Rolls-Royce is planning a family of models based on the new Ghost, according to the car’s exterior stylist, Andreas Thurner.
“The Ghost was designed in a way to make other body styles,” Thurner told Autocar. “We have to build up a family for the Ghost just as we did for the Phantom.”
Although they’re yet to be given the green light for production, future Ghost variants are likely to include a coupé and a soft-top. They could become a modern-day Carmargue and Corniche, both models that were based on the Silver Shadow, the spiritual forefather of the Ghost.
However, Rolls is not planning a model smaller than the Ghost, according to Thurner. “The Ghost is about as small as you could go for an authentic Rolls-Royce,” he admitted. “Any smaller and it would lack the presence, comfort, space and stance that we want.”
Rolls has confirmed that, like the Phantom, the Ghost will get an “intelligent” four-corner air suspension system, although the system in the baby Rolls has been developed from scratch.
Rolls-Royce CEO Tom Purves said the Ghost will be “as refined and as cosseting as anything that this marque has ever produced”.
The Ghost’s air suspension works with multi-link aluminium front and rear axles. The onboard computer reads multiple inputs from sensors and the dampers make individual load calculations every 2.5 milliseconds.
Rolls says the new air suspension is so sensitive that it can even detect the movement of a single rear passenger from one side of the seat to the other, and compensate accordingly.
It will also compensate for dive and frontal lift under acceleration and keep the car flat through corners. A source at Rolls told Autocar the car will offer “a comfort-orientated ride” with “reasonably dynamic handling”, so don’t expect a sporting set-up.
The air suspension system also incorporates a lift and kneel function, raising or lowering the Ghost by 25mm to either assist with entry or increase its ride height over rough ground.
The Ghost will be built on its own dedicated production line at Goodwood and will share paint, wood and leather workshops with the Phantoms.
It will be powered by a 500bhp-plus 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12 mated to an eight-speed ZF gearbox. Production will begin later in 2009.