The world of the “full size luxury car” generally evokes a feeling of floating in the clouds as our backs and legs are massaged among many of us terrafirma residents. The Rolls-Royce Specter and Cadillac Celestiq have carved out an even smaller niche in this rare and quite exclusive kingdom.
While Rolls-Royce has always been regarded as the ultimate in “luxury on wheels,” Cadillac has what it takes to rival the attention of the ultra-rich with its top offerings. Let’s see where each of these prestigious EVs stand as we pit them against each other.
|Dimension||Rolls-Royce Specter specification||Cadillac Celestiq specification (expected)|
|Length||214.7 inches.||216 in.|
|Width||81.9 inches||84 in.|
|wheelbase||126.4 inches||125 in.|
|Turning radius||41.7 ft.||N/A|
|Empty weight||6,559 lbs.||N/A|
At first glance it becomes clear that the Cadillac Celestiq is longer than the Spectre. It’s also the one with the seemingly longer gap between the front and rear wheels, while it’s probably wider. Side-by-side photo comparisons of the two further indicate that this could be the case.
Although all-new, the 2024 Specter is more or less the spiritual successor to the former Phantom Coupé. Of course, there’s no confusion when it comes to the Cadillac Celestiq – it’s a fresh design that still resembles the concept we were introduced to. Also consider that the Rolls-Royce is a large coupe, while the Cadillac is designed as a four-door sedan (or even a large coupe, if you will).
The front of the Specter cannot be confused with anything other than a Rolls-Royce. Mind you, that’s despite the downsizing of the Pantheon Grille and even the Spirit of Ecstasy! The front of the Specter features ultra-thin LED daytime running lights, underlined by full LED headlights in a square yet sculpted bumper. There’s plenty of chrome here and even a subtle lip spoiler.
The voluminous yet chiseled front of the Celestiq features a low-slung nose adorned with a full-width chrome bar. The Cadillac badge stands proudly at the front, with the “main grille” area surrounded by large air intakes and an air dam in the lower platform. Meanwhile, the streamlined LED headlights are aligned vertically and placed in the extreme corners of the bumper.
The muscular side profile of the Rolls-Royce Specter looks quite minimalistic, with only chrome window surrounds, door-mounted mirrors, chrome door handles and an RR-branded trim that integrates the LED indicators. The sloping roof and the pronounced rear legs go hand in hand with the large and illustrious alloy wheels. When it comes to the sides of the Cadillac Celestiq, it’s a myriad of angles and contours.
Aside from the massive 23-inch wheels, the Celestiq’s side profile gets protruding front arches, streamlined fender lights and door mirrors, and a visible cutout along the doors. The rear side window looks substantial, as does the rear overhang and L-shaped dual LED elements. Of course, the stretch is obvious.
The back of the Specter is part of the course for a new Rolls-Royce. The LED taillights are quite small, with a slanted back that leads straight to the trunk. However, the sporty bumper protrudes a bit, even with a full-width silver trim. Coming to the Celestiq, the rear looks sportier but much more confusing! There are loads of stylistic cuts and curves, along with a lower apron that just seems out of place in a car this size.
Since it has four doors, getting in and out of the Cadillac Celestiq will be relatively easy. Once inside, you’ll be greeted with a minimalist cabin that can not only be customized to your liking, but also features a huge 55-inch screen that spans almost the entire width of this interior! It is divided into three segments: a driver display, an infotainment unit and a multifunction display for the front passenger.
There is another display in the center console that occupants will primarily use to operate the HVAC system and some other vehicle functions. You have the leather-wrapped two-spoke steering wheel that looks classy, while shiny chrome and metal moldings cover much of the interior. Interestingly, the four seats are designed high and sporty, but we think they’ll still be very comfortable. There’s also an electrochromic glass roof, up to 41 speakers, rear entertainment screens and another small screen to control other functions.
When it comes to getting in and out, one should not forget that the Rolls-Royce Specter has only two doors, yet can accommodate four occupants. This means that getting in and out of this car will not be as easy as in the Caddy. The Specter’s “suicide doors” make the process a little classier, though, and they’re electrically operated too. The cab is lined with thousands of LEDs (including on the doors), and they are a sight worth seeing!
The Rolls-Royce’s sumptuous leather seats look and feel more comfortable, while the movement of each seat is almost silent. While the Specter gets its fair share of digital real estate, it doesn’t possess the sheer grandeur that the Celestiq’s up-to-date widescreen displays offer. That said, the incredible quality of the leather, metal, and other trim parts here is second to none. On a side note, the Cadillac’s rear seats may offer more space for taller passengers.
Features and Specifications
The Specter is built on Rolls-Royce’s all-aluminium and bespoke ‘Architecture of Luxury’ platform, which really says it all. By integrating the nearly 1,500-pound battery pack as an insulator and into its 30 percent stiffer structure, the Specter combines composure and handling like no other Rolls-Royce luxury boat.
While the British luxury brand has yet to release a lot of technical data, it confirmed that the batteries in the Specter allow for a maximum range of 320 miles (WLTP cycle). Meanwhile, the all-electric powertrain can generate 430 kW (577 hp) and peak torque of 664 lb.-ft. Performance-wise, 0-60 mph should be in 4.4 seconds.
|Aspect||Rolls-Royce Specter specification||Cadillac Celestiq specification|
|Number of electric motors||One (behind)||Two (front and rear)|
|Current||577 hp||288 hp|
|Couple||664 lb.-ft||383 lb.-ft|
|0 to 60 mph||4.4 seconds||3.8 seconds|
|Battery pack||N/A||111 kWh|
|Full electric range||320 miles (WLPT)||300 miles (GM estimate)|
|DC fast charging time||N/A||78 miles in 10 minutes|
Speaking of speed, the Cadillac Celestiq gets 200kW DC fast charging, which can add 125 miles of range in just 10 minutes. The Celestiq also gets an active rear spoiler, Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 (touted as the world’s most responsive suspension technology) and Active Roll Control.
The Celestiq will have a 111 kWh battery pack, all-wheel drive and dual electric motors that will produce approximately 600 horsepower and 640 lb.-ft. As for the maximum range of this Cadillac EV, it is around 300 miles (GM estimate). In terms of performance, the Cadillac Celestiq can hit 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds.
The U.S. launch of the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq is scheduled for December 2023, with prices starting at $300,000. While the Specter is already available to book, the first customers will likely receive their car in the fourth quarter of 2023. Rolls-Royce has not yet announced a price for its first-ever electric car, but it has confirmed that the model is between Cullinan and Phantom. Expect the US price to hit $350,000.
The images in the story are taken from the manufacturer’s respective press/media portals.
An automotive engineer by training, I’ve been analyzing the global automotive market since 2005 and reviewing electric vehicles since 2008. In my 15 years in the online automotive publishing business, I’ve edited approximately 35,000 articles.