The execution of the first Goodwood Ghost was an unmitigated success, and over the course of its ten-year lifecycle, this transformative motor car became the most successful product in the company’s 116-year history. Ghost’s formidable success was vital in enabling the brand to scale up production, invest in its capabilities and establish Rolls-Royce as the truly global brand it is today.
The marque’s designers, engineers and craftspeople demanded the freedom to create a very specific personality for new Ghost. These men and women were only able to create an authentically super-luxury product without the constraints of platforms used to underpin lesser, high-volume vehicles. The spaceframe’s flexibility and scalability freed the marque to serve the unique aesthetic and mechanical demands of new Ghost, and in doing so created an acoustically superior, highly rigid and dynamic proposition for Ghost within the Rolls-Royce product portfolio. In its most pared back form, the Rolls-Royce architecture is based around four fixed points, one at each corner of the motor car. The moveable aluminium bulkhead, floor, crossmembers and sill panels were positioned specifically to ensure new Ghost meets client expectations as a motor car that is equally enjoyable to drive as it is to be driven in. Two of the cast suspension mounting assembles were pushed to the very front of new Ghost, placing its 6.75-litre V12 behind the front axle to achieve an optimum 50/50 weight distribution. To accommodate this without intruding on new Ghost’s interior suite, its overall length has grown by 89 mm, compared to the first Goodwood Ghost, to 5,546 mm, and its overall width has grown by 30 mm to 1,978 mm.
Significant changes were also made to the double-skinned bulkhead and floor structure packaging. These were undertaken to incorporate an all-wheel drivetrain, all-wheel steering and completely redesigned Planar Suspension System, which further enhances the marque’s hallmark Magic Carpet Ride. This was achieved without compromising the motor car’s low centre of gravity, which aids cornering dynamics.
Further capitalising on the marque’s aluminium expertise, the metal superstructure of new Ghost is 100% made of the material. The car’s outer body is rendered as one clean, expansive piece, flowing seamlessly from the A-pillar, over the roof and backwards to the rear of the car, recalling the seemingly one-piece coachbuilt Silver Dawn and Silver Cloud models.
This complete absence of shut lines allows clients to run their eye from the front to the rear of the car uninterrupted by ungainly body seams. To achieve this, four craftsmen hand weld the body together simultaneously to ensure a perfectly continuous seam. In addition, 100% aluminium, laser-welded doors have been used. This not only offers weight benefits and remarkable 40,000 Nm/deg stiffness, but the material has a lower acoustic impedance than steel, improving cabin ambience.
Client feedback asking for near-instant torque and near-silent running led the marque to further develop the Rolls-Royce 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine. A bespoke Ghost engine map was created to ensure ample performance for this dynamic motor car, delivering 563 bhp/420 kW and 850 Nm/627 lb ft of torque to the all-wheel steer, all-wheel drivetrain. Commensurate with clients’ expectations, maximum torque is available from just 1,600 rpm – only 600 rpm above tick-over. To further refine its already remarkable acoustic properties, the air intake system incorporated larger porting to reduce engine presence in the interior suite.