Post opulence has arrived. Rolls-Royce has officially unveiled The Ghost, a completely redesigned and re-engineered iteration of the iconic automotive manufacturer’s classic luxury line. Rolls-Royce’s decision to take a new approach isn’t just exciting, it’s revolutionary, marking the brand’s first pivot towards a younger breed of clientele. In fact, the only elements that were kept from the original Ghost were the umbrellas and the brand’s famous Spirit of Ecstasy.
Since it was first unveiled in 2009, The Ghost has become one of the most successful releases in Rolls-Royce’s 116-year history. Introduced as a brand-new marque, the car set a new precedence for the brand, one that saw owners step behind the wheel, rather than into the backseat to be chauffeured around, unlike the signature Phantom. It’s an ethos Rolls-Royce is now carrying through to the 2020 Ghost. “The first Goodwood Ghost was a response to a whole new generation of clients, both in age and attitude,” CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said. “These men and women asked us for a slightly smaller, less ostentatious means to own a Rolls-Royce. The success of the product we created for them fulfilled our most ambitious expectations. The result is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet. It distils the pillars of our brand into a beautiful, minimalist, yet highly complex product that is perfectly in harmony with our Ghost clients’ needs and perfectly in tune with the times.”
Such a change is the 2020 Ghost, that Rolls-Royce is deeming it as “post-opulence”, a term that is helping to steer the new creative direction. While from the outside, it seems as though the phrase may be a subtle attention grab, looking closer, we note the drastic aesthetic changes. Altogether quieter and more refined than the previous Ghost, this edition scores the same aluminium spaceframe architecture used to create the Phantom and Cullinan. In fact, the hand-welded aluminium body structure appears as one fluid structure, not distinguished by sharp lines and ornate additions. Even the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy has been is positioned alone, unimpeded by panel lines to appear almost floating on the bonnet.
On the inside, The Ghost is understandably luxurious. Apparently, each of the hides used to create the interior suite are subject to full control checks to ensure that the 338 panels are of the finest quality, confirming that the Goodwood team are meticulous craftspeople. Even the doors electrically open and close, with the down-lit Pantheon grille illuminating the Rolls-Royce iconography for a touch of class. Under the hood, The Ghost boasts a 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine that delivers a solid 563bhp/420kW and 850Nm/627lb ft of torque. Adding in the all-wheel steer, all-wheel drivetrain with maximum torque available from just 1600rp and you’ve got a car that is as heavy on performance as it is on luxury. The British automaker has helped smooth out the ride with the introduction of its signature world-first Planar suspension system for agility.
When it comes to elegance and opulence, there a few names that boast the prestige that Rolls-Royce does. With The Ghost, we see the heritage icon take one of its most famous exports and redefine it for the modern age. We, for one, are into it. “These business leaders and entrepreneurs demand more of their Ghost than ever,” Müller-Ötvös said. “They require a new type of super-luxury saloon that is dynamic, serenely comfortable and perfect in its minimalism. The Ghost is this product.” The new Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 starts from AUD$628,000, however, bespoke upgrades could see your final costs swell.