Rolls-Royce has finally released official pictures and mechanical detail on its brand new saloon, the Ghost.
First mooted at the Paris show in 2006, the Ghost is defined by its maker as a smaller and more affordable Rolls-Royce. However, at 5.5m long and almost £200k, it will only ever look either small or affordable to a very select few.
Even so, Rolls expects the car to roughly double the firm's annual output from around 1000 to 2000 units per year, and for 80 per cent of the Ghosts"s buyers to be new to the brand.
Underneath the new car lies an overhauled version of the current BMW 7-series platform, so the Ghost eschews the aluminium spaceframe construction of the Phantom for a steel monocoque skeleton. As a consequence of a steel frame taking up less space within the outer skin of the car than extruded aluminium, the Ghost’s creators say that in many ways it provides just as much cabin space as the bigger car.
Powering the Ghost is a direct injection 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 that produces 563bhp at 5250rpm and 575lb ft from 1500rpm. Both of those outputs trump those of the Phantom model, but as Rolls design boss Ian Cameron told Autocar, the company "was not prepared to compromise this car for pure marketing reasons”.
The engine drives the Ghost’s rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, sending it from 0-60mph in just 4.7sec.
The Ghost’s resemblance to its bigger and more expensive brother is marked; Cameron’s overriding brief for the car was that it should be “from all angles and aspects a true, classic and recognisable Rolls-Royce”.
“Buyers should find the Ghost a less intimidating car than the Phantom,” Cameron said. “It’s not just smaller, but less formal.”
The Ghost is a new model series for maker Rolls-Royce, so we can expect open and two-door versions of the car to be launched in years to come.