2014 Rolls-Royce GHOST Series II
Early bird gets the worm!
This applies in elementary school as much as it does in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire compounds — with one of Buffet’s companies recently snubbing high-frequency traders’ access to market-moving news releases.
As we know, Geneva is seven hours ahead of eastern time in the United States. Therefore, as I type this at 5:58am, the Ghost Series II has already blown the doors off this Swiss expo hall.
But wait, I hear you say: “The car does not look all that new?”
That is the Rolls-Royce way. Huge progress without boastfulness.
Continuity and simplicity take the highest spots within the Rolls-Royce agenda: and it shows. This keeps owners in the fold, and lures those drawn to steady and stable investments.
But under the lightly revised alloy panels lies an almost completely revamped tech package, enhanced personalization choices, and critically: all-new crystal LED lighting.
Your humble scribe has been a vocal proponent of the Ghost for many years. But the LED execution up front really did seem to be well off-the-pace in recent years.
That is no longer the case for any Rolls-Royce models.
Phantom Series II LED lighting shown below:
Within those (slimmer) rectangular eye blocks now live a full-LED lighting arrangement with a bright shadow DRL outline.
This latest setup pips even Wraith, which is stunning in by all measures and show below in Arizona (dark cars) and Vienna (Carrara White photos by Steve Lipman).
Other big changes up front bring the Ghost’s appearance more in line with the slinky new Wraith coupe, while deeper sills accommodate huge standard alloys and far sportier rubber than was previously available. These include standard 19-inchers and available 21-inch alloys.
Paired with Rolls-Royce’s trademark ride comfort, these wheels bring a far better and more youthful exterior style,,enhanced roadholding, and almost zero downsides. The Ghost Series II features additional suspension ranges in its active damper settings to keep things calm and composed even while going ‘ten tenths’ up the marque’s home hillclimb at Goodwood house.
The (current, 2014) Ghost V-specification will be the transition car to usher in these alterations to the Ghost line — with the V available to order until early June.
From then, we estimate the Ghost II will take up the reins as the firm’s more revered and useful machine for daily drivers.
One final note: What of my previous Bentley comments about oligarchs and corruption? Does that not apply even more to Rolls-Royce?
Not really. Not from my vantage point, at least.
The Bentley Flying Spur and Continental have been produced in such volume that their $125,000-$225,000 pricing is just a bit too approachable to the world’s underbelly — especially on the second-hand market.
A huge relief then, to see the Ghost maintain its stature in the $300,000-plus realms — which nicely prices most short-term earners out of contention. In addition, there are very few Jordan-style, Barbie-pink-converted Rolls-Royces.
Rollers are, mercifully, too expensive for these types of shoppers.
So, if Bentley is for lower thinkers with cash in hand; Rolls-Royce will always be for the high-minded, long-term investor in
all some of us.
Ghost II Update Highlights:
- A contemporary re-imagining of Ghost’s front face; re-engineered and re-designed LED headlights are framed by day-time running lights.
- Revised surface treatments including re-sculptured bumpers that present a wider, more dynamic stance.
- A new bonnet design featuring tapered ‘wake channel’ emanating from the Spirit of Ecstasy that hints at Ghost Series II’s dynamism.
- The waft line leans further forwards, giving further expression to Ghost’s dynamic driving experience.
- New paint and wheel options giving customers greater scope for Bespoke personalisation.
- Re-designed front seats include electronically adjustable thigh supports and depth adjustment. Rear seats have been subtly re-angled to augment effortless communication with fellow passengers.
- The clock fascia and instrument dials are enhanced with the addition of polished metal chaplets that evoke premium watch design.
- Option of extending natural grain leather to the A and C pillars.
- The scope for Bespoke customisation is extended with the introduction of two new, exquisitely crafted veneers: Paldao and Walnut Burr Crossband.
Technological and engineering enhancements
- Re-designed LED headlights incorporating the latest technologies. A whiter, brighter light augments driver safety whilst electronic reflectors move in the direction of travel in response to steering-wheel turns. New anti-glare technology deflects light when a car approaches in the other direction, giving Ghost Series II drivers the benefit of full-beam headlights at all times.
- Suspension enhancements include re-engineered front and rear struts, new steering gear and adjusted dampers that increase the car’s cornering ability when the Dynamic Driving Package is specified.
- New hydraulic rear axle bearings enhance ride quality and rear stability whilst reducing vibrations and cabin intrusions.
- All Ghost Series II motor cars feature Satellite Aided Transmission as standard – a technology that utilises GPS and mapping data to ensure the car is always in the correct gear when negotiating turns, motorway exists and roundabouts.
Official Details below from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
ROLLS-ROYCE GHOST SERIES II
4 March 2014, Geneva
“Rolls-Royce Ghost has proven to be no ordinary power. It has been the cornerstone of our success around the world since its launch in 2009. It has propelled Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to new heights. In presenting a less formal, more contemporary and dynamic expression of Rolls-Royce luxury we have attracted a new generation of clients to Rolls-Royce – the Captains of Industry, entrepreneurs and successful business men and women who are the wealth and job creators in our economies.
These people are a unique, exclusive group of exceptional achievers who drive success in today’s world. They know what they want and go out to achieve it. And then, having accomplished their objectives, they reward themselves with the ultimate symbol of success; a Rolls-Royce Ghost.
Today, in answer to our clients’ demands for the best in effortless dynamism, modern luxury and industry-leading technology, clothed in a discreetly updated design that protects the iconic character of a Rolls-Royce, we proudly introduce Ghost Series II – an oasis of calm in a frenetic business world.”
Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Today at the 2014 Geneva Salon, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveils Ghost Series II to the world. Offered in a discreet and considered update of this iconic car’s exterior appearance,
Ghost Series II offers the latest technological advances to our growing base of highly-successful customers – the Captains of Industry, entrepreneurs and successful business men and women who are the wealth and job creators in our economies – consolidating Ghost’s position as the most popular car in the €200,000+ class and a cornerstone of Rolls-Royce’s success.
Ghost: Contemporary Rolls-Royce luxury
Since its launch in 2009, Ghost has become the ultimate symbol of success for leading entrepreneurs across the globe. Winning critical media and customer acclaim and driving the company to four consecutive historic sales records, Ghost has led a new, younger generation of highly successful men and women to Rolls-Royce ownership; a key pillar in the marque’s highly successful sustainable growth strategy.
Ghost is a thoroughly contemporary representation of Rolls-Royce luxury – perfectly balancing effortless dynamism and modern luxury in a car that is composed under all circumstances. Owners enjoy a quietly assured, exquisitely refined modern motor car with an interior ambiance that offers a sense of calm and serenity in an often frenetic and chaotic business world.
In essence, Ghost is a Rolls-Royce that meets its owner’s every need; an exquisitely appointed business tool for the business week and an engaging and effortless driving experience for leisure at the weekend.
The Power of Simplicity
A single defining principle came to characterise the Ghost design process – to harness the power of simplicity. The notion that no complication should ever distract from driver or passenger pleasure, informed every facet of the design and engineering process.
This bold new generation of Rolls-Royce customer seeks a motor car with a silent assurance – a cosseting, super-premium environment in which to conduct business and augment their leisure time. In Ghost Series II, tradition blends perfectly with this bold, contemporary direction.
An uncompromising approach to materials and craftsmanship remained and traditional visual tenets were re-imagined to express the car’s modernity and dynamism. For example, the stately presence of Phantom’s grille made way for a softer, less formal design – its subtle curvature more akin to a jet air-intake than traditional pantheon facia.
Flowing ‘yacht lines’ and powerful flanks hint at the car’s inherent dynamism, whilst traditional Rolls-Royce DNA is expressed in the elevated prow, large uninterrupted surfaces, long bonnet and short overhang.
Ghost Series II – design evolved
Ensuring Ghost remains at the very cutting edge of an ever-changing world is essential to
satisfying Rolls-Royce’s demanding customers and Ghost Series II proves a showcase for the most recent technological advances from the marque. Clad in a subtle re-design, Ghost Series II ensures the timeless yet modern quality that the marque’s customers cherish.
The eye is immediately drawn towards the re-sculpted headlights, with unbroken daytime running lights framing a new, more dynamic shape, giving Ghost Series II a distinct visual signature from the front. This blends perfectly with revised surface treatments to the front of the car. A tapered ‘wake channel’ on the bonnet, emanating from the Spirit of Ecstasy’s wings, evokes the sight of a jet’s vapour trail, hinting at the car’s dynamism. Subtle re-sculpting of Ghost’s bumpers creates a stronger stance and a sense of extra width and height, whilst the contemporary aesthetic is further enhanced with the addition of chrome inserts to the front air intakes, which now feed more air cooling to the front brakes.
One of Rolls-Royce’s defining visual signatures is given an enhanced dynamic edge. The famous waft line has be re-designed on Ghost Series II to lean further forwards – with a view to emphasising the car’s effortless dynamism.
These features, married with new optional 21” forged wheels and standard 19” wheels, ensure Ghost remains a perfectly executed, contemporary expression of Rolls-Royce luxury.
New surprise and delight features such as the optional monogrammed stainless-steel fuel-filler cap enhance the car’s tactile and visual appeal.
Interior comfort and style are enhanced with re-designed seats. Electronically adjustable thigh supports for front seat passengers complement a new seat structure, enhancing Ghost’s unchallenged interior comfort levels. A revised rear seat design ensures absolute comfort for those wishing to conduct business or simply relax. In ‘lounge seat’ configuration, the seats are gently angled towards each other to create a more intimate setting, allowing passengers to communicate more easily.
The seats are available with three-level heating as standard with optional massage function and can be reclined for comfort. Chrome surrounds to the sun visor lights and a new soft-feel dashboard treatment enhance the car’s premium tactility, whilst sumptuous natural grain leather can now be optionally extended to the A and C pillars.
The instrument dials and clock have also undergone subtle enhancements with individually applied polished metal chaplets around the dials evoking the precision design of hand-made, luxury wrist watches, whilst the matt chrome centres ‘float’ in the middle of each instrument.
Finally, the scope for Bespoke customisation is widened with the introduction of two new, exquisitely crafted veneers; Paldao and Walnut Burr Crossband.
Discreet technology for a calm atmosphere
Throughout the marque’s storied history, engineers have sought to refine the experience for drivers and occupants by applying the very latest technologies. Ghost Series II is no different, presenting a full suite of the latest technological updates.
On opening the car’s coach doors, one is met with a calming, light and uncluttered space. Occupants can work, relax or simply enjoy the pleasure of driving in a cosseting, peaceful atmosphere, assured that they are fully connected to the outside world of business affairs through the car’s peerless connectivity suite.
Ghost Series II is the ultimate contemporary combination of luxury, technology and connectivity
available to the successful entrepreneur on the move today. It is an oasis of calm in a busy connected world where he or she can do business in peace. It presents the driver and occupants with a comprehensive example of effortless Rolls-Royce connectivity, a network where communication between car, environment and driver helps lower the pulse, ease the journey and delight the occupants.
Key to this is the discreet placement of the car’s technological functions. Accessed through a one-touch call button or the Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller, on-board Wi-Fi facilitates email, file sharing, telephony and video-conferencing. The user is also able to watch televised business news in order to remain ahead of the game. Navigation assistance is summoned by the same one-touch call button. Then by simply saying “Navigate to Piccadilly in London” or wherever else the owner wishes to go, directions that anticipate and avoid unnecessary delays are offered.
Should a delay occur or our owner needs to talk to their business associates, Ghost Series II makes this as effortless as possible with the same one-touch system. The command “Call Giles” automatically connects the call. At the end of the conversation, a command such as “Play Radio” will return the driver directly to the in-car entertainment options.
Information from the significantly updated Multimedia Interface and Navigation system is displayed beautifully on a new 10.25” high definition screen.
Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller
In 2014, the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine celebrates her 103rd birthday. More than any other symbol of luxury, the flying lady stands as a genuine icon, one whose beautiful image continues to adorn the grille, but is now also reproduced within Ghost Series II’s cabin depicted below the crystal glass surface of the new rotary controller.
This Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller presents a touch pad (rather than a touch screen which might leave unsightly fingerprints at driver and passenger eye level), with the ability to write characters by finger, as well as the ability to scroll through function menus by turning the chrome dial and pressing down to select its functions.
The system recognises English, Latin and Arabic characters as well as Mandarin, to assist drivers in China, where character selection can otherwise be a time-consuming process.
The Rotary Controller’s touch pad also allows ‘pull and pinch’ features, replicating intuitive smart phone functionality. These help the user pinpoint chosen areas on the screen or help to make them larger. For example, different areas of a map can be found by moving a finger across the touch pad, whilst street resolution can be made larger or smaller by pinching or pulling.
Rolls-Royce employs experts for all aspects of high-end craftsmanship, from hand-painted coach lines to finely-tuned audio systems. Finely tuned by expert Rolls-Royce audio engineers and naturally incorporating the finest hardware and latest advances in connectivity, Bespoke Audio is the most exhaustively designed automotive hi-fi system ever developed.
Ensuring perfect acoustic balance and performance was central to the design process of the car. Rolls-Royce’s in-house audio engineers were consulted on the effect proposed changes in the wider design of the car may have on the performance of the system – a practice unparalleled in the automotive world.
Eighteen individually-tuned speakers, with both theatre and studio settings, deliver a pure ‘larger than live’ sensation. Two bass speakers located in the boot complement seven speakers meticulously placed throughout the cabin. Two ‘exciter’ speakers in the roof-lining bring the sound to occupants’ ear level creating a completely unique listening sensation.
The system utilises a highly sensitive microphone to constantly monitor ambient exterior noise, subtly adjusting the volume and tone settings accordingly to ensure the system delivers consistent perfection. The technology complements this, with frequency and phase correction for individual speakers eliminating potential loud and dead spots caused by outside influences.
Supplementing this industry-leading audio engineering in the true spirit of Sir Henry Royce, Ghost Series II’s on-board hard drive holds 20.5 GB of storage, meaning it can host approximately 5,700 items of music downloaded via the USB port located within the centre console or glove compartment.
iPod and iPad connections allow the importation of music, but also podcast and audio book downloads. Bluetooth audio streaming is an option too, from one of two phones that can be paired with equal functionality.
A number of music searches can be made via the Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller, including a “play more like this” function while online Gracenote® access for CDs with hit selection make navigating music collections an effortless experience. But it is the sound quality itself that places Ghost Series II at the pinnacle of in-car audio.
Illuminating technology shows the way
The most recent developments in LED lighting technology have also been applied to Ghost Series II. The way this light is managed is significantly enhanced by adaptive technology. Electronically controlled reflectors move in the direction of travel in response to steering-wheel turns to give a greater depth of vision when cornering and a whiter, brighter light ensures effortless and safe driving on dark roads whilst helping reduce driver tiredness.
In addition, automatic dipping of full-beam headlights has been replaced with revolutionary new glare-free technology. When a car approaches, light is deflected to ensure the oncoming driver is not dazzled. Ghost Series II drivers therefore enjoy the safety benefits of constant full-beam visibility. A day-time running bar frames Ghost Series II’s contemporary light design, giving the car a distinctive signature whilst augmenting safety at the same time.
Satellite Aided Transmission
Ghost Series II’s effortless dynamism is augmented with the addition of Satellite Aided Transmission, a technology that made its debut on Wraith in 2013.
Satellite Aided Transmission utilises GPS data to allow the car to see beyond what the driver sees, anticipating their next move based on location and driving style. It uses this information to select the most appropriate gear from the Ghost Series II’s 8-speed ZF gearbox to ensure the driver is able to appropriately exploit the power from the Rolls-Royce 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12, ensuring an effortless and seamless drive experience.
For example when approaching a sweeping bend, the car will predict how you wish to drive through it. When the driver lifts the accelerator it will hold the lower gear to ensure maximum power is available on accelerating through the exit of a corner.
Satellite Aided Transmission comes as standard on all Ghost Series II cars.
Dynamic driving package and suspension enhancements
Ghost Series II presents the perfect blend of driving dynamics and hallmark Rolls-Royce comfort. Customers can specify a Dynamic Driving Package that offers a more involving driving experience with no compromise to ride quality.
Re-designed front and rear struts married to new steering gear and adjusted dampers significantly increase Ghost Series II’s cornering ability, whilst enhanced feedback levels can be felt through a thicker steering wheel.
In all specifications, ride quality and rear stability is further enhanced thanks to new rear hydraulic axle bearings.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.