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Future models - Rolls-Royce - Ghost

Magic carpet ride for Ghost, says Rolls

Easy rider: Rolls-Royce's new Ghost will float on air.

Rolls-Royce reveals details of all-new Ghost’s ‘state-of-the-art’ air suspension

12 Jun 2009

ROLLS-ROYCE says its forthcoming Ghost mid-sizer will deliver “peerless riding dynamics” by way of a new intelligent all-air suspension system.

In the latest instalment of its extended reveal campaign, announced a day after the first official glimpse of Volkswagen AG’s long-awaited replacement for Bentley’s Arnage limousine flagship, Rolls-Royce has also confirmed the Ghost would incorporate a “lift and kneel’ function to raise or lower the vehicle 25mm.

Like the larger Phantom sedan and coupe, but unlike BMW’s latest 7 Series sedan flagship, upon which its chassis is based, Rolls-Royce’s new entry-level model will feature a four-corner air-spring suspension system.

However, all three models will have a multi-link independent rear suspension system with self-levelling air springs (on the long-wheelbase 7 Series), plus double wishbones up front – a BMW first in the new Seven – and aluminium front and rear axles.

Rolls-Royce also confirmed the Ghost would feature other new technologies pioneered in the 7 Series, including Active Roll Stabilisation, which is similar to the Seven’s optional Active Roll Control, and Variable Damping Control, which makes individual load calculations every 2.5 milliseconds like the 7 Series system.

50 center imageExpect the Ghost to also come with new 7 Series functions such as Brake Energy Regeneration, plus Dynamic Stability Control Plus incorporating Dynamic Traction Control, Hill-Start Assistant, Brake Drying, Brake Pre-tensioning, Soft-stop and Brake Fade Compensation.

The hallowed British brand claims the Ghost, which emerged as the 200EX concept at the Geneva motor show in March and will debut in final production form at the Frankfurt motor show in September, will offer “poise, precision and unrivalled comfort” when it goes on sale globally in 2010.

“The Ghost will be as refined and as cosseting as anything that this marque has ever produced,” said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Tom Purves.

“But it will have a dynamic vitality afforded to it due to the latest technology and engineering techniques. These have been bestowed on this car with the same care and attention as the more traditional materials within.” The 200EX has just completed the London leg of a global customer tour, which concludes in Cannes on July 4. Rolls-Royce this week reiterated the fact the Ghost will be built on a dedicated production line at Goodwood alongside the Phantom, with which it will share paint, wood and leather workshops, from late 2009.

Rolls-Royce engineering director Helmut Riedl said yesterday that a Rolls-Royce should be effortless in every way: the way it accelerates, brakes and handles.

“It should do all of these functions with apparent ease regardless of the complex mechanicals that are working out of sight of the driver and passengers,” he said.

“The driver simply has to point the car in the preferred direction of travel and press the accelerator.

“The individual technologies determining handling and safety work together controlled by dual Integrated Chassis Management systems meaning that even under vigorous testing the Ghost remains perfectly poised.

“We are very proud of our engineering team’s achievements with Ghost. The balance of refinement and dynamic ability is astonishing.” As Rolls-Royce revealed in March, the Ghost will be powered by a new turbocharged 6.6-litre V12 that produces “more than 500hp” (373kW), making it more powerful – and undoubtedly more efficient – than the Phantom’s 338kW/720Nm naturally-aspirated direct-injection 6.75-litre V12.

Expected to be based on the 400kW/750Nm 6.0-litre turbo V12 that powers the upcoming 760Li, with which the Ghost will also share its new ZF-developed eight-speed automatic transmission, the new force-fed V12 is said to be exclusive to Rolls.

As previously reported, the Ghost sedan will be the second all-new model to be produced under BMW stewardship since the 2003 Phantom sedan, which was followed by long-wheelbase, coupe and convertible derivatives.

It is expected cost less than half as much as the million-dollar-plus Phantom model at under $500,000, or about double the average 7 Series, which for now ranges from under $200,000 to almost $300,000.

Similarly, at 5399mm long, the new ‘small’ Roller is 187mm longer than the LWB Seven, but 435mm shorter than the Phantom, while its 3295mm wheelbase is 85mm longer than the 7-Li but 275mm shorter than the Phantom’s.

Presumably it will also weigh somewhere between the 2250kg 760Li (which is well up on both the 1980kg 750Li V8 and the 2180kg 760Li it replaces, despite weight savings of up to 40 per cent with the new 7 Series) and the 2485kg Phantom sedan.

Read more:

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First look: BMW unveils 7 Series king

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