ROLLS ROYCE HAS high hopes for its soon-to-be-released 'entry level' model, the Ghost. Due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September with sales commencing not long after, Rolls Royce is confident that the all-new model is capable of nearly doubling sales for the Goodwood-based manufacturer.
But while it may become the volume seller (albeit in small volumes), Rolls Royce isn't skimping on the Ghost's technological appointments.
The marque yesterday 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.
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 teamâ€™s achievements with [the] Ghost. The balance of refinement and dynamic ability is astonishing."