Rolls-Royce Ghost

Production Cars 17 Sep 2009
Rolls-Royce Ghost

Presented at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Ghost is the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever produced thanks to the 563 hp delivered by the new 6.6 liter V12 engine. The design takes inspiration by the spirit of the 1930s, contemporary furniture, architecture and yachts.

Rolls-Royce GhostFirst announced at the 2006 Paris Motor Show and known as the RR4 project, the Ghost was previewed by some design sketches in the spring 2008 and by the 200EX Concept unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

Following the positive reaction to the 200EX, very few changes were made in the transition to the production Ghost, which has maintained the design created by Ian Cameron’s and Helmut Riedl’s design and engineering teams.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost is powered by a new, 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12 engine, unique to the model.

Featuring direct injection, it produces 563bhp and delivers 780 Nm of torque available at just 1,500rpm.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Design SketchThe 0-60 mph sprint takes 4.7 seconds and the top speed is 155mph (electronically limited).

The unit is coupled with a eight-speed, shift-by-wire, automatic ZF gearbox. The feeling of "endless, surging power" is illustrated by the power reserve gauge on the fascia, replacing the more common rev counter.

The powertrain emittes 317g/km of CO2. Fuel consumption is 20.8 mpg / 13.6 l/100km.

From the official Press Release:


Rolls-Royce Ghost Design Sketch“Simplicity is the hardest design principle to follow.”
Ian Cameron, Chief Designer

Ghost’s flowing lines are dominated by its majestic ‘Yacht Line’ styling. Large, uninterrupted surfaces flow between finely sculpted horizontal lines that provide definition.

Together, the upward-sweeping sill line and low-cut roof create a powerful profile, almost as though the cabin has been pushed toward the rear.

Powerful shoulders and flanks draw in sharply as they flow from the rear wings to the tail lights, while touches such as the optional chromed exhausts hint at Ghost’s more dynamic nature.

While incorporating classic Rolls-Royce design cues – the elevated prow, long hood, short front overhang, sharply raked A-pillar and elegant tail – Ghost exudes an informal aura.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Design Sketch Rolls-Royce Ghost Design Sketch Rolls-Royce Ghost Design SketchContemporary touches include self-righting wheel centres and the Xenon headlamps that frame the latest evolution of the Rolls-Royce grille.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Here the sides of the intake have been curved inwards and the vanes set back into the opening. “We wanted this to be less reminiscent of the traditional Parthenon style and more like a jet intake,” says Ian Cameron.

A contrasting Silver Satin finish (introduced on 200EX) is an option for the hood, grille and windscreen surround. The finish is achieved by setting silver metallic paint under a layer of lacquer, giving a flawless matte finish.

The central principle of delivering simplicity out of complexity runs throughout Ghost. Everything is designed, engineered and crafted to enhance the drive and ride experience, not to complicate it. 

Rolls-Royce GhostRolls-Royce Ghost

Interior Design

Rolls-Royce Ghost Interior“Ghost is as refined and cosseting as anything this marque has ever produced.” Charles Coldham, Interior Designer

Inside Ghost, the interior design team has come up with a contemporary ambience while staying true to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ traditions of fine materials and peerless comfort.

There are elegant, frosted lamps and chrome door handles, traditional violin key switches and eyeball air vents, frosted white dials and refined instrumentation. Deep-pile carpets can be complemented by optional lambswool floor mats for a truly luxurious feel.

Ghost is entered through substantial doors. Housed within the front doors are integrated Teflon-coated umbrellas.

Rolls-Royce Ghost InteriorThe rear doors are traditional, rear-hinged coach doors, opening to a generous 83 degrees. Once the passenger is inside, these doors can be closed at the touch of a button.

The interior space is filled with natural light, enhanced by the optional Panorama Sunroof, which extends from the front into the rear compartment.

Four-zone automatic air conditioning can be individually tailored to each passenger’s requirements, with separate controls for front and rear.

Automatic air recirculation, condensation prevention and solar compensation are delivered through classic chromed eyeball vents controlled via organ-stop plungers.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Rear SeatsWithin Ghost’s ample doors and high shoulder line, occupants feel serene, cosseted and safe. In the rear, the intimate ambience of the lounge seat is emphasised by its position behind the C-pillar, heightening the sense of privacy.

The informal seating creates a convivial environment, its slight curve allowing you to turn more easily towards the person next to you. Its elevated position gives a clear view past the electronically retracting Spirit of Ecstasy to the road ahead.

Individual lounge seating is offered as an alternative to the standard lounge configuration. This allows the addition of a massage function and also perforated leather for a cooling stream of air from the seat surface.

Auxiliary rear climate control allows the passenger to regulate the temperature of the air on their side of the car, without intrusion on the other. A cool box with interior illumination and integrated champagne glasses is also available.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Interior Detail Rolls-Royce Ghost Interior Detail Rolls-Royce Ghost Interior DetailVeneered picnic tables are another option, incorporating the finest leather and veneers matched to the rest of Ghost’s interior. Fitted to the rear of each front seat, these tables are a traditional Rolls-Royce design cue and finished with a veneered surface with leather-covered backs.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Interior Design Sketch“Ghost is designed to be an escape from the outside world.” Alan Sheppard, Interior Designer

Enhancing the Ghost ambience is an audio system delivering an exquisite experience. 600 Watts of sound are delivered through a 10-channel amplifier and 16 speakers, including two floor-mounted subwoofers.

USB and auxiliary inputs allow for the integration of external audio devices and a 12.5 GB hard drive enables storage of music files from USB or CD player sources.

Available as an option with both seating arrangements is Theatre Configuration, which allows all settings that do not directly affect the driver to be controlled from the rear sea

Rolls-Royce Ghost Rear Seats Rolls-Royce Ghost Rooft. The functions are displayed on two 9.2in LCD screens in the back of the front seats; these can be angled to suit the viewers by a central, armrest-mounted, rotary controller. The screens can be regulated independently of each other and the entertainment can also be listened to individually with most headphones. A six-disc multi-media changer, mounted in the glove compartment, is fitted as part of this option.

Technical features

Rolls-Royce Ghost EngineGhost is built around a steel monocoque body, which means there is no separation of chassis and body. The advantage of this construction is a reduction in exterior dimensions while preserving interior space.

Consequently while Ghost is over 400mm shorter overall than the Phantom saloon its interior space is comparable.

The body has been engineered with a double front bulkhead to help insulate the interior from engine noise. It is constructed from steel sections and then wrapped in steel panels, which are brazed by hand.

This allows a near-seamless join, which is then sanded by hand until it is perfect. In total, Ghost’s frame contains 4.9m of seam weld and braze and 6,988 spot-welds.

Rolls-Royce GhostThe hood and windscreen surround are then honed from aluminium.

Double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension work with a four-cornered, air-suspension system and electronic variable damping to deliver the refinement that has been associated with Rolls-Royce for more than 100 years.

The new air suspension system in Ghost is so sensitive that it can detect even the smallest of changes. For example, it will sense the movement of a single rear passenger from one side of the seat to the other and compensate accordingly.

Rolls-Royce Ghost A complex computer system reads multiple inputs from sensors around the car; the dampers alone make individual load calculations every 2.5 milliseconds. T

his ensures not only perfect comfort but also precise steering and dynamics for the driver. The air suspension system also incorporates a lift and kneel function, raising or lowering Ghost by 25mm.

Ghost also has a series of complex electronic aids to keep it composed on virtually any surface. These include Anti-Roll Stabilisation, Dynamic Brake Control and Dynamic Stability Control, including Dynamic Traction Control and Cornering Brake Control.

Rolls-Royce GhostThese individual technologies work together under dual Integrated Chassis Management systems, meaning that even when subjected to a vigorous test Ghost remains perfectly poised. Its handling and safety systems operate as one, imperceptibly to the driver and passengers, to maintain optimum contact with the road in any condition.

 “Our challenge,” says Engineering Director Helmut Riedl, “has been to preserve the prerequisite levels of comfort while delivering the most modern, dynamically interesting drive ever in a Rolls-Royce.”

Safety remains paramount and the very latest technologies are used in Ghost. Side-impact beams in the front and rear doors combine with progressive rear crumple zones to absorb impacts.

The Advanced Crash and Safety Management (ACSM) system takes measurements 2,000 times per second from sensors located around the vehicle.

Rolls-Royce Ghost The ACSM uses this information – in conjunction with the engine and chassis management systems – to judge which safety features to deploy in which areas in the event of an accident. If necessary, ACSM will activate – among other things – seatbelt pre-tensioners and all encompassing airbags surrounding the cabin, creating a safe zone for all occupants.

Modern features

The driver sits in a slightly elevated position behind the wheel, described as the authority position. This makes the view of the road much clearer.

The fascia has been kept deliberately clear; it is spacious in design and has an intuitive layout. The controls are neatly sculpted, with the more important functions emphasised by accents of chrome.

The soft light of the instrument panel glows through the familiar black-rimmed steering wheel, which in turn employs a number of violin keys as well as an ergonomic roller-ball control. 

Rolls-Royce Ghost InteriorThe control centre display is concealed behind a veneered panel until its services are called upon. All features such as satellite navigation, telephone, communication and entertainment functions are displayed here and managed via a central rotary controller, flanked by quick-access buttons on the front centre console. 

The optional driver assistance systems and technologies in Ghost are notable for their discretion and ease of operation. From the moment the driver approaches the car, optional Comfort Entry allows easy access, unlocking the doors when the key fob is within 1.5 metres and the cool chromed handle is grasped. Once you are in the car, voice control allows you to select from the control systems menus without using the central controller.

For ease of manoeuvring, cameras located around the car serve a number of purposes. Rear, front side and top view cameras can combine to give a fish-eye view at blind junctions or provide ground images with obstacle recognition and reverse path prediction when parking.

Positioned discreetly within the grille is a Night Vision** camera. When activated, this safety feature works with Pedestrian Recognition to detect objects up to 300 metres away and display them on the central screen in the dash. The car’s control system receives infrared heat images from the camera and, taking into account the car’s speed and direction, classifies them to assess imminent danger. It then determines what action, if any, needs to be taken and if necessary displays a warning to the driver.

The Head-up Display relays crucial information such as speed or navigation directions onto the windscreen directly in front of the driver. This information is visible only to the driver and can be tailored to show only the details required and at a position suitable to the driver. 

Electronic control systems include Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assistance – which manages the operation of dipped and main beam lights while driving at night – and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Detail Rolls-Royce Ghost Detail Rolls-Royce Ghost Detail

Paint and colors

Rolls-Royce GhostPassing through 60 pairs of hands, the production process involves more than 2,000 individual operations and takes at least 20 days to complete.

Ghost shares the same paint shop as Phantom and spends seven days being painted and polished.

Five stages are required for the Ghost body. First a phosphate electro-coat is applied to protect against corrosion, then a layer of primer, a colour coat and finally two coats of clear lacquer.

The body is hand-sanded between each layer and once the final coat is applied it is hand-polished for five hours. 

Ghost is available in 12 exterior colours, each of which can be contrasted by the optional Silver Satin hood.

Rolls-Royce Ghost – Technical Specifications

Number of doors / seats


4 / 5

Vehicle length (unladen)



Vehicle width (unladen)



Vehicle height (unladen)






Turning circle



Overhang front



Overhang rear



Ground clearance (unladen)



Width including mirrors



Luggage compartment capacity (ISO3832)



Fuel tank capacity



Unladen weight (DIN / (EU)


2360 / 2435

Axle load ratio, rear (unladen)



Gross axle weight /max payload


2940 / 580

Axle payload limit front / rear


1445 / 1575

Engine type / Cylinders / valves


V / 12 / 48

Fuel management


Direct injection

Engine injector set-up / Aspiration


DI(VVT)/ twin turbo




Stroke / Bore


88.3 / 89.0

Power output @ engine speed

bhp / kW (PS)/min-1

563 / 420 (570) / 5250

Max torque @ engine speed

lb/ft / Nm/min-1

575 / 780 / 1500

Compression ratio / fuel type


10.0 / Super unleaded*

Transmission type


8 speed automatic

Transmission ratios 1st/2nd/3rd/4th


4.717 / 3.143 / 2.106 / 1.667

Transmission ratios 5th/6th/7th/8th


1.285 / 1.000 / 0.839 / 0.667

Transmission ratio reverse gear



Final drive ratio



Steering / Total


Hydraulic rack and pinion 19.9

Steering wheel revolutions lock to lock



Brakes front /diameter x thickness

 – / mm

Ventilated discs / 410×36

Brakes rear /diameter x thickness

 – / mm

Ventilated discs / 402×30

Drag co-efficient cd / A / cd x A

 – / m2 / m2

0.33 / 2.60 / 0.863

Top speed

mph / km/h

155 / 250

Acceleration 0-60 mph / 0-100km/h


4.7 / 4.9

1km from standing start



Power to weight (DIN-Unladen weight)



Consumption urban (EU)



Consumption extra urban



Combined consumption / range

mpg (imp. gal.)/ ltr/100km

20.8  / 13.6


m / km

376 / 605

CO2 Emissions (combined)



Exhaust emissions standard



Front tyres


255/50 R19 103Y
255/45 R20 101Y

Rear tyres


255/50 R19 103Y
285/40 R20 104Y

Front wheels


8.5J x 19 EH2
8.5Jx20 EH2

Rear wheels


8.5J x 19 EH2
9.5Jx20 EH2

(Source: Rolls-Royce)

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