Any new sighting of spectral bodies emanating from West Sussex, however briefly, are always guaranteed to make local and national headlines.
A brand new Ghost from Rolls-Royce, however, should be more than just a fleeting appearance and will undoubtedly produce shivers of excitement from all lovers of the regal marque.
This Ghost supersedes the model of the same name that emerged from Goodwood in 2009 and the new car is slated to energise a whole new worldwide clientele for another decade. The old Goodwood Ghost was designed to appeal to buyers looking for Phantom luxury standards in a slightly smaller and more user friendly package, according to a company spokesperson. The Ghost became the most successful model in the marque’s entire 116 year history.
The only items carried over into the new Goodwood Ghost are the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot and the handy built-in umbrellas. Apparently feedback from owners emphasised that they wanted elegant simplicity in the new Ghost echoing architect Le Corbusier’s maxim that “ Less is more.”
So the new Ghost is underpinned by Aluminium Spaceframe architecture already seen in the Phantom and the unique Cullinan SUV. Designers are able to adapt each model easily to suit its individual requirements by being able to move freely the positioning of the bulkhead, floor, crossmember and sills.
Cast suspension mounting assemblies were pushed right to the front of the new Ghost, placing the 6.75-litre V12 engine behind the front axle to achieve a highly desirable 50/50 weight distribution. Emphasising, perhaps, that the new Ghost is designed to be a satisfying driver’s car.
Overall dimensions have grown to maintain the interior suite’s impressive accommodation. And an all-wheel drivetrain and all-wheel steering ensure that there is considerable novelty as well as class-leading dynamics. The all-alumium bodywork showcases welded body seams to achieve a flawless finish that recalls the postwar Silver Dawn and Silver Cloud models.
Such seamlessness apparently extends to the Ghost’s suspension which has been the result of ten years of testing and development to achieve a sense of flight on land. As well as redesigned suspension geometry and rear axle self-levelling suspension, the latest Ghost employs stealth optics in the windscreen to ‘see’ the road ahead and adapt the suspension proactively while GPS is used to pre-select the optimum gear for every road situation.
We’ve covered the new air purification system in an earlier feature but the car’s new LED and laser headlights offer a 600m range with day and night-time wildlife and pedestrian warnings, a four-camera system with helicopter view as well as all-round visibility, what is described as an industry-leading 7×3 head-up display, self-parking systems and all the latest in navigation and entertainment systems.
By now you may question Goodwood’s commitment to simplicity as the classic radiator grille is given ‘ethereal lighting’ for the first time. Early attempts were apparently considered too brash, so the engineers gave the backs of the vertical bars a special brushed coating to make them less reflective. Oh, and you’ll be glad to know, Rolls-Royce interior designers in their quest for lucidity have shunned busy stitches on the acres of prime leatherwork in favour of scant but incredibly long lines.
It is clear to see is that the Rolls-Royce hallmark of quality in every detail is reaching new heights today – as, no doubt, will the order books for the brand new Ghost.