Leave the Cullinan in the Garage - Rolls-Royce's Ghost to Go AWD

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
leave the cullinan in the garage rolls royce s ghost to go awd

The next time you don your best wool and tweed garb and grab the Holland & Holland for a day of upland game hunting on the moors, you might want to leave the largest of Rolls-Royces in your heated garage. That’s because the next-generation Ghost, the most affordable of Rolls’ cars, will send power to all four wheels.

Retailing for a mere $314,400 (2020 model), the now decade-old Ghost is a suicide-doored alternative to the gauche, look-at-me Phantom, Wraith, and Dawn, to say nothing of the Cullinan SUV. Due for a full revamp this fall, the Ghost stands to gain some of the features modern drivers can’t do without.

Specifically, all-wheel drive. Not content to just add it and move on, Rolls-Royce claims the next-gen Ghost will feature four-wheel steering, a new aluminum platform, and a painstakingly crafted suspension aimed at boosting the car’s “magic carpet ride” handling.

All aboard.

The automaker detailed the changes this week, claiming that, when notified that the company was working on a new Ghost, existing customers weighed in. They wanted more, apparently. Don’t they know it’s an entry-level car?

“To fulfill this challenging brief, Rolls-Royce’s engineering experts rejected the use of a pre-existing platform,” the automaker said. “Instead, they configured the marque’s proprietary spaceframe architecture to incorporate elements of the brand’s existing model portfolio such as all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, while adapting the structure to accommodate significant advances in Rolls-Royce’s hallmark magic carpet ride and dynamic abilities.”

Groovy stuff, but wait till you hear the nitty-gritty behind the car’s newfound road manners:

“A key development was the Planar system, which is comprised of three elements. The first is an Upper Wishbone Damper unit, which is mounted above the front suspension assembly and creates an even more stable and effortless ride,” the company stated. “The result of three years of development, this is a world-first technology. The second is the Flagbearer system, which uses cameras to read the road ahead and prepare the suspension system for any changes in road surface. The third is Satellite Aided Transmission, which draws GPS data to pre-select the optimum gear for upcoming corners. The Planar system allows new Ghost to anticipate and react to even the most demanding road surface.”

Obsessions over comfort aside, Rolls-Royce claims the new Ghost is nothing more than an exercise in “uncomplicated versatility.” The automaker says it’s not trying to make a “grand statement.”

That may very well be true for Rolls-Royce, but it might not be for the average U.S. Rolls-Royce buyer.

[Image: Rolls-Royce]

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6 of 12 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 12, 2020

    I pass. It will increase weight and decrease fuel efficiency.

    • See 2 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 13, 2020

      @SuperCarEnthusiast Issue is not how much fuel costs but how much damage it does to environment.

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Aug 13, 2020

    All Royces should be AWD now a days. It is not exactly a muscle car you know!

    • Mcs Mcs on Aug 13, 2020

      "It is not exactly a muscle car you know!": 624 horsepower and a zero to 60 time of 4.1 to 4.3 seconds and it's not a muscle car? The Black Label versions definitely are and have the appearance to go along with the performance. They even copied the back end of the 68 cuda on the Wraith.

  • Syke Nine comments and Tassos hasn't jumped in screaming about what a garbage car this is?
  • The Oracle The Spyder and Ryker platforms are great for folks who want an open air experience but may not want it on 2 wheels. I’ve had a Spyder RS-S since new in 2012 and it’s a fun machine with the manual transmission. When ridden hard, fuel economy goes well below 36mpg, but 2-up riding is great and the frunk is great for running errands.
  • The Oracle These pricing pressures have been around for decades and the traditional ICE supply base is about to be upended.
  • Druni Thanks. Great.
  • NaMiNo Thanks for the recap, Tim! It's always interesting to get a glimpse of what's happening at auto shows. The focus on EVs aligns with the industry's growing shift towards electrification. And optimism about the future, along with more vehicle debuts, is a good sign for the automotive world. I always go to site here for more writting ideas for my blog. Your photos tell the story beautifully, even with auto-show lighting challenges.