The Rolls-Royce Ghost is the luxury brand’s most important new car
The phantom is the first expression of Rolls Royce in its new era of post-opulence. Officially unveiled today, this very important car has been completely redesigned and redesigned to be a product that speaks the language of contemporary Rolls-Royce and meets the wants and needs of its new generation of customers.
The Ghost has been a phenomenal achievement for Rolls-Royce. Introduced ten years ago as a brand new concept for the brand, the car has since become the most successful model in the company’s 116-year history. From the start, the Ghost was designed to be driven rather than chauffeured like the flagship Phantom, and it introduced the brand to an entirely different set of customers: a more international and certainly younger group. The impact of this car, the Wraith that followed, and bold Black Badge editions has been such that the average Rolls customer is now in their 40s.
“The first Goodwood Ghost was a response to a whole new generation of customers, both in terms of age and attitude,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of the company. “These men and women asked us for a slightly smaller and less ostentatious way of owning a Rolls-Royce. The success of the product we created for them has met our highest expectations.
He notes that the only components taken from the first Ghost are the Spirit of Ecstasy emblem and the umbrellas stored inside the car. “Everything else was designed, manufactured and manufactured from scratch,” says Müller-Ötvös. “The result is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce to date. It distills the pillars of our brand into a magnificent product, minimalist but very complex, perfectly in line with the needs of our Ghost customers and perfectly in tune with the times.
But first a little explanation of “post-opulence”, the term used by Rolls-Royce to communicate its new brand positioning and to help guide its creative direction. Speaking to me amid the pandemic lockdown, Alex Innes, who heads the brand’s Coachbuild division, pitched the idea, explaining the concept as design through reduction and substance. “In my role, I have direct access to our clients – I directly hear their perception of how things are going” he told me in june, referencing the brand’s ultimate personalization service. This new fashion is the antithesis of premium mediocrity – a term often used in the fashion world to describe the value of an item when it is defined more by brand than substance. “There has been a downward trend,” said Innes, “and our customers largely want less but better things. This informed our representation as a brand, but also our future product development. ”
How post-opulence aesthetically translates is evident by the time you see the 2020 Ghost. I was one of the few journalists who saw the car in a secret location a few months ago and it’s a product. quite quieter and more refined than the one it replaces. Much of this was made possible by the brand’s aluminum spatial architecture that is already used to create the Phantom and Cullinan.
For example, the hand-welded aluminum body structure appears as a flowing canvas, uninterrupted by closed lines to recall the Silver Dawn and Silver Cloud built in bodywork. The architecture also allowed the Ghost to increase the width by 30mm and, for the first time, the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot is not surrounded by lines of panels but is positioned alone, almost floating, on the hood. These are subtle changes but together they really change your perception of the car.
The Ghost face has a unique character formed by the play of light where 20 LEDs under the top of the grille subtly illuminate the veins. To achieve this, the engineering team brushed the back of each metal grille bar to make them less reflective for a more subdued glow.
On the sides, a single straight line is used to emphasize the length of the product. Rolls’ lower “waft line” borrows from nautical design and uses reflection to brighten the surface and create a feeling of pure movement. The greenhouse also refers to boats whose doors share a window graphic of equal proportions in order to visually express a car that is just as happy to drive as it is to drive. The roofline is subtly arched, while the rear follows the direction of movement with the discreet square-shaped light graphic modified to tilt slightly forward.
Needless to say, the cabin offers a super luxurious sanctuary with an emphasis on quality materials and craftsmanship. For example, each of the skins used to create the interior suite goes through extensive control checks to ensure that all 338 panels are of the highest quality. Consciously moving away from the kind of overly complicated stitching now favored by more mainstream automakers, here the artisans at Goodwood have worked with long, perfectly straight stitch lines on the leather elements.
Elsewhere, wood is available in an open pore finish for a more authentic aesthetic. A few new finishes have also been developed specifically for the Ghost: Obsidian Ayous takes inspiration from the rich colors found in lava rock, while Dark Amber incorporates veins of fine aluminum particles into dark wood. Much like leather, wood is left exposed as long, single-veneered sheets, cut in half by tactile metal vents.
The presence of the old Ghost for a decade allowed Rolls’ engineering team to garner a lot of consumer feedback. What they learned is that customers in the US and Europe largely drive their Ghosts themselves, while in Asia customers have made a strong commitment to connected technology on board. Responding to feedback, the Ghost is powered by a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 petrol engine to deliver 563 hp / 420 kW and 850 Nm / 627 lb-ft of torque on all-wheel drive, all-wheel drive with maximum torque available from 1600 rpm only.
The brand’s famous treadmill has also evolved. The suspension is redesigned to offer what is known as the planar suspension system. Named after a geometric plan, which is completely flat and level, the system, Rolls-Royce says, offers a flying sensation on land never before achieved by a motor car.
Müller-Ötvös says the Ghost project was largely driven by the needs and wants of its customers. “These business leaders and entrepreneurs demand more than ever from their Ghost. They demand a new type of dynamic super-luxury sedan, serenely comfortable and perfect in its minimalism. The Ghost is that product.
Rolls-Royce’s latest car is certainly a very successful product. And while the Ghost might not be making its way to post-opulence – it is, after all, a fairly exclusive product and by nature a lavish buy – it does wear its luxury lightly and is therefore a beautiful illustration of a more subtle and discreet post-pandemic luxury landscape.
Read about Rolls-Royce’s handcrafted ultra-special at around $ 28 million Boat tail; see why the brand views post-opulence as a new chapter in luxury, also take a look at the first Electric Rolls-Royce Phantom by Lunaz