• What is it? A Rolls-Royce Phantom in a slightly smaller package
• The basics: Twin-turbo V-12 power and a sub 5.0 second 0-60 mph time
• On sale: Early next year, with a public showing and more details at the Frankfurt Auto Show
• Price: $250,000 (est.)
The 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost isn't yet public, but already, full details and images have been released by the ultra-luxury automaker. Set to go on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of next year, the new model will make its official debut in less than a week’s time at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show.
Rolls-Royce first announced that work had begun on a new model series as far back as 2006. However, little was seen of the new car, codenamed RR4, until the spring of 2008, when the company released the first official sketches. The styling was instantly recognizable as a Rolls-Royce, although less traditional than previous models.
What the design team was seeking to create was a modern Rolls-Royce that achieved a new dynamism but remained true to its luxurious heritage. Earlier this year, Rolls-Royce rolled out a concept version in the form of the 200EX and following the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the show car, very few changes were made in the transition to the production model.
Power will come from a 6.6-liter turbocharged V-12 engine matched to a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox. Output at the crankshaft will be rated at 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, which makes the Ghost more powerful than the Phantom despite being positioned below it. This will be enough to accelerate it from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and see it easily reach its electronically governed top speed of 155 mph. Fuel economy is estimated at 17.3 mpg for a mix of highway and city driving.
In keeping with its ‘entry-level’ positioning, the Ghost will be smaller all around when compared to the Phantom. While the Phantom's dimensions stretch to around 5,834 mm, the Ghost will measure in at 5,399 mm in length, 1,948 mm across, and stand 1,550 mm in height. Its wheelbase will stretch 3,295 mm and inside there will be generous seating for five adults.
Rolls-Royce has also revealed that the car will make use of the very latest developments in chassis engineering, including a new four corner air suspension system matched to multi-link aluminum front and rear axle geometry. A new chassis management system will also be fitted and is designed to control the car’s anti-roll stabilization and the suspension stiffness to ensure the best possible comfort for occupants.
The new air suspension system is so sensitive that it can detect even the smallest of changes. For example, the movement of a single rear passenger from one side of the seat to the other can be detected and system modified to compensate. The on-board computer system reads multiple inputs from sensors around the car - the dampers alone making individual load calculations every 2.5 milliseconds. The air suspension system also incorporates a lift and kneel function, raising or lowering the car by 25mm for those steep driveways.
Inside Ghost, the interior design team has come up with a contemporary ambience while staying true to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ traditions of fine materials and peerless comfort. There are elegant, frosted lamps and chrome door handles, traditional violin key switches and eyeball air vents, frosted white dials and refined instrumentation. Deep-pile carpets can be complemented by optional lambswool floor mats for a truly luxurious feel.