Testing EVs in extreme cold is necessary, maybe even more so than with internal combustion engines. Battery packs drastically lose their range the colder temperatures go and there’s still much to be learned about how electric motors and other electronics handle extreme weather. Which is why the upcoming Rolls-Royce Spectre has just spent some time testing at Rolls’ winter test facility in Arjeplog, Sweden.
Arjeplog is only 55 km from the Artic Circle and temperatures can get as low as -40 degrees centigrade. In the scientific community, that’s know as really effing cold.
It’s important for the Rolls-Royce Spectre to test there, in such extreme conditions, for more than just battery degradation. Extreme cold weather testing is important for all Rolls modes because the engineers in Goodwood need to make sure that freezing temps don’t affect any of the door seals, rubber gaskets, bushings, or any other sound insulation. If a Rolls-Royce customer in Sweden, northern Canada, or the northeast United States were to buy a Roller and its cabin began to squeak or rattle in the cold, you can bet your ass they’d be furious.
With the Spectre, though, it’s even more important. Electric cars don’t have any drivetrain noise to mask any noises coming into the cabin. Admittedly, the V12 used in other Rolls-Royce models is about as quiet as internal combustion engines can get but even that can’t match the eerie silence of an electric motor. Which is why EVs need extra sound insulation; their cabins are so quiet that even the slightest noise from outside can be heard. So if the extreme cold were to cause one door seal to squeak or a material to rub on another and make noise, its intrusion would be amplified in the Spectre’s silent cabin.
Rolls also needs to test the Spectre’s low-traction performance, control, and comfort. This is new for Rolls-Royce, being its first ever electric car. So learning how to make the Spectre play nice in snow and freezing temps is important.
When the Rolls-Royce Spectre debuts, it will be a big, two-door GT car similar to the outgoing Wraith. However, the Spectre looks sleeker, tighter, and — dare I say — sportier. There isn’t anything new to see in these official photos, as the Spectre is wearing the same factory camouflage as before. However, these photos do get you a closer look, to inspect its body lines and shapes. It’s also just cool to see the first electric Rolls testing in the snow.