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  Rolls-Royce Ghost
 

  Article Image gallery (15) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Introduced in:2021
Predecessor:Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Source:Company press release
Last updated:September 03, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn 2009, Rolls-Royce announced a new addition to its portfolio that offered something entirely different to its flagship Phantom. This product resonated with a new group of men and women who responded to the marque’s relentless pursuit of perfection in design, engineering and craftsmanship, but sought a more modest and minimalist expression of Rolls-Royce. The execution of the first Goodwood Ghost, and its laser focus on meeting the demands of its clients, was an unmitigated success, and over the course of its ten-year lifecycle, this transformative motor car became the most successful product in the company’s 116-year history. Ghost’s formidable success was vital in enabling the brand to scale up production, invest in its capabilities and establish Rolls-Royce as the truly global brand it is today.

Additionally, Ghost’s decade-long market presence enabled the marque’s Luxury Intelligence Specialists to gather vital information about developing behaviours in how Ghost clients use their motor car, how they commission it and how they perceive Rolls-Royce. These highly successful and diverse entrepreneurs and founders, who selected this product to celebrate their ongoing ascension, were citizens of the world – they had been educated abroad, they travelled extensively and experienced Rolls-Royce in many cultures.

Due to Ghost’s energetic, dynamic personality, these clients came to realise that the Rolls-Royce brand could offer more than a chauffeur-driven experience. Indeed, in the United States of America and areas of Europe, clients were self-driving their Ghost from the very early stages of its introduction. Meanwhile, in Asia, clients were engaging heavily in the connected technology on board, be it for business or pleasure.

Across all markets, when clients commissioned their Ghost they asked the marque’s representatives about the driving experience, even if they had selected an extended wheelbase. During the weekend, this business tool morphed into a discreet celebration – clients would switch to the driver’s seat and relish a trip to a restaurant or second home with their friends and family. They celebrated this breadth of character, and this reflected in less formal colourways and more personalisation in the driver’s eyeline. These were profound learnings.

Meanwhile, at Goodwood, significant advances were being made with the marque’s proprietary aluminium spaceframe architecture. First used on Phantom, then Cullinan, this spaceframe is unique to Rolls-Royce and enables the brand’s designers and engineers to develop an authentically super-luxury product, free from the constraints of platforms used to underpin high-volume vehicles. As Ghost clients required even more of their motor car, Rolls-Royce used its architecture to respond, incorporating technology such as all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering in Ghost, unlocking an entirely new, purposeful personality.

Concurrently, the design team were tracking an emerging movement that came to define Ghost’s aesthetic treatment. It spoke of a shifting attitude among Ghost clients in the way success is expressed. Named ‘Post Opulence’ internally, it is characterised by reduction and substance. In service to this, exceptional materials must be selected and celebrated. Design must be limited, intelligent and unobtrusive. This philosophy is the antithesis of ‘premium mediocracy’, a term coined by the fashion cognoscenti. This refers to products that use superficial treatments, such as large branding or, in the context of motor cars, busy stitching and other devices that create an illusion of luxury by dressing products lacking in substance in a premium skin.

The collective result is new Ghost. This is a motor car precisely tailored to its clients, that appears perfect in its simplicity, that is underpinned by remarkable substance, that is less but better.

The marque’s designers, engineers and craftspeople demanded the freedom to create a very specific personality for new Ghost. These men and women were only able to create an authentically super-luxury product without the constraints of platforms used to underpin lesser, high-volume vehicles. Hence, the Rolls-Royce proprietary aluminium spaceframe architecture.

Reserved exclusively for Rolls-Royce, this architecture already underpins its flagship, Phantom, and its transformative SUV, Cullinan. The spaceframe’s flexibility and scalability freed the marque to serve the unique aesthetic and mechanical demands of new Ghost, and in doing so created an acoustically superior, highly rigid and dynamic proposition for Ghost within the Rolls-Royce product portfolio.

In its most pared back form, the Rolls-Royce architecture is based around four fixed points, one at each corner of the motor car. The moveable aluminium bulkhead, floor, crossmembers and sill panels were positioned specifically to ensure new Ghost meets client expectations as a motor car that is equally enjoyable to drive as it is to be driven in. Two of the cast suspension mounting assembles were pushed to the very front of new Ghost, placing its 6.75-litre V12 behind the front axle to achieve an optimum 50/50 weight distribution.

To accommodate this without intruding on new Ghost’s interior suite, its overall length has grown by 89mm, compared to the first Goodwood Ghost, to 5546mm, and its overall width has grown by 30mm to 1978mm. Significant changes were also made to the double-skinned bulkhead and floor structure packaging.

Client feedback asking for near-instant torque and near-silent running led the marque to further develop the Rolls-Royce 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine. A bespoke Ghost engine map was created to ensure ample performance for this dynamic motor car, delivering 563bhp/420kW and 850Nm/627lb ft of torque to the all-wheel steer, all-wheel drivetrain. Commensurate with clients’ expectations, maximum torque is available from just 1600rpm – only 600rpm above tick-over. To further refine its already remarkable acoustic properties, the air intake system incorporated larger porting to reduce engine presence in the interior suite.

The marque’s hallmark Magic Carpet Ride has evolved. For new Ghost, engineering specialists redesigned the motor car’s suspension completely to deliver what is called the Planar Suspension System. Named after a geometric plane, which is completely flat and level, the system is the result of ten collective years of testing and development to create a sense of flight on land never before achieved by a motor car.

Created through physical engineering developments as well as sophisticated scanning and software technology, it incorporates a world-first Upper Wishbone Damper unit above the front suspension assembly, creating an even more stable and effortless ride. This works alongside the Flagbearer system, which uses cameras to read the road ahead and prepare the suspension system for any changes in road surface, as well as the marque’s Satellite Aided Transmission. These technologies are managed as one through a bespoke Planar software system. New Ghost can now anticipate and react to the most demanding road surfaces.

The Upper Wishbone Damper alone was the result of five collective years of road and bench testing. Reserved exclusively for Rolls-Royce, this technology further evolves the marque’s double-wishbone Magic Carpet Ride suspension system. The ethos of the marque’s founder, Sir Henry Royce, was “Take the best that exists and make it better,” and in this spirit chassis specialists developed the Upper Wishbone Damper to further improve the continuously variable, electronically controlled shock absorbers and the self-levelling high-volume air strut assembles. It has never before been applied to a production motor car.

The five-link rear axle benefits from the same self-levelling high-volume air suspension technology, as well as rear-wheel steering. Both axles are managed via the marque’s Planar software. This also governs new Ghost’s other chassis technologies, including the all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, stability control and self-drying braking systems, to ensure the motor car is reacting as one to changes in surfaces or grip levels while also maintaining a spirited, dynamic personality.

The Planar software also manages information that requires new Ghost to proactively adapt to intrusions in the road ahead. The first of these technologies is the marque’s Flagbearer system. Evocative of the men who were required by law to carry a red flag ahead of early motor cars, this technology consists of a stereo camera system integrated in the windscreen to see the road ahead, adjusting suspension proactively rather than reactively up to 100km/h. The second is Rolls-Royce’s Satellite Aided Transmission system, which draws GPS data to pre-select the optimum gear for upcoming corners. The result is unprecedented levels of ride comfort and control for a motor car.

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  Article Image gallery (15) Specifications