Rolls-Royce tends not to make a noise about new releases, as their customer base is pretty good at sharing the news of a new model. Hence that typical British understatement as the words “post-opulence” are quietly spoken about the latest version of the Rolls-Royce Ghost. R-R has taken the Ghost into a truly ethereal level of existence.
For example, the grille has 20 LEDs located in the underside of the top section. These shine down to highlight the immaculately fabricated sections of vertical metal but to ensure it’s not shouting “opulence” the rears of these bars have a matte coating to reduce their part of the shine. On either side are subtly restyled headlights that have also subtly increased in size. The rear lights, too, have been given the same “look at me but don’t make it obvious” treatment.
Take a step back and drink in the lines of the Rolls-Royce Ghost. The legendary British automaker has deliberately used large sheets of aluminum, hand-welded thank you, to minimize shut lines. The famous “Spirit of Ecstasy” now arises on her plinth from the bonnet proper, rather than the normal top-of-grille. And in a subtle (that word again) nod to the wings of the Spirit, the lower section of the front has a similar spread of wings under the grille itself.
Nestled under that huge expanse of metal is the world-renowned 6.75L V12. With a pair of turbochargers to feed air and fuel into that big engine, it produces 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. This is quick enough to have this (ahem) hefty lady, at 5,628 pounds, to see 62mph or 100kph in a supercar-like 4.6 seconds. R-R isn’t at all frightened by those numbers thanks to the chassis which is from their “Architecture of Luxury” platform. It’s a modular design, meaning it can be tweaked without too much extra work to suit vehicles such as the Cullinan or the Phantom.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost is a long 219 inches from bow to stern, and there is a massive 129.7 inches of wheelbase which allows stellar legroom. That wheelbase is the same as the Cullinan, however the Ghost is a full 8 inches longer. If that’s not big enough, an Extended version, with an extra 6.7 inches, will be available in 2021.
The Ghost is now an AWD, or all-wheel-drive machine, thanks to those Cullinan shared underpinnings. This contributes to that sprint time, and there’s a little bit extra to the set-up. Rear-axle steering has been engineered in which will add some extra finesse in the handling. And a Rolls isn’t a Rolls unless it wafts, and the Ghost takes this to another level of wafting.
The company has also added its proprietary version of what is called a Planar Suspension System, which they say will “create a sense of flight on land never before achieved by a motor car.”
Cars have springs and shock absorbers, or dampers. In essence, the Ghost’s front dampers will have dampers located on the upper wishbone components, ironing out any residual bumps that the first set of dampers haven’t. To further aid this quest for a better magic carpet ride, a stereo camera system scans the road ahead, adjusting those dampers electronically and super quickly. More techno-wizardry too, with a GPS-linked transmission that will adjust the gear ratios to suit the Ghost’s location, so it’s ready to cope with up-or downhill driving before arriving at the location.
Being a Rolls-Royce, attention to detail is part of the DNA of the Ghost. Hand stitched leather with a minimalist approach, says the company, feature strongly with “incredibly long and perfectly straight lines”. Genuine wood trim, wood with open pores, real metal for the air vents that provide that tactile sense of coolness, feature in the cabin. And of course there are some truly unique options. Obsidian Ayous showcases “the rich versatility of colors found in lava rock” while Dark Amber “introduces subtle glamour to the interior suite by integrating veins of fine aluminum particles into the dark wood”.
Entering and exiting the Ghost is an experience. The doors are powered and have a mechanism that allows a passenger to pull the handle twice, hold the handle as the door opens and when the exit space is suitable, releasing the handle stops the door. A button press will close the doors also.
Passengers will be thoroughly looked after in entertainment and comfort. A Microenvironment Purification System is on board and has the ability to extract the majority of ultrafine particles of unwanted dirt or dust or other contaminants in under two minutes. The system can automatically switch to recirculate if the sensors detect “unacceptable levels of airborne contaminants”. The Ghost will have its own Wifi hotspot and the rear seat passengers have their own individual tablets for web browsing, work, or entertainment.
An absolute standout is the interior lighting. There is the LED lit Starlight Headlining which can be ordered to represent a buyer’s location; an Australian buyer can have the Southern Cross feature, or a Russian buyer the view above Moscow or Leningrad. R-R can even install in the lights a shooting star. More lights can be found in the passenger side of the dashboard.
The “Illuminated Fascia” has a backlit display showing “Ghost” and a starfield, courtesy of 152 LEDs and over 90,000 laser-etched dots in the material’s surface. Naturally one can have this customized.
Along with the expected safety features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, and a 360-degree camera, the Ghost will have night vision, Head-Up Display, and a wildlife warning system.
The starting price of $332,500 reflects what the Rolls-Royce Ghost represents. Deliveries are expected to commence in early 2021.