In 2009, Rolls-Royce announced a new addition to its portfolio that offered something entirely different to its flagship Phantom. The Ghost was more affordable and that expanded somewhat the range of people who could lay their hands on this ultra-luxury brand. Eleven years later the British carmaker has launched a new generation of the car in two versions—standard wheelbase and extended wheelbase which is officially now called the Ghost Extended. The car has now come to India to satiate the needs of the rich and famous.
The new Ghost is built on the company›s Aluminium Space-frame Architecture that already underpins the brand flagship, Phantom as well as its SUV, the Cullinan. Its overall length has grown by 89mm, compared to the first Goodwood Ghost, to 5546mm, and its overall width has grown by 30mm to 1,978mm. 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. On the front the car gets 20 LEDS underneath the top of the radiator grille and the new LED and laser headlights give an illuminated range of more than 600 m.
The cabin of the new Ghost is all about going bespoke. It gets an 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. It shows a glowing Ghost nameplate, 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. The car uses the finest materials, leathers, woods and metals. For audio, a powerful amplifier controls 18 channels (one for each speaker), providing a 1300W output. The car also gets a new Micro-Environment Purification System that replaces polluted air with fresh air in the cabin.
Rolls-Royce owners have enjoyed self-closing doors for a while. Operated by a button on the dashboard and on the C-pillar for motor cars with rear doors, this innovation has been celebrated among customers. In the new Ghost, for the first time, users can now also open the doors with power assistance. Just pull the interior handle of the door and the job is done. One is also able to close the door from outside by merely touching a button on the exterior door handle. On-board longitudinal and transverse sensors, as well as G-force sensors fitted to each door, allow the same speed of operation regardless of hill or driveway angles.
A 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine powers the new Ghost. It delivers 563bhp and 850 Nm and comes with all-wheel drivetrain and all-wheel steer. And the maximum torque is available from just 1600 rpm to pull all that weight with ease. For the new Ghost, engineering specialists redesigned the motor car’s suspension completely to deliver what is called the Planar Suspension System. Here a flagbearer system uses cameras to read the road ahead and prepare the suspension system for any changes in road surface. The result is unprecedented levels of ride comfort and control for a motor car.
You’d expect a car this expensive to get a long list of safety features and drivers’ aids and that is exactly the case. Sample this: The new Ghost gets 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, a high-resolution head-up display, Wi-Fi hotspot, self-park, and the very latest navigation and entertainment systems.
Of course you want to know just how expensive this palace on wheels is. Well quite a bit despite it being one of the more affordable models from the brand. The standard wheelbase version is priced in the range of Rs 7 crore (ex-showroom) and the Ghost Extended is priced at around Rs 8 crore. And there are innumerable bespoke and customisation options which mean the cost can go just one way—up north.