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Next-Gen Rolls-Royce Ghost Takes “Post Opulence” Approach

Ultra-luxury marque targets “pure,” minimalist design
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2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost (Image: Rolls-Royce)

The days of excessive extravagance (relatively speaking, of course) are over at Rolls-Royce. Instead, the iconic British luxury marquee plans to focus on a “pure,” minimalist design with its future models.

That’s the word from CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos. He explains the strategy in a letter to prospective customers of the next-generation Ghost sedan.

Reduction and Restraint

Owners of the first-generation Ghost, which was introduced in 2009, like the car’s versatility and breadth of character, according to Muller-Otvos.

They also appreciate the model’s “pared-back simplicity,” he adds, noting that customers called the Ghost “a slightly smaller, less ostentatious means to own a Rolls-Royce.” Power comes from a 6.6-liter V-12 that generates 562 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque.

The carmaker has described the trend as “post opulence.” It’s a move toward “luxury objects that celebrate reduction and restraint,” Muller-Otvos says, whispering rather than shouting about their place atop the automotive world.

Plain Ghost

Rolls-Royce aims to build on the strategy with the all-new Ghost due this autumn.

The car will feature the purest expression of Rolls-Royce yet, Muller-Otvos enthuses. “It distills the pillars of our brand into a beautiful, minimalist, yet highly complex product that is perfectly in harmony with our Ghost clients’ needs and, I believe, perfectly in tune with the times in which we are all living,” he says, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Going forward, Rolls customers “expressed an ardent desire for even more minimalism in design.”

But…

While luxury buyers are rejecting obvious and unnecessary embellishments and overt complication, Muller Otvos says they still want engineering substance and “effortless” technology.

Moreover, he adds, there will always be a place for “items and products of opulence that express the very best of human endeavor, inspire greatness and present a sense of theater and magic.”

What We Know

2021 Ghost 

The second-generation Ghost will switch to the latest version of owner BMW Group’s aluminum platform that carries the Phantom sedan and Cullinan crossover. The only carryover parts from the current model will be the car’s umbrellas and the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.

Rolls-Royce has been developing the cars for five years. A subdued digital launch is planned for later this year.

But it’s still going to be a Rolls-Royce. The brand’s current lineup starts at more than $300,000 and goes up to about $500,000, which is plenty opulent for most buyers.

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