How do you create something exceptional? Take the best that exists and make it better. That’s exactly what the team at Goodwood has done. The new Rolls-Royce Ghost, one of the finest creations from the marque, rewrites the rules of luxury. A progressively new vehicle created after elaborate research, the Ghost is uniquely Rolls-Royce and exceptional.
First launched in 2009, the Ghost is Rolls-Royce’s most successful model in the marque’s 116-year history. Rolls-Royce knew that if they had to have a successful new product for the Ghost clients, they had to listen to the requirements of their clients carefully. The result of this is the excitingly progressive and modern Ghost crafted for a discerning generation of clients while rewriting the rules of luxury automotive engineering.
“Today 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 demand more of their Ghost than ever. They require a new type of super-luxury saloon that is dynamic, serenely comfortable and perfect in its minimalism. Ghost is this product. The only components that we 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 our brand into a beautiful, minimalist, yet highly complex product that is perfectly in harmony with our Ghost clients’ needs and perfectly in tune with the times,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in a press statement.
The work on the new Ghost began six years when a team of luxury intelligence specialists, designers, engineers and craftspeople assembled to begin development of the new model. Rolls-Royce’s unique proximity to their distinct customer base meant having access to a large body of information. It provided the divergent interests, opinions and changing taste patterns within Ghost clients’ appreciation of luxury. These insights informed the designers, engineers and craftspeople at Rolls-Royce as they moved into the development phase of the highly progressive new Ghost.
The guiding principle for the collective was ‘Post Opulence’, an emerging aesthetic defined by purity and minimalism. Research showed that that Ghost clients sought objects that are effortlessly, almost instinctively exceptional. They rejected busy details and flash gimmicks, while seeking extremely high quality, thoughtfully designed pieces that stand up to the most intense scrutiny. This helped define the new Ghost’s minimalist design treatment.
While the Ghost does portray the character of a car to be driven, the clients came to realise that the Rolls-Royce brand could offer more than a chauffeur-driven experience. Indeed, in the United States of America and areas of Europe, clients were self-driving their Ghost from the very early stages of its introduction. Meanwhile, 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 asked the marque’s representatives about the driving experience, even if they had selected an extended wheelbase. During the weekend, 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.
Meanwhile, at Goodwood, significant advances were being made with the marque’s 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 highvolume vehicles. As Ghost clients required even more of their motor car, Rolls-Royce used its architecture to respond, incorporating technology such as all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering in Ghost, unlocking an entirely new, purposeful personality. Concurrently, 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, which was termed as ‘Post Opulence’.
This is characterised by reduction and substance. Undoubtedly, exceptional materials had to 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, that is underpinned by remarkable substance, that is less but better.