It's not every day that Rolls-Royce drops a new car on the world. Well, perhaps drops is too coarse a word, in spite of its association with the musicians who love the cars with the Spirit of Ecstasy on their proud grilles. Albums drop; a new Rolls-Royce is unveiled.
And with only a quartet of vehicles in its roster and notoriously long life cycles for its models, the arrival of an all-new Roller is a rare occasion, indeed. The previous generation of Ghost, for instance, went into production back in 2009; the previous generation of Phantom stuck around even longer, staying on sale from 2003 until 2017 (albeit with some updates along the way).
Based on those sorts of timelines, it's very possible that the all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost seen here for the very first time might stick around until 2030 or later — meaning that it could well be the last of its name to be powered by an internal combustion engine. If so...well, consider it one hell of a send-off.
In a nutshell, Rolls-Royce found that Ghost buyers wanted a car that wasn't too superficially flashy or glitzy; rather, they wanted something understated. As such, the new design was crafted with that as a guiding principle.
The 6.8-liter twin-turbo V12 beneath the hood should be familiar to Rolls-Royce fans; it's the same one found in the Phantom and Cullinan, making 563 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque.
What's new is how that gets to the ground: once it goes through the satellite-aided automatic transmission, it travels to all four wheels, not just the rear pair. The new Ghost also boasts four-wheel steering, in an effort to make this might beast a bit more maneuverable in tight spaces.
A new suspension setup called the "Planar Suspension System" (because a plane is flat, get it?) keeps the ride level and smooth, integrating features like road-reading cameras that help the shocks actively cancel out bumps and a new upper wishbone damper above the front suspension.
Entering and exiting the Ghost is easier than ever; while electrically-closing doors have long been a staple of Rolls-Royce's cars, the Ghost now offers the ability to open the doors with the push of a button. The illuminated celestial-inspired headliner that's long been a staple of Rolls-Royces is now joined by an illuminated nameplate on the dashboard, which surrounds the name of the car with 850 stars when it's on, but vanishes from sight when the Ghost turns off.
More than 220 pounds of sound dampening material were integrated into the already-sturdy structure of the new Ghost, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. The team at Goodwood tuned every aspect of the car for maximum tranquility (for example, they even polished the inside of the A/C duct to make the air flow more quietly). The interior's components were all tuned to the same resonant frequency, so that any small sounds heard inside all blend together into a single note.
Rolls-Royce also outfitted the new Ghost with an air purification system designed to keep the interior fresh and free of unpleasantness. If the car senses any impurities in the atmosphere, it can switch to a recirculate mode, and a nanofleece filter can clear out the entire cabin's air supply in two minutes.