ROLLS ROYCE, after months of spy photos, teaser images and videos, revealed the 2010 Rolls Royce Ghost in all its extravagant glory earlier this week.
Today, the British luxury marque's Australian arm announced that pricing for the Ghost will start from $695,000. Official details for the local model will be revealed in November, ahead of an April 2010 production date.
Rolls Royce in Australia is expecting an allocation of 40 cars, and already around 24 expressions of interest have been taken.
The British luxury marque recently confirmed that the big V12 under the bonnet of the new Ghost will develop a sinfully monstrous 420kW and 780Nm of torque. This will make the new model ? known in its earlier concept form as the 200EX - even more powerful than its larger and more expensive sibling, the Phantom.
An astonishing 550Nm of torque is available from as low as 1000rpm, climbing to the full 780Nm at just 1500rpm.
Despite weighing in at 2360kg, Rolls Royce claims the Ghost will rocket to 100km/h in just 4.7 seconds, up to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.
Keeping power delivery smooth, the big V12 has been paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Rolls Royce also previously revealed details of the Ghost?s clever new chassis technology, which is designed to endow the Ghost with Rolls? classic quality of 'waftability' while still providing impressive handling dynamics.
?A Rolls-Royce should be effortless in every way: the way it accelerates, brakes and handles,? Rolls-Royce Engineering Director Helmut Riedl said.
?It should do all of these functions with apparent ease regardless of the complex mechanicals that are working out of sight of the driver and passengers. The driver simply has to point the car in the preferred direction of travel and press the accelerator.?
To accomplish this, Rolls Royce has fitted the Ghost with multi-link independent suspension both front and rear, with aluminium links reducing unsprung weight and improving suspension response.
Rather than conventional coiled steel springs, the Ghost rides atop four electronically-controlled airbags, with variable damping and adjustable ride height also thrown in.
The Ghost?s onboard sensors can detect the slightest change in weight distribution, and will adjust the car?s attitude and damping to suit. The system is so sensitive in fact that it can determine whether a passenger has moved from one side of the car to the other.
Ride height can also be raised or lowered by up to 25mm in order to aid entry or egress, or to prevent the Ghost?s expensive underbelly from getting scraped when travelling over rough ground.
Unlike its BMW 7 Series platform sibling, the Ghost uses a steel monocoque frame, increasing strength and allowing for a greater interior space and stretched-out luxury.
Active Roll Stabilisation keeps the hefty limousine?s body in check through the corners, while the air suspension provides a soft, supple ride.
?The individual technologies determining handling and safety work together controlled by dual Integrated Chassis Management systems meaning that even under vigorous testing the Ghost remains perfectly poised,? Mr Riedl said.
?We are very proud of our engineering team?s achievements with [the] Ghost. The balance of refinement and dynamic ability is astonishing.?
Inside, where a Rolls Royce must be at its absolute best, Teflon-coated umbrellas rest in door-mounted enclosures and drum-dyed leather (versus the polyurethane-painted leather of most other cars) covers virtually every surface.
Lounge-like seating with internal massage technology and cooling features among the options, as does a coolbox with specially-designed champagne flutes.
The 600w USB and iPod-ready stereo is complemented by no less than 16 speakers, with two floor-mounted subwoofers managing the bass.
Speaking of the 200EX concept that lead to the production Ghost we see here, Rolls Royce CEO Tom Purves said: ?200EX is a modern execution of timeless Rolls-Royce elegance, breaking with some areas of tradition but retaining the core values that make our marque unique.?
?We expect the more informal design to broaden the appeal of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, attracting people who appreciate its fusion of refinement, new technology and contemporary style.?
Rolls Royce describes the Ghost as a "vision of simplicity, building on the core values of the brand". There will likely be very few of us who will ever put vision to the test.