The only components carried over from the first Goodwood Ghost were the Spirit of Ecstasy and umbrellas. Everything else was designed, crafted and engineered from the ground up. The result is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet. It distils the pillars of the marque into a beautiful, minimalist, yet highly complex product that is perfectly in harmony with the Ghost clients’ needs and perfectly in tune with the times.
‘The first Goodwood Ghost was a response to a whole new generation of clients, both in age and attitude. These men and women asked us to create a slightly smaller, less ostentatious means to own a Rolls-Royce. The success of the model fulfilled our most ambitious expectations. Over its ten-year lifespan, which began in 2009, it has become the most successful model in the marque’s 116-year history.
‘To create a new product that would resonate with Ghost clients for the next decade meant we had to listen carefully to their demands. We set new standards in customer centricity by creating a completely new motor car for a unique group of Rolls-Royce’s clients. These business leaders and entrepreneurs desire more from their Ghost than ever. They require a new type of super-luxury saloon that’s dynamic, serenely comfortable and perfect in its minimalism. Ghost is this product,’ says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Goodwood, West Sussex, UK.
Its decade-long market presence enabled the Rolls-Royce’s Luxury Intelligence Specialists to gather vital information about developing behaviours in how Ghost clients use their car, how they commission it and how they perceive Rolls-Royce. These highly successful and diverse entrepreneurs and founders, who selected this product to celebrate their ongoing ascension, were citizens of the world – they had been educated abroad, they travelled extensively and experienced Rolls-Royce in many cultures.
Due to Ghost’s energetic, dynamic personality, these clients came to realise that the Rolls-Royce brand could offer more than a chauffeur-driven experience. Indeed, in the USA and areas of Europe, clients were self-driving the car from the very early stages of its introduction. In Asia, clients were engaging heavily in the connected technology on board, be it for business or pleasure.
Across all markets, when clients commissioned their Ghost they questioned the driving experience, even if they had selected an extended wheelbase. During weekends, this business tool morphed into a discreet celebration – clients would switch to the driver’s seat and relish a trip to a restaurant or second home with their friends and family. They appreciated this breadth of character, reflected in less formal colourways and more personalisation in the driver’s eyeline. These were profound lessons for the marque.
Meanwhile, at Goodwood, significant advances were being made with the RR proprietary aluminium spaceframe architecture. First used on Phantom, then Cullinan, this spaceframe is unique to Rolls-Royce and enables the brand’s designers and engineers to develop an authentically super-luxury product, free from the constraints of platforms used to underpin high volume vehicles.
As Ghost clients required even more of their motor car, RR used its architecture to respond, incorporating technology such as all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, unlocking a new, purposeful personality. The design team were tracking an emerging movement that came to define Ghost’s aesthetic treatment. It spoke of a shifting attitude among Ghost clients in the way success is expressed.
Named ‘Post Opulence’ internally, it is characterised by reduction and substance. In service to this, exceptional materials must be selected and celebrated. Design must be limited, intelligent and unobtrusive. This philosophy is the antithesis of ‘premium mediocracy’, a term coined by the fashion cognoscenti. This refers to products that use superficial treatments, such as large branding or, in the context of motor cars, busy stitching and other devices that create an illusion of luxury by dressing products lacking in substance in a premium skin.
The collective result is new Ghost. This is a motor car precisely tailored to its clients. That appears perfect in its simplicity and is underpinned by remarkable substance. That is less, but better.
Rolls Royce is available in South Africa from Daytona Group