Rolls-Royce is entering the electric age with the fully electric Silent Shadow

There’s little argument that Rolls-Royce makes the most luxurious cars on the planet. They have always been powered by large displacement, unstressed petrol engines – until now. Royce has confirmed that its first EV is on its way and will be aptly named the Silent Shadow.

Pardon the pun, but Silent Shadow certainly sounds good as names for opulent EVs goes, and you can bet that Rolls-Royce will fulfil that expectation. It’s certainly better than ‘102EX’ (pictured), which is the last time the brand strayed into the world of EVs way back in 2011.

The car was confirmed by CEO Torsten Muller-Oetvoes who said: “Electrification fits perfectly to Rolls-Royce. It’s torquey, it’s super silent. We are not known for roary (sic), loud engines and exhaust noise whatsoever, and that’s a big benefit.”

That name, Silent Shadow, was trademarked in 2020 and is an obvious nod to the company’s classic ‘Silver Shadow’ models which first hit the road in the mid-60s. Far from it being a retrograde step for the brand, and despite the financial turmoil of the last 18 months, Muller-Oetvoes reckons that there’s a pent-up demand for an electric Rolls; “Many of them (Rolls-Royce clients) have witnessed how quickly life can end, and so it’s good to enjoy life today and not to postpone it to any years later.”

In short, Rolls-Royce’s clients still have veritable bags ‘o money and are gnawing at the bit to get their hands on a battery-powered Royce.

What do we know?

Sadly, not very much at the moment. Naturally, Royce is being very coy about the car’s particulars and hasn’t even ceded the launch date, but we can take some educated guesses at what the Rolls-Royce Silent Shadow might be packing in terms of power. This is because parent company, BMW, is already testing the i7 – an all-electric version of its 7 Series which will compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Rolls-Royce’s more recent models have shared heavily with the top-spec BMW 7 Series’, especially when it comes to powertrain with the Phantom getting the same basic twin-turbo V12 as can be found in the 760Li (albeit tuned for torque and silent running).

When it comes to an electric powertrain, BMW has stated that its i7 would be the most powerful model in the brand’s line-up, meaning it would trump the 601bhp from the aforementioned 760Li. You can also bet that it will pack a mountain of torque from at least two of BMW’s fifth generation eDrive to ensure it lives up to that effortless waftiness that Rolls-Royces are so well known for.

We don’t know what the capacity of the battery will be in the i7 but given that Mercedes has endowed the EQS 450+ with a monstrous 107.8kWh unit to achieve close to 500 miles on the WLTP test, we’d expect Rolls to do similarly. The expectation of a 400 mile range – even though many of its cars spend their lives going slowly in cities (where EVs excel) – is very much consumer rather than practically driven.

We’ll keep tabs on all the news coming out of Rolls-Royce and BMW as an electric Rolls is a very exciting prospect.

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