Rolls-Royce Ghost

21 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Rolls-Royce Ghost

Rolls-Royce Ghost

(2009 onward)

The year 2009 was hallmarked by an economic crisis, evidence of which have been dwindling sales worldwide and fortunes vaporized. The automotive business was no exception with almost any market segment hit severely. Hence it was not just an extension of the existing model range when the new Rolls-Royce Ghost was launched as a 4-door ‘mid-size model’ positioned slightly beneath the ‘big’ Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The new car was burdened with the expectation to broaden the manufacturer’s market considerably and to do so from the very start when it made its debut in September 2009 at IAA, the bi-annual International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Between the design of the concept car Rolls-Royce 200EX and the series model Rolls-Royce Ghost only subtle differences could be detected, e.g. the minor changes as regards the clock.

Neither layout and nor dimensions of the Rolls-Royce Ghost were a surprise. As regards the car’s outward appearance the public was already pretty well informed from the concept car Rolls-Royce 200EX described as almost identical to series-standard having toured shows and meetings around the world during the previous year.

The interior of the car was known, too, as were the essential technical figures. Measuring at rather grand scale with 212.6in length (5,399mm), 61in height (1,550mm) and 76.7in width (1.948mm) to call the new one a ‘mid-size model’ was justified merely by direct comparison to the huge Rolls-Royce Phantom of even larger dimensions.

The family roots were obvious from almost identical design clues – and such did include that the Rolls-Royce Ghost showed only negligible alterations of that front view which had ignited harsh comments when it first appeared on the previous model. Another feature that was familiar from the Phantom were the rear-hinged rear doors. However the design was more dynamic overall and this Rolls-Royce Ghost obviously did appeal more towards the owner-driver.

Such an impression was sustained, too, by the interior design. The passengers’ compartment was spacious (the Rolls-Royce Ghost wheelbase was just 1in (25mm) less than that of the ‘large’ Phantom) and fitted with well-shaped seats and a driver-oriented instrumentation. A rather high driver’s position in the best tradition of Rolls-Royce gave the driver what is meant by the salesmen’s therm ‘authority position’ and that did give a clear vision of the car’s dimensions.

Thus a basic demand was fulfilled to steer the car precisely even in dense traffic. A magnitude of electronic control units did assist; among these were cameras positioned at the car’s front to add all-round visibility and a head-up display projected driving-related information directly on to the windscreen in front of the driver.

The optional Night Vision System via an infrared-camera positioned in the grille could detect the body heat of pedestrians at up to 300 yards distance; the monitor remained out of sight behind a veneered when not in use. The safety devices that were offered as extras included a system that warned by vibrating the steering wheel when the car showed a tendency to drift towards another lane and Active Cruise Control could be set to maintain a pre-defined time gap from a car in front, reducing speed to a complete halt if necessary; that even re-started and accelerated to the pre-programmed speed as soon the traffic began to move again. Front seat’s occupants had to compromise somewhat as regards interior space – result of the gearbox being rather voluminous.

On board the Rolls-Royce Ghost was employed an 8-speed automatic gearbox developed by ZF and despite all efforts concentrated on compact layout a gearbox-unit with 8 speeds needed certain space. Under the bonnet a new twin turbo 6.6 litre V12 light alloy engine provided 80% of its torque virtually from idling.

The engine with near identical figures for bore and stroke (3.48/3.5in or 88.3/89mm) was of almost square layout and with a capacity of 6.6 litres, direct fuel injection and 4 valves per cylinder an impressive power was to be expected. Nonetheless to fit twin turbochargers had been considered reasonable and one result was an enormous torque of 575 lb ft (780Nm) at 1,500 rpm had been achieved.

Hard to fathom if indeed such a powerful engine needed to be coupled to an 8-speed gearbox; not least because under certain city traffic conditions somewhat hectic gearchanges were triggered and such attitude wasn’t entirely adequate on a car of this calibre. The choice of an 8-speed automatic had its major reason perhaps in an effort to achieve an acceptable petrol consumption figure of ca. 17mpg (ca.

14 litres/100km); urban circle consumption was stated with 12mpg (ca.20 litres/100km).

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