A decade ago, when the Rolls-Royce Ghost first spirited onto the luxury motoring scene, we were charmed. Slightly more compact and — dare we say it? — more practical than the bulkier, meaner Phantom, here was a car that made Rolls-Royce that slight step closer to attainable for the everyman.
With its sleek, chic new redesign, the British carmaker has crept even closer again. Of course, not all of us have a couple of hundred grand languishing in our deep pockets — but the design, mechanics and overall approach of the new Ghost is aimed to be more accessible than ever. Here’s everything you should know about the new Rolls-Royce Ghost latest…
Rolls-Royce actually designed the new Ghost to be less ostentatious
That’s right. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. While showmanship is part and parcel of owning a Rolls-Royce — you really want to turn heads when you spend six figures on a motor — the British brand maintains that its customers didn’t want too much glitz and glamour this time around. Instead, as they say, the 2020 Ghost is “a response to a whole new generation of clients, both in age and attitude”.
That means minimalism, it would appear. The self-termed ‘Post-Opulence’ style is the automotive equivalent of a nip and tuck — with the overall silhouette remaining recognisable but fewer sharp edges and near-invisible shutlines. The ‘Pantheon’ grille still proudly fronts the Ghost — but is now slickly and ethereally backlit. It’s subtle; it’s smart.
The smooth ‘Planar’ Suspension System is a true world first
Reliably and consistently, Rolls-Royce has always produced motor cars with the comfiest, most syrupy smooth rides. Hallmarked as the ‘Magic Carpet Ride’, it’s not far wrong — you can barrel over even the toughest terrains and feel nary a thing. It’s supernatural — but then this is a Ghost. And, for the latest model, this signature ride system has evolved yet again.
The ‘Planar’ suspension system is brand new; the result of ten year’s work — and a world-leading set-up. Named after a geometric plane, its aim was to achieve the seemingly impossible; to create the sense of flight, but on land. How? Primarily, by using the new Upper Wishbone Damper — a single component that took five years of testing to perfect.
There were only two components carried across from the last Ghost
This one sounds like a soundbite. And it may well be — but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös assures us that, out of all the thousands of individuals parts and pieces that make up the new Ghost, only two components were carried across from the old model. What are they? The famous ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ bonnet ornament, and the umbrellas in the doors.
Everything else was designed, crafted and engineered from the ground up. And, although the bonnet ornament may not have had a physical update, the company last month revealed a digital revamp of its branding — with a fresh computerised take on the age-old icon.
Much has been made of this being the quietest Rolls-Royce ever
Let’s talk powertrain. The 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine, like the design of the vehicle itself, was heavily influenced by the wants and desires of Rolls-Royce’s loyal customer base. They wanted near-instant torque, so the British carmaker created a bespoke engine map — and have delivered 850 Nm of the stuff to the all-wheel, all-steer drivetrain.
But the other request? Near silent running, if you please. And Rolls-Royce has delivered that, too. There’s larger porting on the air intake system to reduce noise in the cabin — and the doors are now crafted from laser-welded aluminium, which has a “lower acoustic impedance” than its precursing steel.
The meticulously designed dashboard took 10,000 hours to create
There are so many gizmos and gadgets to enjoy inside the cabin of the new Ghost that it feels like stepping onto the bridge of a starship (and we’ll come to those stars in a bit…). Self-closing doors come as standard, and the Micro-Environment Purification System — a welcome breath of fresh air in times of COVID — comes bolstered with highly sensitive ‘Impurity Detection Sensors’.
But the centrepiece (literally) is the control panel. Meticulously designed, the dashboard took over two years and 10,000 hours to create — and is the ideal ergonomic way to control everything from the WiFi hotspot, self-park sensors and four-camera system, to the industry-leading entertainment system and high-resolution head-up display.
The Satellite Aided Transmission system can see into the future
The world-beating tech doesn’t end there. You’ve heard, of course, of Rolls-Royce’s pioneering ‘Flagbearer’ system — the stereo camera system integrated into the windscreen that can see the road ahead and adapt your suspension proactively. But the new ‘Satellite Aided Transmission’ system takes things one step further.
This latest innovation not only uses cameras to ‘see ahead’ and plan for tight twists, turns or changes in terrain — it also draws on GPS data to predetermine your route and select the optimum gear for upcoming corners in advance. It’s as impressive as it sounds, and promises unprecedented levels of control and ride comfort — not to mention an even more enchanted ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ than before.
The Laser-LED headlights can see over half a kilometre into the night
Despite being named for a shadowy spirit, Rolls-Royce’s Ghosts are always amazingly well-lit. This goes double for the latest model — which boasts a combination of LED and laser headlights that can illuminate the road 600 metres in front of you. That’s over half a kilometre — and incredibly impressive.
But it’s inside that things really get glowing. There’s an iridescent Ghost nameplate, surrounded by 850 stars, on the passenger side. And, of course, the signature Starlight Headliner is firmly in place — twinkling away on the roof. Because, ‘Post-Opulence’ or not, Rolls-Royce know that a little bit of sparkle never hurt anyone…
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