By Shereen Shabnam
Since its ten-year lifespan began in 2009, Rolls Royce Ghost has become the most successful model in the marque’s 116-year history. It 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.
Due to Ghost’s energetic, dynamic personality, these clients wanted more than a chauffeur-driven experience and wanted to self-drive their Ghost and engage heavily in the connected technology on board for both business or pleasure.
The new Ghost reflects an evolved appreciation of luxury, one defined by minimalism and purity, but underpinned by great substance. In the pre-sketch ideation phase of new Ghost’s design development, this treatment was named ‘Post Opulence’ – a movement defined by authenticity of materials rather than overt statement, which had already established roots in all things we love, such as architecture, fashion, jewellery and boat design.
Rolls-Royce’s proprietary architecture allowed the design team to increase the width by 30mm, subtly communicating presence. This is framed by sharp bow lines that intersect with an angular light signature, creating an assertive yet beautiful front end.
The subtle near-square rear light graphic has become a tenet of contemporary Rolls- Royce design. It remains, but has been modernised with a slight forward tilt. Further capitalising on the marque’s aluminium expertise, the metal superstructure of new Ghost is 100% made of the material. The car’s outer body is rendered as one clean, expansive piece, flowing seamlessly from the A-pillar, over the roof and backwards to the rear of the car.
In addition, new Ghost was given its own ethereal front-end character with 20 LEDS underneath the top of the radiator grille subtly illuminate the vanes. The front of new Ghost is an exemplar of the design team’s obsession with reduction. For the first time, the Spirit of Ecstasy is not surrounded by panel lines but rather stands sits within her own ‘lake’ of bonnet.
Two new finishes have been developed specifically for the new Ghost. The first is Obsidian Ayous, inspired by the rich versatility of colours found in lava rock. The second is Dark Amber which introduces subtle glamour to the interior suite by integrating vanes of fine aluminium particles into the dark wood.
For new Ghost, the marque’s Bespoke Collective of designers, engineers and craftspeople created Illuminated Fascia: a world-first innovation that subtly echoes the Starlight Headliner, which has become as much a part of Rolls-Royce iconography as the Spirit of Ecstasy, Pantheon Grille and ‘Double R’ monogram.
Developed over the course of two years and more than 10,000 collective hours, the ethereal glowing Ghost nameplate is surrounded by more than 850 stars, into the interior suite of the motor car. Located on the passenger side of the dashboard, the constellation and wordmark are completely invisible when the interior lights are not in operation. To ensure the Ghost wordmark is lit evenly, a 2mm-thick light guide is used, featuring more than 90,000 laser-etched dots across the surface.
Rolls-Royce clients have enjoyed self-closing doors since the first Goodwood Phantom. Operated by a button on the dashboard and on the C-pillar for motor cars with rear doors, this innovation is celebrated among customers. For the first time, clients can now also open the doors with power assistance.
An all-wheel drivetrain, all-wheel steering and completely redesigned Planar Suspension System enhances the marque’s hallmark Magic Carpet Ride.
Client feedback 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.
New Ghost is perfect in its simplicity, but creating this pure and detoxifying environment was one of the greatest challenges in the marque’s history. The new Ghost is the most technologically advanced motor car Rolls-Royce has ever produced.
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