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Rolls-Royce's first electric car has two doors and is longer than the Cadillac Escalade

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CNN Business

Rolls-Royce will begin production of its first electric car next year. It only has two doors but is taller than a full-size SUV. And among its countless options, the Specter will be presented with stars on its doors.

The British ultra-luxury car brand has been offering a feature called the “Starlight Headliner” that has filled the ceiling with thousands of tiny lights for years. The lights, which are actually the ends of fiber optic cables, look random, but are actually arranged to resemble the night sky in Goodwood, England, where the Rolls-Royce factory is located. With Specter, Rolls-Royce is adding this feature to the interior of the doors and will feature an additional 5,876 “stars” so that passengers are completely surrounded by shimmering points of light.

Also, while it doesn’t need as much air as Rolls-Royce’s V12-powered cars, the Specter will have the widest grille ever seen on a Rolls-Royce model. Still, the Specter is the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever, according to the company, which claims the car has a drag coefficient of 0.25. This is quite stylish, but only on the ballpark among modern electric cars.

Even an electric Rolls-Royce couldn’t go without a grille, because the upright, tombstone-shaped metal slats are among the truest icons in the industry.

“Spectre is as important to us as the Silver Ghost many years ago and is entering a new era for the brand that went fully electrified by 2030,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce. An interview with CNN Business. “So we want to make sure that this car is really right and on point, and it’s a fit, great Rolls Royce.”

The star-lit ceiling effect, an option on other Rolls-Royce models, extends to the door trims on the Specter.

First put into production in 1906, the Silver Ghost is considered the car that built Rolls-Royce’s reputation as the pinnacle of automotive quality.

The Specter shares its base structure with Rolls-Royce’s gas-powered models: the Phantom and Ghost sedans and the Cullinan SUV. This follows the strategy of BMW’s parent company, Rolls-Royce, which relies on flexible engineering that can be used to produce both petrol and electric cars.

In traditional Rolls-Royce style, the Specter’s two doors are hinged at the back and open to the rear. (Only the rear doors open this way on four-door Rolls-Royce models.) Due to its size and roominess, Roll-Royce calls the Specter a “super coupé”. The last Rolls-Royce coupé, which was discontinued earlier this year, is about six inches longer and five inches wider than the Wraith. It’s also about 2.5 inches longer and slightly wider than the Cadillac Escalade SUV. All-wheel steering should help the big car feel more agile in tight bends.

According to Rolls-Royce, the car’s generally tapering shape was influenced by yachts; It’s a similar theme to another Rolls-Royce, which could be the most expensive car ever made. Last year, the brand launched a convertible called the Boat Tail, of which only three were produced, priced at an estimated $25 million each.

Müller-Ötvös said that while many electric cars have extremely large touchscreens and rely on them for many internal controls, the Specter will rely more on physical controls. There will be screens, but they will be simpler to use,” he said.

The Specter’s overall weight is 6,659 pounds — nearly 600 pounds more than a Cullinan SUV — and includes more than 1,500 pounds of soundproof insulation to ensure ideal Rolls-Royce silence. Often, automakers try to save weight when making electric cars to compensate for all the mass the batteries themselves add. But weight has never been a major issue for Rolls-Royce. Their cars are expected to be literally gigantic.

The 557-horsepower car will be able to sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 4.4 seconds and go about 260 miles before recharging. Müller-Ötvös insists that this will suffice.

“We never compromise on the experience or appearance of the car just for range,” he said.