This is the first good look at the all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost the most powerful car the company has ever produced.
Looking much like the 200EX concept that was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva motor show, the Ghost is said by the company to combine all the luxury and craftsmanship expected of its cars with 'the most modern, dynamically interesting drive ever in a Rolls-Royce.'
The car is 600mm shorter than the Phantom, but has as much space inside, and is assembled with the same attention to detail. It takes seven days to be painted and polished, while the interior is trimmed in hand-stitched leather and all the wood veneer in each car is taken from a single tree to ensure it all matches.
Classic meets contemporary
The Ghost's styling combines traditional Rolls features, such as the long bonnet and elegant tail, with modern touches, including self-righting wheel centres and xenon headlamps.
Inside, too, the car is a blend of classic and modern: the four-zone climate control, for instance, directs the air through eyeball vents and is controlled by traditional organ-stop plungers; the rear seats can incorporate a massage function as well as a coolbox complete with Champagne flutes. Individually controlled rear-seat entertainment screens can also be fitted to the backs of the front seats.
Buyers can also have a head-up display on the windscreen to view speed and navigation instructions, while cameras all round the car help with manoeuvring and pulling out of blind junctions. There's also a 16-speaker stereo with USB and aux-in sockets, as well as a 12.5GB hard drive.
For all that, though, the company promises this is a car that will also appeal to keen drivers. Its 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 engine will propel the car from 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph.
However, Rolls adds that the drive is less about raising the pulse and more about lowering it. To that end, the car sits on air suspension that is claimed to be so sensitive that it adjusts to which side of the car a single rear passenger is sitting on.
There's also a full range of modern safety features, such as anti-roll stabilisation, stability control and dynamic brake control. These are in addition to a lane-departure-warning system, active cruise control and a night-vision camera that works with pedestrian recognition to warn the driver of potential hazards.