Fit for contemporary times, the new Rolls Royce Ghost offers a pure example of an ultra luxury vehicle with a focus on refinement. To better understand how the “less is more” philosophy reigns true in the new Ghost, we take a look back at how the Ghost came to be, how it’s owners have dared it to evolve, and precisely how Rolls Royce accomplished this new feat.
The Essence of Rolls Royce
Historically Rolls Royce has produced the finest automobiles on the road. Synonymous with luxury, the maker’s vehicles have a presence like no other; with their strong yet elegant appearance distinguished by supreme components and craftsmanship. Yet, it is not all so much about aesthetics — although it doesn’t hurt to be of the most lavish vehicles on the road — as it is about the meaning behind the revolutionary brand and all that they do. As an icon of the brand, the Spirit Of Ecstacy adorns every Rolls Royce car in the form of a floating figurine suspended at the front of the vehicle. This female figure, leaning forward with her arms outstretched behind, is a symbol of ultimate freedom and the quest for breaking boundaries. It was this same symbol which inspired the way for Rolls Royce’s original founders Charles Rolls and Henry Royce to redefine the way personal cars are meant and able to be driven; at great lengths and in ultimate comfort. By mastering the art of motoring in an all encompassing fashion, Rolls Royce became the ultimate method of transport for the most discerning clientele. The aura of sophistication, thrill seeking experience, and grace combined puts Rolls Royce, and especially the new Ghost, in a class of it’s own.
When first launching the Rolls Royce Ghost in 2009, this model brought an entirely new dimension to the line-up of vehicles. While previous Rolls Royce models were more commonly thought of as to be driven in, the Ghost was also made to be driven, catering to an overall younger demographic. Smaller and perhaps less osentatious in appearance, Ghost sparked a new generational journey for Rolls Royce making it the most successful model in the marque’s 116 year history. The same prominence Rolls Royce had become known for still held true in the Ghost of the past, with a more modest sensibility towards the personal driving experience. Letting success speak for itself over the past decade, it was not until recently that Rolls Royce envisioned a new era for the Ghost. To better understand just how to improve on the already successful car, Rolls Royce turned to none other than their devoted clients, listening carefully to their demands and new lifestyle standards for the modern day. Through this pursuit of personalized insights a new found yet historically true realization came to light — less is more.
Over a decade after the initial Ghost was released, Rolls Royce has redefined the model with a new ‘Post Opulence’ vision. The phrase, which decribes the lens through which Ghost has evolved, offers a pivotal exemplification characterized by reduction and substance. Although seemingly contradictory, once we take a closer look at the execution of such refinement it all makes sense. Both dynamic and minimalist, Ghost offers many of the same features you would expect but with greater ease.
To start, the new Ghost does look like a Ghost after all, but with key design changes in line with the afforementioned refined aesthetic. It’s prominent appearance from the front, now 30mm wider overall, is marked by the downlit Pantheon grille discretely illuminating the Rolls Royce iconography. By brushing the back of the metal grille bars, it’s designers were careful to make sure this added feature maintained that understated look cohesive with the rest of the Post Opulence movement and didn’t come off as too flashy. For the body, hand-welded aluminum structures allow the car to appear as one fluid canvas versus the previous multiple paneled appearance. This specifically stands out on the front where the Spirit of Ecstacy now emerges from within the main singular hood of the car rather than in a separate panel. Fluidity is embraced throughout the exterior lines with subtle arches and single strokes emphasizing the body length, along with signature square shaped lights.
Inside, a remarkable attention to each and every detail continues to lend itself to it’s esteemed clientele. Extra embellishments have been excluded, to create a more streamlined and relaxing atmosphere. Through sourcing of the finest material components, the world inside the new Ghost is nothing short of exceptional. Each of the 20 half hides used to create the interior suite are subject to the automotive industry’s most exhaustive quality control checks. Which is why you’ll never see an imperfection in the grain, or hear a squeek in your leather seat. Adding to the understated aesthetic, open-pore finished wood is used for the wooden elements in the dash and surrounding components. Contrasting with a classically laminate finish, this open-pore wood is has a subdued look with more textural grain and less opulence. Solid polished metal vents and accents adorn the entire interior cabin which happens to elevate the distilled design in perfec fashion. Lastly and certainly not least, in addition to the starit headliner, an illuminated fascia is presented in the passenger side dashboard with an etheral glowing Ghost nameplate surrounded by more than 850 stars. This highly complex innovation itself was developed over the course of two years and more than 10,000 collective hours to bring to life. Thankfully, the refined nature of the new Ghost does not mean any less luxurious, even with a completely redesigned vehicle.
The Inner Workings
To drive in a Rolls Royce has been described as a magic carpet ride, which I can personally attest to. In the new Ghost, engineering specialists redesigned the car’s suspension completely to deliver what is called the Planar Suspension System. The result: a sense of flight on land which has never before been achieved by a motor car. A world-first Upper Wishbone Damper unit has been incorporated above the front suspension assembly working with the Flagbearer system which uses cameras to read the road ahead. Together these technologies work in tandem to prepare the suspension system for changes in the road surface ahead creating a seamless ride. Clients can also benefit from the new 6.75L twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine delivering 563bhp/420kW and 850Nm/627lb ft of torque to the all-wheel steer, all-wheel drivetrain. Going 0 to 62mph in 4.8 sec, it’s luxury and performance combined is unrivaled. As an extension of the effortless self-closing door features that clients have come to love, the new Ghost includes power assistance when opening the doors as well.
Less demanding on the client, and more of an ease to experience seems to perfectly describe the vehicle’s innovations. What are your thoughts on the new Ghost?