2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase unveiled at Auto Shanghai

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 19, 2011

Developed especially for the Chinese market, Rolls-Royce presented its Ghost Extended Wheelbase at the 2011 Auto Shanghai. Designed as a car to drive or in which to be chauffeured, Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase will offer more space with the addition of 170mm to the car’s wheelbase, which means more legroom for the passengers.

Under the bonnet we find the acclaimed Rolls-Royce Ghost 6.6 litre twin turbo charged V12 engine producing 563 hp and 780 Nm of torque at just 1,500rpm.

With these numbers, the Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.0 seconds. Still, the car is very comfortable thanks to an intelligent, four corner air suspension.

The first Rolls-Royce models to carry the Ghost name were known to have a refined style while being durable. This gave passengers the chance to experience what it meant to ride in a coach-built luxury. For the newest version of the Rolls-Royce Ghost, the design team made sure to keep everything that made the previous models a success.

Interior Designer Alan Sheppard shared that the objective of the Ghost Extended Wheelbase was to highlight its tone of discretion and confidence. This was done by balancing the different qualities of the Rolls-Royce which are to pamper the passengers while protecting them from the outside environment and to flood the interior with natural light, Sheppard adds.

Exterior Design

The Ghost has always been about coming up with a wonderful design by creating something simple out of something complex.

The focus was to go for a more modern look thereby expanding the brand’s appeal. This principle is continued in the Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase. The Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase manages to retain a formidable profile by using 'yacht line' styling highlighted with flowing lines. Powerful shoulders and flanks plus the uninterrupted surfaces make the car more dynamic. This is further underscored by the fact that 170 mm was added to it. Meanwhile, the rear doors have exterior canvas making it longer by 35 mm than the one in front.

DNA of the Rolls-Royce is obvious in the Ghost Extended Wheelbase with a short front overhang, long bonnet, and an elevated prow that extends to the elegant tail. The current design further confirms that this is in fact part of the Rolls-Royce line. These include umbrellas that are coated with Teflon and mounted on the front door and self-righting wheel centers. There is also the contemporary version of the grille and sides that are curved inwards with the vanes set to the opening, making it resemble more like a jet intake.

Inclusion of forged wheels add more to the unique feature of the exterior further differentiating the Ghost Extended Wheelbase from its competitors. The coach doors of the Ghost Extended Wheelbase have been extended and they easily open 89 degrees giving a sense of calm for both the driver and passengers.

Interior Design

While customers of the Ghost may have been accustomed with its interior space, they will be more than surprised when they see the interior of the new Ghost Extended Wheelbase. The additional 170 mm gives it greater scale. The knee room has been increased from 160 mm to 330 mm significantly increasing the legroom. This is certain to attract customers who want additional space in the rear as much as they want to feel the performance of the Rolls-Royce.

Even with the extended space, the Ghost Extended Wheelbase is still shorter by 50 cm compared to the Phantom Extended Wheelbase. Nevertheless this does not mean that passengers of the Ghost Extended Wheelbase are not able to relax or stretch out, which they can actually do with this model by merely pressing a button. With discretion being part of the Rolls-Royce, passengers can relax in the leather seat and since these are behind the C-pillar, they get more privacy.

The way the seat is curved allows the passengers in the back to comfortably face each other as they chat. They can even discuss business with the optional wireless hotspot installed. There is also the option to have the theater configuration that allows settings to be accessed and controlled through the rear seat as long as it does not impact the driver.

At the back of the front seats are two LCD screens measuring 9.2 inches that can display the different functions of the Ghost Extended Wheelbase. The angle can also be changed through a central rotary controller that is mounted on the individual armrests to offer better viewing.

There are also other controls that passengers can use like the one that regulates the temperature on their side. The passengers can also access radio, CDs, and TV channels. They can even look through the car’s navigation menu. For music lovers, the Ghost Extended Wheelbase has an audio system that can deliver 600 Watts through 16 speakers and 10-channel amplifier. External audio devices can also be used by using the auxiliary inputs or USB.

Press Release

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase is the newest member of the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars luxury family. Instantly recognisable as a Rolls-Royce, this is the latest beautiful model to proudly carry the famous Spirit of Ecstasy hood figurine, a mascot celebrating her centenary in 2011.

And like Rolls-Royce models that have gone before, Ghost Extended Wheelbase stands true to the finest values and principles encapsulated by this most famous of automotive icons; supreme quality, effortless performance and the very pinnacle of automotive luxury.

Hand-built in Goodwood, England, Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase is striking and agile. Its capacious interior comes courtesy of an increase in 170mm length over the already ample interior space that rear-seat passengers enjoy in Ghost. A panoramic sunroof is a standard addition, enhancing the interior ambiance, bathing occupants in natural light.

The combination of interior space and performance present the best of both worlds to the world's most discerning customers, without any hint of compromise. Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase retains all the dynamic prowess upon which the reputation of Ghost has been built, yet promises to tempt even the most ardent of drivers out of their front seat, to savour the passenger experience.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase was unveiled at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show, in a market where customers demand the best from their luxury cars, and where many prioritise space and comfort for rear seat passengers.

It follows the introduction of Ghost to global markets in September 2009, a model that quickly won plaudits from customers, media and enthusiasts thanks to its stunning contemporary design and breathtaking performance - delivered in an effortless way.

In 2010, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars more than doubled global sales to 2,711 units, partly due to the introduction of Ghost. Production of Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase began in Autumn 2011.

DESIGNED FOR CARRIAGE IN STYLE

"For Ghost Extended Wheelbase we set out to emphasise the air of calm confidence and discretion achieved through the thoughtful balancing of attributes so typical of Rolls-Royce: An interior awash with natural light, cosseting occupants in luxury yet shielding them from the hustle and bustle outside." - Alan Sheppard, Interior Designer

The first cars to wear the Ghost name in the early 20th century were famed not only for their durability, but also for refinement, flair and style, where passengers enjoyed the trappings of the best in coach-built luxury. In developing a Ghost for the 21st century, the Rolls-Royce design team retained these guiding principles.

However the focus was for a more contemporary, informal design broadening the appeal of the Rolls-Royce brand. The result was Ghost, a breathtaking design, creating simplicity out of complexity, a theme that follows in Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase maintains a powerful profile, with flowing lines dominated by majestic 'yacht line' styling. Large uninterrupted surfaces, powerful shoulders and flanks point to the car's unmistakeable dynamic prowess and the addition of 170mm only adds to the car's already considerable presence. It is a balanced exterior canvas with rear doors just 35mm longer than those in the front.

Rolls-Royce DNA flows through Ghost Extended Wheelbase starting with the car's elevated prow, long bonnet and short front overhang, through to its elegant tail. Contemporary design details further affirm Rolls-Royce credentials, including self-righting wheel centres, front door-mounted Teflon-coated umbrellas and a modern take on the famous Rolls-Royce grille, with sides curved inwards and vanes set back into the opening to resemble a jet intake.

From the exterior, Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase further distinguishes itself by the addition of a new forged wheel, adding to the model's distinctive character.

Entering Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase through extended coach doors that open to 89 degrees is effortless and immediately imparts a wave of serenity for occupants. Those who have already experienced Ghost's ample interior space may at first be surprised by the interior experience of Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase, which bestows a far greater sense of scale than an extra 170mm might imply.

Legroom is significantly enhanced, with knee-room more than doubled from 160 to 330mm. It is this that will appeal to the many Rolls-Royce Ghost customers who value additional space and comfort for rear seat passengers at least as much as experiencing the car's dynamic performance.

But, while longer, Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase remains around half a metre shorter than the pinnacle Phantom Extended Wheelbase, the ultimate expression of a Rolls-Royce and a car that stands alone in its class.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase positively encourages occupants to relax, stretch out in standard lounge seats after closing doors - at the touch of a button.

Discretion comes as standard. Passengers relax in lounge seats covered in sumptuous leather, seated behind the C-pillar to heighten the sense of privacy. The seat's slight curve allows those inside to turn more easily to face each other, creating a convivial environment to chat informally or in which to do business, perhaps taking advantage of the optional wireless hotspot.

Theatre configuration is available as an option, allowing all settings that do not directly affect the driver to be controlled and accessed from the rear seat.

Functions are displayed on two 9.2 inch LCD screens in front-seat backs; these can be angled to suit the viewer and are managed via a central rotary controller mounted on the armrest. Passengers can activate climate control regulating the temperature of the air on their side of the car, access TV channels and CDs, radio or browse the navigation menu. Those with a passion for music will enjoy an audio system delivering 600 Watts through a 10-channel amplifier and 16 speakers. USB and auxiliary inputs allow external audio devices to be integrated.

Alternatively, passengers can simply sit back, relax and enjoy the clear view past the Spirit of Ecstasy, sinking their feet into deep pile carpets or lambs' wool floor mats for added opulence, massaged and cooled through perforated seats.

The perfect environment to soak up that other trademark of the Rolls-Royce brand: silence.

ENGINEERED FOR EFFORTLESS PERFORMANCE

"In Ghost we engineered a car with outstanding refinement and dynamic ability and it was important this was not lost in the development of Ghost Extended Wheelbase. I can confidently say we achieved this fundamental aim: performance is astonishing and the difference in driving dynamics almost imperceptible." - Helmut Riedl, Engineering Director

Ghost was designed as a vision of simplicity, to drive in peerless fashion. The engineering behind Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase has enhanced these principles further. It's a car that you wouldn't think twice about driving yourself.

While extra space gives an even more rewarding ride for occupants, the chassis retains its poise, delivering a totally engaging experience for Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase drivers. Power is delivered in an effortless and seemingly endless way, with the latest in-car technology falling easily to hand.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase is powered by the 6.6 litre twin turbo charged V12 engine of Ghost, delivering the same 563 hp effortlessly on an intelligent air suspension system for peerless ride and handling.

Travelling from 0-62 in just five seconds, and with a top speed limited to 155 mph, Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase remains imperceptibly different in terms of its performance. Power is transmitted in abundance through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.

The feeling of surging power is illustrated by the power reserve gauge on the fascia, underpinned by 780Nm of torque available at just 1,500 rpm.

Double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension play a role in the exquisite ride in Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase and are complemented by an intelligent, four cornered air-suspension system and electronic variable damping to ensure the car is able to deliver the refinement demanded by the world's most exclusive customers.

Indeed, the air suspension system is so sensitive that it can detect and react to the smallest of changes. It can sense, for example, the movement of a single rear passenger from one side of the rear seat to the other. A complex computer system reads multiple inputs from sensors around the car; the dampers alone make individual load calculations every 2.5 milliseconds. This ensures not only perfect comfort but also precise steering and dynamics for the driver.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase also incorporates a series of complex electronic aids to keep it composed on any surface. These include anti-roll stabilisation, dynamic brake control, and dynamic traction control and cornering brake control. These technologies work together under dual Integrated Chassis Management systems, meaning that Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase always remains perfectly poised even in the face of vigorous testing.

HANDCRAFTED IN GOODWOOD, ENGLAND

Each Rolls-Royce passes through up to 60 pairs of hands before leaving Goodwood in England. These belong to the skilled craftspeople and technicians who expend 20 days and undertake 2,000 individual operations to create Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase spends seven days being painted and hand polished to perfection. The first of five stages starts with a phosphate electro-coat to protect against corrosion. This is followed by a layer of primer, colour coat and two layers of clear lacquer. The body is sanded between each layer and hand-polished for five hours after the application of the final coat.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase comes in 12 exterior colours, each of which can be contrasted by an optional Silver Satin bonnet.

The slightest imperfection has no place in a Rolls-Royce interior. Consequently, nine high-grade bull hides are used in each Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase interior. Leather is drum dyed to ensure colour permeates right through; it is then naturally dried to bring out the grain and deliver a contemporary feel for the car.

Each leather component is precision cut by laser, then hand-stitched using traditional upholstering techniques before seats and interior panels are personally signed by the craftsperson involved in their creation.

A Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase wood-set has at least 3m2 of veneer, consisting of 18 wood parts and takes 16 days to complete. Each individual piece consists of 11 layers of veneer, one layer of foil and one of aluminium to provide strength and to prevent shattering in the event of an accident. Their natural beauty is brought to life by the skill of those working in the wood shop.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase boasts high quality wood veneers available in four different finishes ranging from contemporary straight grain to classic burr finishes. Veneer from the same tree is used in any car ensuring the grain matches throughout and parts age at the same pace. They are milled and sanded by hand before being coated with five layers of lacquer for protection - and to give the trademark mirror-like sheen.

The interior experience is one without equal. And delivered on the original ethos of Sir Henry Royce - to strive for perfection in everything Rolls-Royce does.

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