2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost
The luxury automaker's latest iteration keeps meticulous details at its core
by Sue Mead
Launched in 2009 as a slightly smaller luxury model within the Rolls-Royce line-up, the Ghost is positioned below the flagship Phantom. It rocketed the marque—known for opulence and magnificence—to “verticalized success,” as Rolls-Royce set its sights on a different buyer. “This bold new generation of Rolls-Royce customer seeks a motor car with a silent assurance—a cosseting, super-premium environment in which to conduct business and augment their leisure time. There is not a single person in the world that needs a Rolls-Royce," explains Director of Communications, Richard Carter. But for those who desire to spend their money on a lavish vehicle, Rolls is decidedly committed to fulfilling personal dreams. It takes more than 400 hours to design each Rolls-Royce, which demonstrate an outstanding ability for personalization. Nearly 85% of orders are bespoke, but all Ghosts are crafted by more than 60 pairs of hands, (20 that came from ship-building) at Goodwood, in the glass and steel Rolls Royce factory, located adjacent to the Earl of March estate in West Sussex.
“Rolls-Royce Ghost has proven to be no ordinary power. It has been the cornerstone of our success around the world since its launch in 2009. It has propelled Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to new heights. In presenting a less formal, more contemporary and dynamic expression of Rolls-Royce luxury, we have attracted a new generation of clients to Rolls-Royce. These people are a unique, exclusive group of exceptional achievers who drive success in today’s world. And then, having accomplished their objectives, they reward themselves with the ultimate symbol of success, a Rolls-Royce Ghost," says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Rolls-Royce calls the latest iteration a “freshening” to imbue the Ghost with a slightly more substantial feel. The iconic “winged lady”—or Spirit of Ecstasy—has been pitched forward 17 degrees, with a sculpted vapor trail on the hood behind her; the Parthenon grille has been raked by 15 mm; the main signature LED headlights have a new teardrop effect and were widened and given a longer beam to be more distinctive on motorways; and night vision now detects animals, as well as pedestrians.
The interior leather is free of imperfections, as it comes from two-year-old bulls all kept above 2,000 feet in a climate where there are no mosquitos, and no barbed-wire is allowed on the farm to prevent accidental scratches. The embedded clock on the dashboard wears a new face that emulates a luxury watch style, a treatment also found on the instrument cluster dials. A new rotary control is bedecked with a jewel-like silver winged lady; navigation and infotainment are available with any world language, including Arabic; the car boasts the “most exhaustively-engineered audio system ever” with 18 speakers; and a heads-up display taken from jet fighter planes. A GPS data transmission allows your chariot to downshift before a corner and hold its speed through the corner, directed by the 6.6-liter V12 engine, with 563 horses and generous torque available just above idle.
Acceleration is slightly boosted, allowing the Ghost Series II to reach 60 mph in 4.8 seconds—impressive for a nearly three-ton motorcar in a standard-length and with an extended wheelbase. It rides on 19-inch or even grander 21-inch wheels and tires, with suspension and steering systems that have been “massaged” as well. Other subtle modifications include a new inlay of the front and rear interior roof pillars, as well as an expanded range of customization from the brand’s bespoke service, including two new hand-crafted wood veneers: Walnut Burr Crossband and Paldao.
A key customer requirement is the ability to run business on the move, arrive fresh and un-fussed for meetings. Therefore, the Ghost’s seats have been redesigned slightly adding comfort and bolster, while reclining rear seats now slope inward to aid in passenger conversation.
Embodying the century-old company's credo of “strive for perfection in everything you do,” the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost can be ordered from select dealers around the world.
Images courtesy of Rolls-Royce