When the 2009 Rolls-Royce Ghost entered the market, it was aimed at buyers looking for a model that would offer a balance of comfort when being driven, and pleasure when behind the wheel – and at a lower price than the Phantom. When these clients were informed that Rolls-Royce was planning to begin developing a new-generation Ghost, due to be officially unveiled in autumn this year, they indicated that they wanted more of everything: more usability, more refinement, and also more driving enjoyment.
These potentially conflicting demands led to Rolls-Royce’s engineering experts deciding against the use of a pre-existing platform for the new Ghost. Instead, they configured the marque’s proprietary spaceframe architecture to incorporate elements of the brand’s existing model range such as all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, while adapting the structure to accommodate significant advances in Rolls-Royce’s ‘magic carpet ride’ and dynamic abilities.
A key development of the vehicle’s dynamic setup is the Planar system, which is comprised of three elements. The first is an upper wishbone damper unit, which is mounted above the front suspension assembly and creates a more stable and effortless ride. The result of three years of development, which Rolls-Royce says is a world-first technology.
The second development is the Flagbearer system, which uses cameras to read the road ahead and prepare the suspension system for any changes in road surface. The third is the satellite-aided transmission, which draws GPS data to pre-select the optimum gear for upcoming corners. The Planar system allows the new Ghost to anticipate and react to even the most demanding road surface.
During the engineering design process for the new Ghost, the chassis and suspension specialists were tasked with regularly presenting the technical advances they had made to other departments, as well as demonstrating how these developments met the client brief.
Jonathan Simms, engineering lead for the Ghost project explained, “Ghost clients told us that it’s the car in their collection that they’re drawn to the most. They love its uncomplicated versatility. 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. When it came to creating a new Ghost – one that outshines its incredibly capable predecessor – the engineering team had to start from scratch. We pushed our architecture even further and created a car even more dynamic, even more luxurious and, most of all, even more effortlessly useable.”