This is the all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost, which is made with something called ‘Post Opulence’ in mind. This involves, Rolls says, a design which is “limited, intelligent and unobtrusive,” avoiding “superficial treatments”.
It’s still not exactly a subtle car, though - there’s a fairly substantial grille at the front, which is lit up with no less than 20 LEDs. Although Rolls’ engineers did at least brush the back of the grille bars to make them less reflective after early designs proved to be over-effective. How thoughtful.
A fine line has been trodden between making the car attention-grabbing without going into overly-flashy territory, from the sounds of it. You’ll certainly struggle to miss it, thanks to the sheer amount of space it takes up on the road. At 5546mm in length, it’s 89mm longer than the old one and comfortably bigger than a long-wheelbase Mercedes. It’s also 30mm wider than the last Ghost.
It no longer sits on a borrowed BMW 7-series platform, instead using an aluminium spaceframe architecture. This is made from “complex forms, rather than flat, resonant surfaces,” Rolls-Royce says, with a composite damping layer sandwiched between the double-skinned bulkhead and floor sections. All told, encompassing the stuff in the body, tyres and double-glazed windows, the Ghost uses 100kg of sound-proofing materials.
As such, you’re unlikely to hear much from the Ghost’s powerplant, a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 (replacing the 6.6) which has a redesigned intake manifold to make it even more hushed. The BMW-derived engine - also found in the Phantom - is good for 563bhp and 627lb ft of torque, providing performance Rolls would no doubt like to refer to as ‘sufficient’. For the first time, the Ghost is all-wheel drive and has an all-wheel steering system.
Inside the deathly quiet cabin, you’ll find a fine leather interior made from 20 half hides. On the roof, there’s a ‘Starlight Headliner’, with 152 LEDs shining through a ‘light guide’ with 90,000 dots laser-etched into its surface. We’ve seen this before in other Rolls products - including the last Ghost - but here, it’s also joined by a new glowing Ghost logo in the dash which sits amidst 850 ‘stars’.
Because a normal sound system just wouldn’t be Rolls enough, the Ghost has a “resonance chamber” in the sill, which pretty much turns the whole car into a giant, leather-lined subwoofer. A 1300W amplifier powers a mix of cone and exciter speakers, with 18 units used across the car in total.
Anyone keen to experience all of that won’t have to do anything as undignified as opening a door themselves - they’re automatic, and even when opened or closed manually, power assistance makes the task easier. Meanwhile, how’s this for absurd attention to detail - thanks to longitudinal, transverse and G-force sensors, the doors open at the same speed whatever the gradient the car’s parked on.
The leather, the soundproofing and the sparkly touches are all well and good, but for those elements to be enjoyed properly, the Ghost needs to ride properly. To that end, the new one has air springs all round, with the ‘Planar Suspension System’ software using GPS data and sensors reading the road ahead to prepare the setup for anything unpleasant potentially lurking in the distance.
Would the new Ghost be your luxury waft capsule of choice, or would you go for the Bentley Flying Spur?