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Rolls-Royce Ghost
(2009 onward)

Rolls-Royce Ghost

The year 2009 was hallmarked by an economic crisis, evidence of which have been dwindling sales worldwide and fortunes vaporized. The automotive business was no exception with almost any market segment hit severely. Hence it was not just an extension of the existing model range when the new Rolls-Royce Ghost was launched as a 4-door ‘mid-size model’ positioned slightly beneath the ‘big’ Rolls-Royce Phantom. The new car was burdened with the expectation to broaden the manufacturer's market considerably and to do so from the very start when it made its debut in September 2009 at IAA, the bi-annual International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Rolls-Royce Ghost
Between the design of the concept car Rolls-Royce 200EX and the series model Rolls-Royce Ghost only subtle differences could be detected, e.g. the minor changes as regards the clock.

Neither layout and nor dimensions of the Rolls-Royce Ghost were a surprise. As regards the car's outward appearance the public was already pretty well informed from the concept car Rolls-Royce 200EX described as "almost identical to series-standard" having toured shows and meetings around the world during the previous year. The interior of the car was known, too, as were the essential technical figures. Measuring at rather grand scale with 212.6in length (5,399mm), 61in height (1,550mm) and 76.7in width (1.948mm) to call the new one a ‘mid-size model’ was justified merely by direct comparison to the huge Rolls-Royce Phantom of even larger dimensions. The family roots were obvious from almost identical design clues – and such did include that the Rolls-Royce Ghost showed only negligible alterations of that front view which had ignited harsh comments when it first appeared on the previous model. Another feature that was familiar from the Phantom were the rear-hinged rear doors. However the design was more dynamic overall and this Rolls-Royce Ghost obviously did appeal more towards the owner-driver.

Rolls-Royce Ghost

Such an impression was sustained, too, by the interior design. The passengers' compartment was spacious (the Rolls-Royce Ghost wheelbase was just 1in (25mm) less than that of the ‘large’ Phantom) and fitted with well-shaped seats and a driver-oriented instrumentation. A rather high driver's position in the best tradition of Rolls-Royce gave the driver what is meant by the salesmen's therm ‘authority position’ and that did give a clear vision of the car's dimensions. Thus a basic demand was fulfilled to steer the car precisely even in dense traffic. A magnitude of electronic control units did assist; among these were cameras positioned at the car's front to add all-round visibility and a head-up display projected driving-related information directly on to the windscreen in front of the driver. The optional Night Vision System via an infrared-camera positioned in the grille could detect the body heat of pedestrians at up to 300 yards distance; the monitor remained out of sight behind a veneered when not in use. The safety devices that were offered as extras included a system that warned by vibrating the steering wheel when the car showed a tendency to drift towards another lane and Active Cruise Control could be set to maintain a pre-defined time gap from a car in front, reducing speed to a complete halt if necessary; that even re-started and accelerated to the pre-programmed speed as soon the traffic began to move again. Front seat's occupants had to compromise somewhat as regards interior space – result of the gearbox being rather voluminous.

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Rolls-Royce Ghost

On board the Rolls-Royce Ghost was employed an 8-speed automatic gearbox developed by ZF and despite all efforts concentrated on compact layout a gearbox-unit with 8 speeds needed certain space. Under the bonnet a new twin turbo 6.6 litre V12 light alloy engine provided 80% of its torque virtually from idling. The engine with near identical figures for bore and stroke (3.48/3.5in or 88.3/89mm) was of almost square layout and with a capacity of 6.6 litres, direct fuel injection and 4 valves per cylinder an impressive power was to be expected. Nonetheless to fit twin turbochargers had been considered reasonable and one result was an enormous torque of 575 lb ft (780Nm) at 1,500 rpm had been achieved. Hard to fathom if indeed such a powerful engine needed to be coupled to an 8-speed gearbox; not least because under certain city traffic conditions somewhat hectic gearchanges were triggered and such attitude wasn't entirely adequate on a car of this calibre. The choice of an 8-speed automatic had its major reason perhaps in an effort to achieve an acceptable petrol consumption figure of ca. 17mpg (ca. 14 litres/100km); urban circle consumption was stated with 12mpg (ca.20 litres/100km).

Rolls-Royce Ghost

With its effortless driving dynamics and a most comprehensive range of comfort- and safety-features the new Rolls-Royce Ghost certainly was an attractive addition to the cars that came from the Goodwood factory. It couldn't be denied though that questions remained: Would the manufacturer decide to use floorpan and drivetrain of the Ghost for a future 2-door variant? Or would the manufacturer be confronted with demand to arrange for the considerably more expensive ‘large’ Rolls-Royce Phantom to become available with the Ghost's much more powerful V12-engine to gap what was a difference of some 100 bhp?

Technical Data:
Twin turbo V12-cylinder-engine, four valves per cylinder, bore x stroke 3.48in x 3.5in (88.3mm x 89mm), capacity 6,592 cc (402.3cu in); digital engine control, 563bhp (SAE) at 5250rpm (DIN 570hp/420KW at 5,250rpm), max torque 575 lb ft (780Nm) at 1,500 rpm; ZF 8HP90 8-speed automatic gearbox; independent suspension front and rear with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) including Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Pressure Distribution (EBD), traction control Automatic Slip Regulation (ASR), aquaplaning detection; ventilated disc brakes (diameter front 16.1in/410mm, rear 15.8/402mm); wheelbase 129.7in (3,295mm), track front 63.9in (1,622mm), track rear 65.4in (1,660mm); height 61in (1,550mm), width 76.7in (1,948mm), overall length 212.6in (5,399mm), DIN curb weight 5,203 lb (2,360kg), EU curb weight 5,368 lb (2,435kg), gross weight 6,482 lb (2,940 kg), payload 1,279 lb (580kg); tyres front Goodyear EMT255/50R19 103Y on light alloy wheels 8,5x19in, tyres rear Goodyear EMT255/50R19 103Y on light alloy wheels 8,5x19in (optional tyres front Goodyear EMT255/45 R20 101Y Summer on light alloy wheels 8,5Jx20 EH2+ IS25, tyres rear Goodyear EMT285/40 R20 104Y Summer on light alloy wheels 9,5Jx20 EH2+ IS33), tyre pressure monitoring system; max. speed 155mph (250km/h) electronically governed; acceleration 0-60mph 4.7 sec (0-100 km/h 4.9 sec), Exhaust Emissions standard EU5

Rolls-Royce Ghost

(2 Photos courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars)

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