Rolls-Royce is adding to its wealthier-than-thou product line with the new 2011 Ghost. Details on the car have been scarce since the company showed off the 200EX concept at last year’s Geneva Motor Show
, but a new volley of photos and specifications proves the baby Rolls-Royce is a reality. Smaller and less expensive than the Phantom, the Ghost is intended to be more of a driver’s vehicle than a chauffeur float. To that end, a smaller steering wheel and bolstered front seats are designed to engage the driver. Compare the Ghost’s interior with the luxurious back seat of the Phantom and you’ll see what we mean.
There’s some pretty exciting news under the hood. Rolls-Royce has fitted the Ghost with a newly developed 6.6-liter V12 engine with 575 horsepower and 563 lb-ft of torque. Evidently, less expensive doesn’t exactly translate to slower in the Rolls-Royce lexicon. The direct-injection engine propels the 5,445-pound sedan to 60 mph in around 4.7 seconds and is bolted to the company’s ZF 6-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox offers shift-by-wire capability and all of the toughness necessary to keep up with power from the massive engine.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Rolls-Royce without the usual complement of technological wonders onboard. Besides being the most powerful vehicle the company has ever produced, the Ghost also boasts new voice-recognition software, allowing the driver to choose from a number of vehicle menus without ever touching the dash. There are also plenty of cameras onboard to keep the driver informed of exactly what’s going on all around the vehicle. Four-zone automatic climate control is standard, as are two Teflon-coated umbrellas stored in the front doorjambs. You know, in case it rains.
Rolls-Royce says the Ghost has an advanced air-ride suspension, as well. Controlled by a computer, the sedan takes readings from multiple vehicle sensors every 2.5 milliseconds to determine load conditions. Basically, the Ghost can tell if you’ve moved your bottle of Grey Poupon from the passenger side to the driver’s side and will adjust the suspension accordingly. Supposedly this results in a more comfortable, stable ride all around.
So far there’s no word on when we can expect to see the Ghost on American byways, or how much the vehicle will cost. If Rolls-Royce stays true to its word, the new sedan should be less than $400,000. What a bargain.