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New models - Rolls-Royce - Ghost - Series II

Rolls-Royce Ghost II wafts in for $100,000 less

Staring point: Rolls-Royce realised buyers were specifying their cars so highly, they’ve removed $100,000 worth of added kit to give customers a “blank canvas” car to build on with the Ghost Series II.

Entry into ultra-luxury club dropped by $100K with 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost II

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Rolls-Royce logo12 Nov 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

ROLLS-ROYCE’S updated Ghost has arrived in Australia with a significant $100,000 price drop over the previous model offering a new entry point into the British brand’s limousine line-up.

As the smaller sibling to the Phantom range the Ghost has been marketed as a more “affordable” Rolls-Royce since its launch in 2009, but the standard wheelbase’s new price of $519,000 plus on-road costs or $545,000 on the road, undercuts the outgoing car’s $645,000 price tag considerably.

Speaking at the preview of the Ghost Series II in Sydney this week, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Asia Pacific regional director Paul Harris said the price reduction was due to the removal of features after the company received feedback suggesting buyers may not want those additions.

“The key strategy with the price is that we had the Australian specification car before and it had a range of inclusions in it, but the more we engaged with clients the more we realised that our guess at what a client may need is not necessarily what they do need,” he said.

Mr Harris said the luxury brand’s customers spend significant amounts on optional features and 95 per cent of Rolls-Royces sold receive personalised additions carried out by the brand’s in-house Bespoke team.

“Our view was rather than have a specification-inclusive car, bring it in as a blank canvas. The reality is when people come in here they spend significantly more.”“So we don’t actually expect anyone to spend any less, we’ve just got a lower base price where by we have less in the car – that’s basically the news – that’s all we’ve done.”

The list of items removed from the car includes 20-inch satin-finished alloy wheels, chrome visible exhaust, camera system, individual seat configuration, picnic tables, keyless entry, rear media system, lamb’s wool mats and Driver Assistance Package 3.

Mr Harris said the Ghost’s price was not dropped to compete with Bentley’s $423,160 Flying Spur W12.

“We often get asked about competitors. But the competitors in our segment aren’t really cars – they’re other things like houses, property, helicopters, boats, and yachts,” he said.

This is the first update to the Ghost since it arrived in Australia in 2010 and the exterior styling tweaks are subtle.

There’s a new bonnet with a tapered “wake” channel leading down to the Spirit of Ecstasy ornament which now leans forward by a further seven degrees.

Redesigned LED headlights with LED daytime running lights have been added and sit above a new bumper which has been styled to give a wider look to the front of the car.

The lower air intake now has black mesh and a chrome frame, while an enhanced “waft” line running down the side of the car and metal door handles complete the exterior revisionsInside, the redesigned front seats now have electronically adjustable thigh supports, while in the rear the seats have been slightly angled towards each other to “augment effortless communication with fellow passengers”. A polished metal surround has been added to the dashboard clock.

The cabin, which has full leather interior as standard, now has an option to add hide to the A and C pillars. Standard too is an updated media system with a 10.2-inch high definition screen and rotary controller with touch-pad.

The 420kW/780Nm 6.8-litre V12 is carried over from the outgoing car, but new to the Ghost II is a standard satellite-aided transmission which uses GPS data to select gears through the eight-speed ZF automatic.

Rolling on standard 19-inch alloy wheels, suspension changes include re-engineered front and rear struts, fresh steering gear, and the addition of new hydraulic rear axle bearings which Rolls-Royce said ensures the ride is excellent, even on the optional 21-inch wheels.

At 5399mm long the Ghost’s dimensions are unchanged with the standard wheelbase length measuring 3295mm. A long wheelbase version is also available and adds an extra 170mm between the axles.

The price of the long wheelbase Ghost II has not been announced, with Rolls-Royce saying this is due to the limited Australian sales, but buyers can expect to pay 10-12 per cent more than the standard wheelbase.

Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific general manager Sven J Ritter said the Ghost has been a top-performing model for the brand and a large contributor to the record sales in recent years.

“Since the Ghost Series 1 was launched it’s been a great success for us globally,” he said.

“Last year we reached 3630 cars worldwide – the fourth consecutive record year for Rolls Royce – and Ghost has certainly been the main focus and driver of that.”

Rolls-Royce will not, however, reveal the breakdown in sales of models.

While a new lower entry point is a way of attracting more buyers from other car-makers, Mr Harris said the Ghost II’s price reduction is unlikely to boost sales.

“I think the spend pattern of people is going to remain the same, irrespective of the price,” he said.

“We expect steady growth, but we don’t expect rapid growth and we don’t expect it to be an injection to sales by any means.”

Rolls-Royce has sold 34 cars in Australia year to date, 23 of which are coupes and convertibles, while 11 are sedans.

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