Rolls-Royce unveils new Ghost
The most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce ever.
After a long awaited replacement for the 2009 Ghost, luxury car marque Rolls-Royce has unveiled their latest iteration of the popular high-end luxury saloon, following the nameplate that made the brand successful.
Rolls-Royce states that the new Ghost has been designed and made with the idea of minimalism, however it succeeds the current Ghost to become the most advanced Rolls-Royce ever.
First, to get technical specifications out of the way... Using a rigid aluminium spaceframe, the new Ghost will have a curb weight of just over 2.5 tonnes, which powered by a 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine - will propel the car from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds.
Power is delivered from the usual 8-speed ZF, which sends 420kW (563hp) and 850Nm towards the wheels.
The sizeable engine is positioned behind the front axle to achieve a 50/50 weight distribution, and the suspension - a redesigned version of Rolls-Royce's 'Planar suspension system' aims to increase agility and effortlessness. It does this technologically with a series of cameras, sensors and even satellites to keep an eye out on the road ahead to make suspension adjustments as necessary; but also mechanically, with an extremely complex physical setup - for example an upper wishbone damper which by itself took five years to perfect.
For the first time ever, Rolls-Royce has switched it's Ghost platform to all-wheel drive - and with a low centre of gravity and all-wheel steering, Rolls-Royce has managed to keep the heavy luxury barge predictably stable and smooth around corners.
The exterior design remains similar to the previous Ghost with an easily recognisable fascia, however the chassis has been completely overhaulled, despite its classic looks.
The metal superstructure we mentioned earlier is made from 100% aluminium, meaning that the car's outer body is constructed from a single expansive piece of aluminium, resembling the older coachbuilt Silver Dawn and Silver Cloud models. The body is hand-welded to maintain a perfect continuous seam, and the laser-welded doors (also 100% aluminium) seek to lower the car's mass as well as improve interior acoustics.
Speaking of acoustics, Rolls-Royce has paid extremely close detail to minor sounds - down to the buzz of interior components tuned at specific frequencies to create a serene atmosphere.
During development, the engineers found the wind noise from the air conditioning unit to be unacceptable, so it was removed and redesigned to minimise sound. Every component of the car has been modified from the previous Ghost to perfect sound deadening, even the drive shaft, which has been adjusted in length and increased in rigidity to improve acoustics.
The engineers discovered that a completely silent interior was disorientating, thus went as far to create a subtle noise they describe as a 'whisper' to use as an undertone to harmonise the car (or in simpler terms, to keep the occupants sane).
In terms of entertainment, a 1300W 18-speaker setup has been utilised, with what Rolls-Royce describes as state-of-the-art optimisation technology for an exceptional audio experience.
The iconic starlight headliner in the new Ghost has taken over 10,000 hours to develop, illuminated with 850 stars - and the constellation has been made completely invisible to the eye when interior lights are switched off. Interior lighting itself disperses light evenly from 152 individual LED's, and an illuminated Ghost wordmark is lit evenly from over 90,000 laser-etched dots across its surface to create a sparkling effect.
The LED and laser headlights are a new addition to the Ghost, which promises over 600 metres of range. Safety technology has also been maximised, with the inclusion of day and night wildlife and pedestrian detection, all-round and top-down camera views, active cruise control, collision and lane-departure warnings, self parking capabilities, a WiFi hotspot, and what Rolls-Royce describes as an 'industry leading 7x3 high-resolution heads-up display' for the driver.
Rolls-Royce has cut no corners with the new Ghost.