Rolls-Royce has lifted the covers off the all-new second generation Ghost, which the uber-luxury auto maker describes as the most technologically advanced car it has ever made.
Not a small claim for such a renowned company, but given the Ghost’s sales success — it’s the biggest selling Rolls ever — the first all-new model in more than 10 years would want to be a big step forward.
Not that the Ghost has the same sales pressure as it had when it first arrived in 2009; the Cullinan SUV will take over as volume seller.
But it still has a unique spot in the Rolls line-up, being used as a limo like its bigger Phantom sibling but also having a larger number of owners wanting to take the wheel themselves — especially in markets such as Australia.
So the Ghost has to straddle the line between cosseted refinement and satisfying dynamics.
Despite not intially seeming to make too much of a departure stylistically from its predecessor, only the umbrellas and Spirit of Ecstasy ornament have been carried over from the old model.
Rather humorously, the brand is emphasizing the design of the Ghost was aimed to be more minimalist, offering a more modest and less ostentatious means of owning a Rolls.
Call us cynical, but when a Rolls-Royce costing from $628,000 rolls by, humility and modesty aren’t the first things which come to mind… but we digress.
The front end gets some cool features, such as the 20 LEDs placed beneath the top of the radiator grille to subtly illuminate the veins.
The metal grille bars were brushed back so as to not be too reflective and subdue the overall effect.
Inside, the Illuminated Fascia recalls the brand’s famous Starlight Headliner, which mimics the night sky on the roof.
The Illuminated Fascia uses 850 “stars” from 152 LEDs mounted on and under the dashboard to light up the Ghost badge in front of the passenger.
Electric-closing doors have long been a Rolls feature, however now occupants can also enter the vehicle with electric-opening doors.
Those who choose to drive themselves will have a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 with 420kW and 850Nm on tap.
The famed ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ suspension has been updated. The new Planar Suspension System uses an upper wishbone damper unit above the front suspension assembly, which works with cameras and the sat nav system to pre-empt bumps in the road and adjust ahead of time.
The rear uses a five-link rear axle with self-levelling high-volume air suspension technology and rear-wheel steering.
It sits on the same aluminium spaceframe architecture as the Cullinan and Phantom, which improves dynamics and acoustics.
Speaking of which, every component in the Ghost was checked to see whether it created too much noise.
Those which did we re-eingineerd, such as polishing the air conditioning ducting.
A completely silent cabin was initially created however it was found to be too disorientating.
So Rolls created a ‘whisper’, a soft undertone experienced as a single, subtle note, by tuning each component so it shared a common resonant frequency.
Inside, the 338 panels all use materials such as leather, wood and metal, with 20 half hides used to create the interior suite.