Rolls-Royce has revealed its second-generation Ghost, an all-new version that it says is the most technologically advanced but subtle car in its history.
The “baby” of the Rolls-Royce family first appeared in 2009 and has gone on to become brand’s most successful model so it has been careful to take owners’ demands into consideration for this new model.
When Rolls-Royce says this car is all-new, it means it. The only components carried over unchanged from the previous generation are the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine and the in-door umbrellas.
The most fundamental change is the move from the BMW-sourced platform that underpinned the old model to Roll-Royce’s own bespoke spaceframe.
The all-aluminium architecture is shared with the flagship Phantom and Cullinan SUV and, says Rolls-Royce, has allowed the new Ghost to become even more refined and dynamic than its predecessor.
The new Ghost is a healthy 8cm longer than the old model, stretching to a substantial 5.5m, with an extra 3cm of width pushing it close to 2m. But with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering, Rolls-Royce says it’s a more dynamic car than before, suited to demands of its customers.
Newly developed “planar” suspension has been created to enhance this, adding unique wishbone dampers to the Ghost’s self-levelling air suspension to improve stability and comfort. Added to that, the car’s Flagbearer function uses front-facing cameras to interpret the road ahead and adjust the suspension in advance while its satellite aided transmission uses GPS to preselect the right gear for upcoming corners.
The Ghost is powered by a revised version of Rolls-Royce’s famous 6.75-litre V12, tuned specially for the new model. Showing a knack for understatement, Rolls-Royce describe the engine’s 563bhp as “ample”, while its 627lb ft of torque is available from just 1,600rpm for the ultimate in effortless wafting. It’s enough to get the 2.5-tonne Ghost to 60mph in just 4.8 seconds.
What’s more, it’ll do it in near silence as all over the car efforts have been made to cut out noise intrusion. From special air intake ports on the engine to more than 100kg of sound-deadening material packed into the body and double-glazing on the doors, Rolls-Royce engineers have been obsessive in trying to eliminate noise. Their mission went so far as fitting damping units to the seat frames and polishing the inside of the air conditioning ducts.
Rolls-Royce says that the design brief for the new Ghost was driven by customers’ desire for an understated expression of success. Its designers coined the phrase “post opulence” to describe an approach that uses limited, unobtrusive design with a handful of carefully chosen materials. That’s not to say it’s lacking in “look-at-me” elements. Take, for example, the backlit radiator grille, the illuminated Ghost nameplate in the dashboard or the starlight headliner. However, wherever possible things have been simplified, from the stitching of the upholstery to the construction of the bodywork, which has been crafted with as few design embellishments or shut lines as possible to create a clean look.
Other innovations for this most advanced Rolls-Royce include self-opening doors, adding to the previous model’s self-closing function, along with a micro-environment purification system, LED and laser headlights, self-parking and a 1,300W stereo with speakers incorporated into the illuminated headlining.
Construction of the new model has already begun at Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood factory with customer deliveries expected by the end of the year. If you fancy one there’s just the small matter of the £250,000 asking price.