Currently reading: New 2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost hits the Nurburgring
Rolls-Royce's smallest model will move to a new generation next year, and fresh spyshots show track testing regime
3 mins read
31 October 2019

The overhauling of Rolls-Royce’s range will continue early next year with a new generation of the Ghost luxury saloon, which is being put through its paces at the Nurburgring.

Our spy photographers caught a prototype of the Bentley Flying Spur rival being benchmarked against a BMW M5, and exiting BMW's M performance development facility, showing that handling is a priority for the new model.  

Previous images of Ghost prototypes have revealed that Rolls-Royce is taking a typically evolutionary design approach. Departed design director Giles Taylor intended to modernise the latest Phantom’s looks without losing its familiarity and presence, and the same ethos looks to have been applied to the smaller Ghost.

It will retain the signature rear-hinged rear doors and prominent grille design, with modern touches such as ‘laser’ headlights and LED tail-lights. The bigger news is under the skin, where the Ghost will benefit from an all-new bespoke aluminium spaceframe platform.

The outgoing Ghost shared a steel monocoque with the BMW 7 Series, but the new model’s bespoke architecture signifies Rolls-Royce’s greater autonomy from its parent firm. In the Phantom, the platform is claimed to result in a 30% improvement in body stiffness over its predecessor. The rigidity gains for the Ghost are likely to be less, however, given the outgoing car’s relatively modern platform.

The move from steel to aluminium should also make the 2020 Ghost lighter than the current car, which weighs 2.36 tonnes in standard form and 2.45 tonnes in extended-wheelbase guise. However, Rolls-Royce is likely to offset some of the kerb weight benefit with an increase in technology, equipment and insulation.

Some of the car’s mechanical development and testing has taken place in BMW’s German facilities, rather than at Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood headquarters. A 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12, shared between both brands, was developed to Rolls-Royce’s own specifications and will feature in the Ghost. That engine develops 577bhp and 626lb ft of torque in the range-topping BMW M760Li xDrive, but sources suggest it could produce more in the new Rolls-Royce.


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The Rolls-Royce Ghost looks every inch a gorgeous, forward-thinking Rolls. But can it be as good as it looks?

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The Ghost also looks likely to adopt four-wheel drive in a change to the outgoing model, which when mated to a faster-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox should mean betteracceleration. With a decrease in weight and the engine’s greater on-paper efficiency, small fuel economy gains are likely, although extra tank range is more of a priority for Rolls-Royce owners.

The Ghost will continue the technological advancements introduced with the latest Phantom and Cullinan. That means it’s likely to feature a 48V electrical architecture, allowing an active anti-roll system, while four-wheel steering should also improve low-speed agility and high-speed stability.

The interior of the new Ghost has yet to be seen, but it is expected to reflect the same blend of discreet, high-end tech and traditional coachbuilt material richness of its current siblings. That means digital dials, a head-up display and active safety features, as well as details such as an infotainment screen that electrically slides out of sight when not required. 

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24 January 2019

It looks like a Rolls Royce covered in plastic.... I'm not sure how this is news worthy.

24 January 2019

Not that I'll ever have the money to make the choice, but the square headlights of the Rolls Royce range look much better, classier and formal than the W210/Impreza GD style googly headlights of the Bentley.

24 January 2019

The main difference seems to be a smoother rear window line, which gives it a more sporty look. I like it a lot.

24 January 2019

For me the Ghost is one of the few really looking cars in production. The disguised car appears more rounded, especially around the rear quarter window and it seems to work well. The relaxed confident stance appears intact. Given that Bentley's saloons are visual disasters (too much metal in the wrong places, clumsy proportions) the Ghost ought to significantly outsell the Flying Spur but this doesn't seem to be the case. 


24 January 2019

...Ghost a competitor for the Flying Spur and Mercedes-Maybach S600? The Ghost's base price is much, much higher then both, somewhere between the Flying Spur and Bentley's flagship sedan! Is Autocar suggesting that the Flying Spur and Ghost are rivals, due to their both being the least expensive sedans that their brands offer? If so, how does the Maybach fit into that dynamic, when it is one the most expensive sedans that Mercedes offers? 

6 February 2019

Hope they don't mess it up, like they did with the Phantom replacement.

6 February 2019

Goodwood is an assembly plant not a manufcaturing one. Body, engine, gearbox etc are made in Germany.

6 February 2019
The answer to the question 'Why doesn't BMW make a 9-series?'
They do, here it is.

7 February 2019

I'm lucky enough to have driven Rolls Royces and live in a place where they're relatively common. It's also a ski resort so has snow for 6 months of the year.

AWD certainly would be useful here and the newer cars are less good. A friend runs a hotel with several cars which they use to drive guests around. Their Phantom VI has no problem in the snow whereas their Phantom VII struggles to get up the hill. They also have a M760 which does snow duties.

2 April 2019

 Having sat in the back of a Bentley I can honestly say it’s the way to travel, it’s what we’d all like our cars to be , comfy, quiet everything just so, but, we can’t, so, there a new RR coming, I’m sure it’ll be nice.


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