November 12, 2020
How the 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost achieves engineering excellence
The 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost is the ideal luxury lifestyle vehicle for those looking to take weekend drives to the countryside yet still use it for business during the week. Ghost is the driver’s 4-door Rolls-Royce, featuring just enough driver-centric features to be fun on the road yet relaxed enough to please passengers and give you a sense of relaxation while driving.
Over its ten-year lifespan, which began in 2009, Ghost has become the most successful model in the brand’s 116-year history. So how does Rolls-Royce improve on a masterpiece like Ghost? It’s with very subtle changes through what Rolls-Royce is calling post-opulence. They found that a younger client base is looking for a less ostentatious vehicle with minimalistic design cues plus an engaging driving experience.
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How does Ghost achieve this engaging driving experience while maintaining that cocoon of luxury feeling and ride quality? It’s through years of development and world-class engineering technology. At Goodwood, the home of Rolls-Royce, significant advances were made with their proprietary aluminum space frame architecture. First used on Phantom, then Cullinan, this space frame is unique to Rolls-Royce.
What’s truly incredible is the 50/50 weight distribution the passionate engineers at Rolls-Royce were able to achieve. This was accomplished by pushing the cast suspension mounting assemblies to the front, placing its 6.75-litre V12 behind the front axle. The Ghost is a rear-drive focused vehicle but now features an all-wheel drivetrain, all-wheel steering, and wholly redesigned planar suspension system, which further enhances that magic carpet ride feeling.
The body itself is made 100% from aluminium and features a more flowing seamless design than before from the A-pillar, over the roof, and backward to the rear of the car as the designers worked to cut out unneeded lines and elements from the new Ghost. To achieve perfect body construction, four craftsmen hand weld the body together simultaneously to ensure a perfectly continuous seam. This technique not only offers weight benefits and remarkable stiffness, but the material has a lower acoustic impedance than steel, improving cabin ambience.
When it comes to powering the Ghost, Rolls-Royce uses their legendary 6.75-litre twin-turbocharged V12, offering a stunning 627 lb-ft of torque available from just 1600rpm and 563 horsepower. Naturally, the engine and transmission were mapped precisely for Ghost. To further refine its already extraordinary acoustic qualities, the air intake system was redesigned to incorporate larger porting to reduce engine presence in the interior.
The all-new Ghost has further improved ride quality by utilizing a planar suspension, resulting from ten collective years of testing and development of physical engineering and sophisticated scanning software technology incorporating a world-first upper wishbone damper unit above the front suspension assembly, creating an even more stable ride. This works alongside the flagbearer system, which uses cameras to read the road ahead and prepare the suspension system for any changes in the road surface and the high-tech satellite aided transmission.
These technologies are managed as one through a planar software system that anticipates and reacts to the most taxing road surfaces. Reserved exclusively for Rolls-Royce, this technology further evolves the double-wishbone magic carpet ride suspension system. As founder Henry Royce said, “Take the best that exists and make it better.” The engineers didn’t forget about the rear suspension either as it features a five-link rear axle, self-levelling air suspension, and rear-wheel steering.
Sure, we can talk about all the unique new engineering features the 2021 Ghost offers, but what’s it like to drive? When I first slipped in the plush driver’s seat, the first thing you notice as you use a button in the centre console to close the door is just how incredibly quiet the vehicle really is. It’s like your own personal oasis, washing out even the loudest of noises like roadwork and delivery trucks. In fact, it was so quiet, Rolls-Royce needed to allow just a little more sound into the cabin as it was so quiet people felt uneasy. As you apply power, you can tell you have a massive V12 at your disposal, ready to tackle curvy roads with dynamic 4-wheel steering and the satellite aided transmission. The all-new 2021 Ghost has a spirited dynamic personality and will not disappoint.
Written by kyle Edward