Ghost Sighting: Rolls-Royce's 'Entry-level' Sedan Is All-new

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Scratch that. It’s not an all-new car. You see, the second-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost carries over the original model’s Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and rear-seat umbrellas.

The non-umbrella hardware is changed, however, and likely that’s more of interest to those of you reading. You Rolls-loving TTAC readers, you.

What’s new with the brand’s most affordable model? Read on.

First off, even entry-level Rolls buyers are not ordinary people, and the automaker makes this clear in its rundown of the new model. A decade’s worth of feedback went into the development of this minimalist rolling status symbol. Replacing the initial sedan that arrived back in 2009, the second-gen Ghost borrows the modular aluminum spaceframe found beneath the Phantom and Cullinan. It’s a lighter, stiffer platform, which should assert itself well when owners toss the thing about with reckless abandon.

While wheelbase remains the same, the sedan now stretches 3.5 inches longer, stem to stern, and grows 1.2 inches in width. Another place where size remains the same is beneath the hood, where you’ll find a twin-turbo 6.75-liter V12 engine making 563 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic.

The world’s going green, but the Ghost isn’t about to shake off the big-displacement luxury of years past. Rolls-Royce says the placement of the engine affords the vehicle a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

But modernity isn’t absent from the new Ghost. All-wheel drive and four-wheel steering arrives to enliven the driving experience and instill the model with an all-weather capability it previously lacked.

Electricity also plays a larger role here, but not in terms of propulsion. Occupants will now be able to open and close the Ghost’s suicide coach doors without exerting themselves. Once closed, those doors will help cocoon occupants in a vault of silence, aided by 220 pounds of sound-deadening insulation and double-glazed windows all around.

A somewhat hazy planar suspension system works with pneumatic dampers at all four corners to remove as much vibration from the motoring experience as possible.

As for appearance, there’ll be no hesitation among passers-by as to what brand this car belongs to. Despite Rolls’ emphasis on creating a “post-opulence” car, one dedicated to purity and quiet refinement, the vehicle’s presence cannot be denied. The grille is flush and the lower air opening somewhat aggressive, but a conservative touch can clearly be seen. Inside, you’ll find careful attention paid to leather and wood, without the blatant tech-heavy ostentatiousness seen in high-end German sedans. There’ll be no accessing a sub-menu in the touchscreen interface to, say, adjust the flow of air spilling from the vents.

Backseat passengers will, however, be able to access plenty of screen time. Perhaps they can watch Howards End.

Price? That’s TBD, though the entry sticker shouldn’t be too far removed from the $314,400 base price of today’s Ghost.

[Images: Rolls-Royce]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.