2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost
Early September saw Rolls-Royce Motor Cars finally unveiling its eagerly- awaited second-generation Ghost – tasked with replacing what’s been the most successful model built since the marque’s relocation to Goodwood. The newcomer crucially drops the BMW-derived underpinnings of the original Ghost in favour of the latest flexible aluminium spaceframe already used for the Phantom and Cullinan.
NEW GHOST UNVEILED
Hailed by its maker as a “slightly smaller, less ostentatious means of owning a Rolls-Royce” than the Phantom, the new Ghost is 90mm longer than its predecessor (at 5549mm), and 30mm wider. It’s powered by a specially adapted version of the 6.75-litre twin- turbocharged V12 introduced with the Cullinan, replacing the outgoing model’s 6.6-litre unit but offering unchanged power (563bhp), although peak torque increases to 627lb.ft.
With an entry price of £208,000 before local taxes (which equates to almost £250,000 in the UK), the Ghost is claimed to be the company’s most high-tech model yet, aided by its standard four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering systems.
It also introduces impressive new ride comfort and noise reduction measures that will almost certainly
filter through to the rest of the range in time.
The new Ghost boasts what Rolls-Royce calls “the concept of post- opulence” thanks to its relative simplicity and purity of design. Its styling extends the themes of the previous model, but the radiator grille now has a one-piece surround, while the retractable Spirit of Ecstasy emerges from a simple aperture in the bonnet rather than the grille surround. The body side’s main feature is a single elegant line, beginning at a vertical front crease and then sweeping through the car from the front wings to the extreme rear. Panel joints have been minimised to give the impression that each body side is “one clean, expensive piece”.
The latest Ghost’s suspension is a self-levelling, all-independent system of double wishbones at the front and five links per side at the rear, combining three co-operating mechanical and electronic elements to improve comfort. A mass damper on each front suspension top wishbone counteracts vibrations that surround bump impacts, while a stereo camera system called Flagbearer examines the approaching road surface at speeds of up to 60mph, adapting the suspension rates to suit. Meanwhile, a system called Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to select the correct ratio in the Ghost’s eight-speed automatic gearbox to suit approaching corners, rather than reacting conventionally.
The Ghost’s designers are said to be particularly pleased with their efforts to minimise noise in this all-new version, with the project’s acoustics lead engineer, Tom Davis-Reason, boasting of its “extraordinary acoustic quality”. Rolls-Royce’s engineers assessed and tuned just about every component – even down to the seat frames – to a specific resonant frequency they call “the whisper”, described as a “subtle undertone that occupants experience as a single note”.
Customer deliveries of the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce of all time are expected to begin before the end of the year.