The first-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost started life as a BMW 7 Series, and in 10 years on sale became the best-selling model the brand has known. That sedan ended production last year, leading Rolls-Royce to begin the process of introducing us to the second-generation Ghost. Having abundant feedback from customers about what they’d like in the new model, and, more importantly, having listened to the feedback, Rolls-Royce realized it would need to start from scratch. Engineers modified the aluminum-intensive Architecture of Luxury that supports the Phantom and Cullinan to fit the Ghost’s needs, in standard and Extended Wheelbase spec. Instead of the predecessor’s rear-wheel drive, the coming Ghost will get standard all-wheel drive. And taking another page from the big brother Cullinan, the entry-level offering will come with rear-wheel steering, too.
Going beyond the other two models in the brand’s lineup, the Ghost will be the first to fit what Rolls-Royce calls its Planar suspension that brings together three technologies. The first is an upper wishbone damper unit that’s been three years in development, placed above the front suspension. The automaker didn’t go into details, but the damper unit is said to provide an improvement on the brand’s “hallmark magic carpet ride and dynamic abilities.” The Flagbearer camera system monitors the road surface ahead to prepare the suspension, a technology offered on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class for a few years now. The third Planar trick is a satellite-aided transmission, wherein the ZF eight-speed automatic “draws GPS data to pre-select optimum gear for upcoming corners,” a technology already in use on the Phantom.
The bodywork won’t stray far from what we know; designers wrapped Spirit of Ecstasy opulence into a discrete package. Inside, the gauge cluster will go digital inside three fixed instrument bezels, next to a widescreen infotainment display, and driver assistance features could include everything from night-vision to some advanced self-driving capability. Under the hood, we expect the same 6.75-liter V12 utilized by the Phantom and Cullinan, with something like 560 horsepower.
The global situation pushed the Ghost’s launch back, we’re told. Deliveries should begin early next year, with a debut sometime between now and then. The first-gen ran $314,400 in standard length, $348,400 in EWB guise. Seeing that the Ghost cost about $247,500 when it hit the market a decade ago, expect a reasonable bump to accompany the new model.