“Design is like music: if the parts don’t fit together you have noise — not music,” says Ian Cameron, chief designer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Set to launch later this year (with an estimated base price around $245,000), the 2011 Ghost is undeniably Rolls-Royce in style, but less buttoned up and more petite than the Phantom saloon. And in the end, it’s all about Rolls-Royce craftsmanship.
Passing through 60 pairs of hands, the production process of the new Ghost involves more than 2,000 individual operations and takes at least 20 days to complete.
Available in 12 exterior colors, Ghost spends seven days being painted and polished to perfection. Five stages are hand-sanded between each layer; the final coat is hand-polished for five hours.
The leather is sourced from bulls raised in pastures free of barbed wire, thereby ensuring fewer imperfections. At least eight hides are used for each interior, and to guarantee color consistency, each hide comes from a batch dyed at the same time. All seats and interior panels are hand-stitched using traditional upholstering techniques.
Veneer from one tree only is used in any car to ensure that the grain matches throughout the interior and that each area ages and colors at the same pace.
On the outside are large flowing surfaces, a low-cut roof, strong shoulders and flanks with dynamic touches like optional chromed exhausts. The classic cues, long bonnet and short front overhang, complement the more modern elements of the Xenon headlamps, self-righting wheel centers and the latest evolution of the Rolls-Royce grille.
Inside Ghost, you’ll find frosted lamps and chrome door handles along with traditional violin key switches and eyeball air vents. Underfoot are deep-pile carpets or the optional lamb’s wool floor mats.
True to form, umbrellas are housed within the front doors. Rear-hinged coach doors are closed at the touch of a button, an optional Panorama Sunroof, which extends from the front into the rear compartment and optional individual rear lounge seating, is offered with massage and perforated leather for a pleasant stream of air. A cool box with integrated champagne glasses and picnic tables fitted to the rear of the front seats are yet another option.
“The interior is the stage that sets the owner off,” explains Design Chief Cameron.