Having been purveyors of the most lavishly appointed and splendidly built cars on earth with ludicrously extensive individualisation options, imagining Goodwood toning down its obsession with indulgent luxury was near impossible. But it seems changing demands from the new generation of the brand’s patrons, and altered perceptions on luxury brought about by the coronavirus have led Rolls-Royce to reimagine its concept and execution of opulence with all-new Ghost, revealed today.
Blending the new sets of demands placed by clients with market intelligence gathered over the last six years, the new Rolls-Royce Ghost sees a generous dose of minimalism infused into its aesthetics. Termed ‘Post Opulence” by Rolls-Royce, this new strategy is aimed at incorporating the “divergent interests, opinions and changing taste patterns within Ghost clients’ appreciation of luxury.”
In the decade since its launch in 2009, the first generation Ghost has become the most successful model in the marque’s 116-year history. Apparently the only components that have been carried over from the first Goodwood Ghost were the Spirit of Ecstasy and umbrellas. Everything else was designed, crafted and engineered from the ground up. The result is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet. Rolls-Royce has incorporated technology such as all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering in the new Ghost, adding a new, more versatile facet to its personality.
In keeping with the ‘Post Opulence’ strategy, the design is “limited, intelligent and unobtrusive.” Rolls-Royce sees this philosophy as the antithesis of 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 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine in the new Ghost makes 563bhp and 850Nm of torque.
Both axles of the Ghost are managed via the marque’s Planar software, which also governs the new Ghost’s other chassis technologies, including the all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, stability control and self-drying braking systems. The Planar software also manages information that requires new Ghost to proactively adapt to intrusions in the road ahead. 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 100kph.
It also gets Rolls-Royce’s Satellite Aided Transmission system, which draws GPS data to pre-select the optimum gear for upcoming corners.
The new Ghost gets a new Micro-Environment Purification System. Highly sensitive Impurity Detection Sensors have been introduced to detect ambient air quality, automatically switching fresh air intakes to Recirculation Mode if unacceptable levels of airborne contaminants are present.
Modern tech features include LED and laser headlights with more than 600m of illuminated range, vision assist, including day and night-time wildlife and pedestrian warning; alertness assistant; a four-camera system with panoramic view, all-round visibility and helicopter view; active cruise control; collision warning; cross-traffic warning; lane departure and lane change warning; an industry-leading 7x3 high-resolution head-up display; Wi-Fi hotspot; self-park; and the very latest navigation and entertainment systems.
The cabin’s aesthetic follows the same minimalist principles as the exterior. Rolls-Royce says busy details and superficial embellishments were rejected to create a “relaxing refuge.” Two new finishes have been developed specifically for the Ghost interior. The first is Obsidian Ayous, inspired by the rich versatility of colours found in lava rock. The second is Dark Amber; this introduces subtle glamour to the interior suite by integrating veins of fine aluminium particles into the dark wood.
The Illuminated Fascia echoes the Starlight Headliner. Developed over the course of two years and more than 10,000 collective hours, this brings a glowing Ghost nameplate, surrounded by more than 850 stars, into the interior suite of the car. Located on the passenger side of the dashboard, the constellation and wordmark are completely invisible when the interior lights are not in operation.