Rolls-Royce has pulled the wraps from the all-new Ghost – the most technologically advanced model yet – and one which boasts the manufacturer’s own aluminium spaceframe architecture and a distinctive new design philosophy.
The previous iteration of the entry-level Rolls, which debuted in 2009, was the most successful model in the company’s history, and with the new Ghost Rolls-Royce hopes to continue in its successes.
The Goodwood marque have dubbed it ‘post-opulent’, a design philosophy which denounces showy expressions of wealth in favour of a subtle, more genuine luxury. And luxurious it certainly is, with the handcrafted bodywork including a downlit grille and one-piece roof section. The latter is achieved by four craftsmen hand welding the body together simultaneously to ensure perfectly continuity seam, and the absence of seams is reminiscent of the historic coachbuilt Silver Dawn and Silver Cloud models.
Inside, the luxury continues, with heated umbrella holders inbuilt in the doors, plus bull leather seats, lamb’s wool carpets and a champagne fridge between the rear seats. A unique, illuminated starlit headliner features no fewer than 850 stars, eight of which are shooting, and as standard displays the sky above the Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood headquarters.
As per pre-production customer requests, the cabin is quieter than ever before, achieved thanks to larger porting in the engine’s air intake system and the tuning of each component to a common resonant frequency. In developing the perfect ‘Formula for Serenity’, Rolls-Royce engineers implemented double-skinned sound deadening, sandwiching composite damping felts and more than 100kg of acoustic damping materials throughout the car in order to reduce road noise. And complementing the silent interior is a bespoke 18-speaker surround sound system, which imparts vibration into the starlit headliner, effectively turning it into a giant noise cancellation speaker.
The 100 per cent aluminium spaceframe architecture was first seen in the Phantom, then Cullinan and can now be found in the Ghost, replacing the previous BMW platform. Within this chassis, components have been positioned in order to allow for the optimum 50/50 weight distribution, with two of the suspension mounting assemblies pushed to the very front, and the engine tucked just behind. To accommodate this without intruding on interior space, the Ghost has grown in length by 89mm, to 5,546mm, and by 30mm in width, to 1,978mm.
The new Ghost is powered by Rolls-Royce’s 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 – which was first seen in the 2017 Phantom – and makes 568PS (418kW) and 850Nm (629lb ft) of torque. During pre-production market analysis, current Ghost owners and prospective buyers requested near-instant torque and near-silent running from the engine, and as a result, maximum torque is available from just 1,600rpm – only 600rpm above tick-over.
Technologically, the Ghost is the most advanced Rolls-Royce yet, with a whole suite of advanced safety, navigation and entertainment features. Managing the suspension, stability control, braking systems and new all-wheel-drive and all-wheel-steering is the Planar Suspension System – named after a completely level geometric plane. Designed to enhance enhances Rolls-Royce’s hallmark Magic Carpet Ride, it includes a world-first front Upper Wishbone Damper, the Flagbearer system, which uses cameras to look ahead and prepare the suspension for the road surface, and Satellite Aided Transmission, which implements GPS data to decide the optimum gear for upcoming corners.