An exercise in perfect simplicity
Originally introduced in 2009 as a smaller alternative to the the flagship Phantom, the Rolls-Royce Ghost was a hit particularly with the the younger demographic. The automaker hopes to replicate the success with the introduction of the second generation model crafted from the ground up.
“To create a new product that would resonate with our Ghost clients for the next ten years meant we had to listen carefully to their demands. Today we set new standards in customer centricity by creating a completely new motor car for a unique group of Rolls-Royce’s clients. These business leaders and entrepreneurs demand more of their Ghost than ever. They require a new type of super-luxury saloon that is dynamic, serenely comfortable and perfect in its minimalism. Ghost is this product,” says CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös in a media release.
Equally intended to be driven and driven-around in, the vehicle is built upon a proprietary aluminum spaceframe architecture that is “acoustically superior, highly rigid and dynamic,” according to the company. Complementing the advanced platform is the same 563-horsepower 6.7-litre V12 monster engine found in the Cullinan SUV, mounted behind the front axle providing a balanced 50/50 weight distribution, sent to all four wheels.
The Ghost sits on supple double wishbone front and five-link rear air suspension featuring continuously variable, electronically-controlled shock absorbers. The setup also benefits from the Flagbearer system, which utilizes a stereo camera system integrated into the windshield to monitor road conditions ahead and adjust the dampening accordingly to yield optimal comfort and control.
Like it underpinnings, the outer shell is comprised entirely of aluminum and appears to be a single piece free of seams — this is made possible thanks to four craftsmen who hand weld the body together. Even the laser-welded doors are constructing using the lightweight and strong material.
The theme of the exterior is “Post Opulence,” describing the implementation of a minimalist yet graceful aesthetic. The car commands a larger presence on the road due to a 30 millimetre increase in width and 89 millimetre in length compared to the previous version. A total of 20 LEDs hidden at the top of the radiator grill bathe the vanes in a soft glow, and the roofline has a gentle downward slope hinting at the performance quietly waiting under the hood.
A credo of reduction, simplicity and elegance guides the interior design. Occupants are treated to only the finest leathers, woods and metals adoring the seats, dash and trim pieces. One of the most recognizable elements of the interior is the signature Starlight Headliner bringing the night sky into the cabin, and is now joined by the Illuminated Fascia, which is the name for a constellation of LEDs surrounding the wordmark on the dashboard.
There’s no doubt the vehicle is quick — going 0 to 100 km/h takes place under five seconds — but perhaps even more impressive is how serene of an experience sitting inside and/or driving the Ghost is. Over 100-kilograms of sound deadening material has been applied in the doors, roof, between the double-glazed windows and even inside the tires. Engineers have scrutinized every component, from the seat frames to air conditioning ducting, and then devised solutions to mitigate or eliminate unwanted noise.
In a little over a decade, the Ghost has already become the best-selling offering in Rolls-Royce’s lineup since the brand first launched 116 years ago. Prices for the standard wheelbase model start at a cool $343,140.
MSRP: $343,140 (base)
Motor: 6.7-litre V12
Horsepower: 563 @ 5,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 627 @ 1,600 rpm
Gearbox: eight-speed automatic
Layout: front engine, all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 22.4 L/100 km city/11.0 highway (manufacturer estimate)