Second-gen Rolls-Royce Ghost debuts

Have a cool S$1.3 million or so to spend? Then the new Rolls-Royce Ghost is waiting for you.

SINGAPORE — The most successful car in the luxury brand’s 116-year history is now officially into its second generation, a decade after the first one was introduced to the world.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost has been completely redesigned from ground up, but retains the first-gen version’s philosophy of being a Rolls that isn’t overly loud or ostentatious. It’s a fine line to walk, especially for a brand that has spent more than a century being seen as the epitome of a luxury car brand.

The name, if you haven’t already figured out, is inspired by the fact that the car is so quiet and serene inside the cabin that the world simply seems to float by outside. This, despite the fact that it’s powered by a 6.75-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine with 571 horsepower. 

It tips the scales at a portly 2,553kg, but with a torque output of 850Nm from the engine it covers the 0-100km/h sprint in a quick 4.8 seconds. 

It features four-wheel steering and all-wheel drive, so its 5.5-metre length won’t feel so daunting in tight street corners. The self-levelling air suspension technology delivers a magic carpet ride experience, all the way to its 250km/h electronically limited top speed. 

It’s what’s inside a Rolls-Royce that makes up the brand’s experience however, and New Ghost has an air purifier system that removes ultra-fine particles from the cabin air in two minutes.

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It also comes with power-assisted opening doors. You’ll have to pull on the door handle twice to activate it. The first pull unlatches the door, then you’ll need to pull and hold the handle for the electric motor to take over. Once you release the handle the door stops exactly where you want it. 

Powered door closers have been available on Rolls-Royce cars for quite some time now, but the Ghost is the first Rolls-Royce to have powered openers.

Its Starlight Headliner that covers the entire ceiling of the car creates the illusion of a starlit night sky, and in tune with modern minimalist luxury styling the cabin is well appointed but not overly packed. Rolls-Royce calls it the Post Opulent design treatment. The dashboard fascia features a low-key but innovative backlit starfield, with illumination coming from 152 LEDs mounted above and beneath the fascia, each meticulously colour matched to the cabin’s clock and instrument dial lighting.

The designers also claim that the cabin insulation has been tuned to near perfection, making it the perfect place to enjoy the 1,300-watt, 18-channel audio system that is capable of playing all current high-resolution audio formats. 

The Ghost’s aluminium construction has a higher acoustic impedance compared to steel, plus it is packed with more than 100kg of acoustic damping material in total. Even drivetrain hardware was adjusted to create new Ghost’s near-silent soundstage, and the acoustic specialists actually managed to build a completely silent interior suite, but apparently found the experience to be disorientating. To overcome this, they elected to create a ‘whisper’, a soft undertone that is experienced as a subtle note while the car is in operation.

There’s a resonance chamber built directly into the body’s sill section, and a specially tuned speaker driver is fitted here to transform the body of the car itself into a subwoofer. Exciter speakers are also bonded to the Starlight Headliner, turning the whole ceiling into a tuned loudspeaker.

Furthermore, two active microphones in the cabin allow the system to actively tune the audio soundstage on the move by listening for any unevenness in the overall frequency response and adjusting the tonal character of the playback.

The first deliveries are expected to arrive in Singapore before the end of 2020, and the basic price to buy one starts at $1,258,888 inclusive of COE. However, Rolls-Royce Asia-Pacific advises that the brand’s cars are bespoke builds and the final price is “highly dependent on the individual customer’s specification”.  

about the author

Lionel Kong
An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.