After a 15-month pregnancy Rolls-Royce has finally given birth the new, frequently gossiped about, baby rolls. Developed under the codename RR4, details surrounding the “entry level” Rolls were leaked out in carefully orchestrated increments over the course of the past few months, leaving us with a hodgepodge of features painted on a largely blank canvas. Today, however, all the minutia have been cleanly pieced together with the unveiling of the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Virtually indistinguishable from the 200EX concept coyly introduced back in March, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is indeed a more austere (if such a word can be applied to Rolls-Royce) version of its big brother, the flashy, hulking Phantom. A full 15-inches shorter than the aforementioned rapper’s delight, the Ghost was designed with simplicity in mind, aimed at highlighting function and performance while still maintaining the old world luxury synonymous with the brand. The result is, quite simply, a success.
Beneath the stately hood sits a newly-developed twin-turbocharged 6.6L V12 that puts out a snarling 563 bhp and 575 lb-ft and, despite the Ghost’s 5000+ lb curb weight, manages to hurtle the Baby from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Of course, in the age of the W16 brute force is not hard to come by, and what sets the Ghost apart from workhorses is the refinement with which all that power is delivered. Unlike the Phantom, the Ghost is more of a driver’s car and handling was engineered to reflect that. In addition to a host of driver controls, the Ghost is also equipped with a hyper-sensitive intelligent air-suspension and electronic variable damping system that automatically adjusts to even the most minute shift. Individual load assessments are recalculated every 2.5 milliseconds, and the air suspension system employs a lift and kneel function that raises or lowers the Ghost by 25mm accordingly. “A Rolls-Royce should be graceful in every way: the way it handles, feels and brakes,” explained Helmut Riedl, Engineering Director, “The balance of refinement and dynamic ability is astonishing.”