“Perfection in simplicity.” That’s the guidance Rolls-Royce gave to engineers working on the next-generation Ghost ultra-luxury sedan.
The goal, explains Jonathan Simms, who leads the Ghost’s engineering team, was to create a car that is “supremely comfortable to be driven in, vibrant to drive and effortless in all weathers.”
Or, to put it more simply, provide owners with an even more refined version of what Rolls-Royce refers to as its “magic carpet ride” experience.
All In on Advanced Chassis Tech
Executing the strategy starts with Rolls-Royce’s flexible “Architecture of Luxury” platform, which also underpins the marque’s Phantom sedan and Cullinan crossover vehicle.
This made it easy to add all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering capabilities to the all-new Ghost, Simms says.
Engineering the new Ghost (Image: Rolls-Royce)
The spaceframe architecture also provides the basis for an adaptive driveline. Dubbed Planar, the new system integrates three elements: a unique suspension setup, forward-looking cameras and GPS data.
The suspension is highlighted by a so-called upper wishbone damper that is mounted above the front unit to enhance stability and ride smoothness, according to the carmaker.
The cameras are used to monitor upcoming road conditions and adjust the suspension accordingly. Mercedes-Benz is using a similar system in its redesigned S-Class sedan.
The 2021 Ghost also uses GPS data to monitor upcoming road variances. In this case, the information is used by the transmission to pre-select gears to optimize performance during cornering and other driving maneuvers.
The integrated system, which has been in development for three years, promises to anticipate and quickly react to changing conditions. This translates into more comfort and/or improved driving dynamics, Rolls-Royce says.
The new chassis technology will be teamed with a minimalist design that the carmaker describes as “post opulence.” The only carryover parts from the current Ghost will be the car’s umbrellas and the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.
But the engineering team strived to maintain the outgoing model’s uncomplicated versatility, Simms says, then take it to the next level.
“It’s not trying to be a sports car; it’s not trying to be a grand statement. It’s simply exceptional and exceptionally simple,” he notes. Simms vows the new Ghost will be even more dynamic, even more luxurious and, most of all, even more “effortlessly useable.”
Buyers won’t have to wait long to find out for themselves. Rolls-Royce plans to unveil the new Ghost this autumn. Pricing is expected to start at more than $300,000.