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2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost Preview

2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009
2011 Rolls-Royce GhostCritical Knowledge:
  • All-new model for 2010
  • Styled after the "200EX" concept
  • Four-door sedan with rear "coach doors"
  • Aluminum hood and windshield surround
  • Steel monocoque body for strength
  • Standard 6.6-liter, twin-turbo V-12 powerplant
  • Standard four-corner air suspension system
  • Standard Advanced Crash and Safety Management (ACSM) system
  • Bespoke department for customization
Introduction
Rolls-Royce, the famed British automaker of luxurious hand-built automobiles, was founded at the turn of the 20th century by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. The company's first all-new design, called the "40/50 h.p.," arrived in 1906. It would later be renamed the "Silver Ghost" and sell more than 6,000 units. The name has always held significant traditional and historical value to Rolls-Royce as the early reputation of the automaker was built on that car.

In April of 2009, Rolls-Royce revived the "Ghost" nameplate with an all-new model, based on its "200EX" concept previewed earlier in the year. The luxurious 4-door sedan is small for a Rolls-Royce, but still large compared to every other full-size luxury sedan on the market today. Now under control of parent company BMW, the new Rolls-Royce Ghost shares 20 percent of its parts, including the basic architecture of the 12-cylinder engine, with the German automaker. The new model will be built at Goodwood, in the United Kingdom, sharing leather, wood and paint workshops with the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

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2011 Rolls-Royce GhostDesign
All Rolls-Royce Ghost models share the same steel monocoque body-the chassis and body panels are one unit-with a double front bulkhead to isolate passengers from the engine noise. The unique hood and A-pillar are honed from aluminum. The 4-door Ghost has conventional front doors, but the rear doors are hinged on the trailing edge and designed to open a full 83 degrees in "coach door" fashion. Once passengers are inside, the rear doors may be powered closed at the touch of a button.

Model Lineup
As is traditional, each Rolls-Royce Ghost is individually optioned by the customer. In addition to the 4-zone climate control system, buyers may substitute individual lounge seating (instead of the standard lounge configuration) with perforated leather and a massage feature. A refrigerated compartment with integrated champagne glasses is optional as are veneered picnic tables.

The standard audio package contains 16 speakers (including two floor-mounted subwoofers) and is rated at 600 watts of sound through a 10-channel amplifier. An optional Theater Configuration includes two 9.2-inch LCD screens which may be angled for best viewing via a remote control. A 6-disc multi-media changer is also optional.

The options list is extensive. The Rolls-Royce Ghost is available with "Comfort Entry" that unlocks the doors when the driver is within several feet of the vehicle. "Night Vision" is a safety feature that works with "Pedestrian Recognition" to detect objects up to 300 feet ahead of the vehicle through an infrared heat-sensitive camera. "Head-up Display" gives the driver critical vehicle information by projecting it onto the windscreen in front of the steering wheel. "Lane Departure Warning" is designed to alert the driver if the vehicle is drifting out of its lane (without signal activation). "High Beam Assistance" automatically manages the headlight output while driving at night; they are paired with adaptive headlights that turn to illuminate the road in a corner. Lastly, "Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go" monitors the traffic in front of the Rolls-Royce Ghost and maintains a safe following distance even if the vehicle in front comes to a stop.

Rolls-Royce has a special bespoke ("made to order") department designed for customization of its vehicles to ensure that no two are alike, and that each is tailored specifically for its owner.

2011 Rolls-Royce GhostHardware
The all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost is the most powerful car the automaker has ever produced. Under the hood is a 6.6-liter, twin-turbo 12-cylinder powerplant sharing architecture (but not displacement) with the V-12 used in the flagship BMW 760Li. The engine is rated at 563 horsepower and 575 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is sent through an 8-speed automatic transmission. According to Rolls-Royce, the Ghost will accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, according to the manufacturer.

Rolls-Royce says the Ghost rides on a bed of air. In a sense, it does. The front double-wishbone suspension and rear multi-link suspension are supported by a 4-corner air-suspension system. According to the automaker, the system is so sensitive that it is able to detect even the smallest changes of weight distribution within the cabin-even someone moving from one seat to another-and compensate accordingly. A complex computer system is engineered to read information from sensors around the car and make load calculations every 2.5 milliseconds to ensure comfort and maintain precise steering and vehicle dynamics for the driver. The air suspension is also capable of raising and lowering the Ghost for lift and kneel functions.

The 5,203-pound Rolls-Royce Ghost is fitted with 16.1-inch disc brakes in the front and 15.8-inch disc brakes in the rear. The standard wheels are 20-inch aluminum alloy wrapped in Goodyear extended-mobility tires.

Safety
In addition to standard air bags, stability control and tire-pressure-monitoring systems, the Rolls-Royce Ghost features the automaker's Advanced Crash and Safety Management (ACSM) system. According to Rolls-Royce, the ACSM system takes measurements 2,000 times per second from sensors located in various positions on the vehicle. In the event of an accident, the ACSM system will assess and determine what part of the vehicle is involved and determine which safety features to deploy. The seat belt pre-tensioners and all air bags within the passenger compartment are just some of the safety features the ACSM system oversees.

2011 Rolls-Royce GhostTechnology
Rolls-Royce takes the science of interior trim and upholstery to new levels-each receiving the highest level of hands-on attention and age-old craftsmanship. The wood for the interior trim is hand-selected early in the process. Veneer culled from a single tree is used in any given car, to ensure consistency in color, and each is chosen based on the intricacy and interest of the burrs and grains. All trim pieces are hand sanded and milled before being coated with five layers of lacquer for durability and protection. The final product has a mirror-like shine.

As the automaker insists on nothing but flawless leather, the company only sources hides from bulls raised in pastures free of barbed wire to keep imperfections to a minimum. The leather is carefully selected by craftsmen, who use lasers to cut the hides perfectly to shape. Each Ghost model will require at least eight hides, which are all batch dyed in a drum at the same time (in contrast to most other automakers who paint the hides). This process ensures that the color permeates through the hide, and that the leather will remain supple and free of cracks and splitting. As an added benefit, Rolls-Royce claims the drum-dyed leather is less prone to squeaking-preserving the tranquility of the cabin. As has been the process for the past one-hundred years, all seats and interior panels are hand-stitched by individual craftsmen, preserving the automaker's tradition.

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