New baby Rolls will spawn different body styles
14 June 2009

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.”

See all the latest Rolls-Royce reviews, news and video

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.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    23 March 2018
    Fully-loaded, big-hitting diesel CLS shows the potential perils of ticking too many options boxes on your order form. A good car with a bad suspension combination.
  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?