The Rolls-Royce Ghost, as we’ve known it for the past decade, has been built on the same platform that BMW uses for the 7 Series. Now there’s a new Ghost and R-R moved it to the same architecture used on the big Phantom and Cullinan. That’s important business news, but one thing sticks out on the ownership experience.
As for switching the car off of BMW’s platform, I wonder why Rolls-Royce made the change. I have spent some time in a Wraith, the coupe version of the Ghost, and it’s by no means an uncomfortable car. It’s as luxurious as you’d want it to be, short of being hand-carved out of wood and draped in fine furs.
I can’t say that the new architecture will make the Ghost any more comfortable, but it does make the thing a bit more special. I wonder if BMW is saving money by making Rolls’ unique platform cover three vehicles versus two, in comparison to saving money by using an existing BMW platform to stretch out the Rolls-Royce lineup.
As it is, the new Ghost is now 218 inches long (5546mm), or as big as a long wheelbase S-Class. It’s also still not quite as long as a Chevy Suburban, but it does stretch farther out into a parking garage than a Chevy Tahoe.
Rolls-Royce is now crass enough to announce engine specifications, so we get to hear that the twin-turbo 6.75-liter V12 delivers “563bhp/420kW and 850Nm/627lb ft of torque to the all-wheel steer, all-wheel drivetrain.”
I am particularly charmed that Rolls-Royce also claims a 50/50 weight distribution along with the all-wheel steering as if anyone is going to autocross their Ghost. In reality, all that AWS is doing is probably helping you park.
But back to what I got into this for in the first place. If anything, the biggest practical change is that the doors now also can open electronically in addition to closing at the press of a button. One does not simply close one’s own door in a Rolls-Royce. I am pleased one does not open it anymore either.
Certainly, a power-opening door seems to be a fairly straightforward engineering brief. You get a door, you put a motor in it, and you add a button so that the door opens. But this is a Rolls-Royce! R-R thinks of everything. As such, the mechanism is complicated, as noted in Rolls’ press release:
Clients first open the door with one pull of the interior handle, then allow the handle to return to its resting position while they check for potential hazards, and then pull and hold it for full power assistance on opening. Once the door is opened sufficiently for the client’s egress, they simply stop pulling the handle, which engages a door brake.
I need to see video of how this works from friend of Jalopnik Rory Reid:
As for the styling, I find it wonderful. It’s not as restrained as the old Ghost, but it looks better-proportioned. Less pinched. Less undignified. It would make a lovely car to any owner, as opposed to the Phantom, which is more of a wheeled boat, or the Cullinan, which is giant but somehow still too small.