Words: Calvin Chan
Published: September 1, 2020
The Rolls-Royce Ghost has always been a personal favourite of mine, with a perfectly stretched out wheelbase, beautiful proportions, and a magic carpet ride. Turns out I’m not the only one - the Ghost is the brand’s best selling vehicle in their 116-year history. For the second generation 2021 model, it has been fully revamped with new looks, more tech, and a brand new platform. Yes that’s right. Ditch your BMW jokes and cheap jabs because the Ghost now rides on a new all-aluminum platform that currently underpins the Cullinan and Phantom, and it shares nothing with the BMW 7 Series.
We’ll start with the exterior styling first and while the Ghost does not appear all that different to the outgoing model, the sheetmetal has been pulled back, tightened, and manicured to produce a sportier and more eye-pleasing silhouette. The pantheon grill is wider and taller, and 20 LEDs have been mounted underneath the top of the radiator grill, shining down on the grill slats for more imposing road presence. The headlights are larger too, and the trunk lid is slanted just a touch more than before.
WIth its new spaceframe platform, the Ghost is slightly larger than before, growing 89mm in length and 30mm in width, benefitting interior space. To create the signature Rolls-Royce ride quality, they have also fitted an independent air suspension on all four corners with upper wishbone dampers, all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering for the first time, and like before, a satellite-aided transmission system that draws GPS data to preload dampers and pre-select the optimum gear for upcoming corners.
Under the hood is just about the only familiar BMW aspect of the Ghost, a 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12 derived from the BMW N74 engine, but with unique engine mapping for a total output of 563 hp and 627 lb-ft. The engine has been mounted behind the front axle for optimal 50/50 weight distribution, and should provide more than enough thrust to get this 2,553 kg porker up in a jiffy. The Ghost routes that output through an 8-speed transmission, and will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Not bad for what is essentially a castle on wheels. Rolls-Royce tells us that this V12 was an essential feature after listening to customer feedback, as their clientele consistently demanded a near-silent, instant-torque delivering, boost-chugging reactor. As such, Rolls-Royce has tuned their engine to deliver maximum torque at just 1,600 rpm.
Of course, this being a Rolls-Royce, means the Ghost receives the full army of accoutrements, including self-closing power-assisted doors, customizable Starlight Headliner, illuminated dashboard fascia, and a pin-drop silent cabin thanks to more than 100 kg in insulating materials used everywhere from the doors and windows, all the way down to the tires.
No word on Canadian pricing just yet, but check back on this space for more updates on what will surely be another popular entry into the luxury brand’s portfolio.