreme conditions to ensure that each system is operational and functions at a basic level in a cold weather environment, such as noise, vibration and harshness tests.

The variables that affect this range from the materials selected for major hardware components to the density of the door rubbers, bushing compounds, fastening materials and even properties of bonding agents. The performance of these variables can change considerably when subjected to extreme temperatures, potentially impacting the efficiency of the motor car’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling systems.

Rolls-Royce’s testing programme featured an additional component known as ‘de-escalated time’, which enables high levels of accuracy and control using Spectre’s chassis control systems, powertrain management and electronics control.

By driving on low traction surfaces such as snow and ice and wilfully destabilising Spectre, the engineers can create dynamic circumstances at low speeds that would ordinarily occur at high speeds. This can be reviewed and guided in situ and in slow motion, in doing so parametrising and finessing cold-weather vehicle performance in areas such as handling, controllability, stability, predictability and the ‘waftability’ that Rolls-Royce looks to create.

De-escalated time enables engineers to create unparalleled detail in the motor car’s response, in doing so schooling Spectre to think, behave and communicate like a true Rolls-Royce.

Mihiar Ayoubi, Director of Engineering for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said: “Our task is to teach each component and system how to think, behave and communicate like a Rolls-Royce, which sees much of the engineering pivot from workshops into the digital space. Here in Arjeplog we have built a significant foundation on which we will create a true Rolls-Royce. This is a big step forward for our brand, but also for electrification – even though Spectre is in its infancy, I can confirm that the technology is able to contain the Rolls-Royce experience.”

Following more than half a million kilometres of testing, 25% of this process has now been completed.