New Rolls-Royce Ghost makes switch to four-wheel drive

Rolls-Royce has detailed the extensive chassis developments for its next-generation Ghost luxury saloon, including the use of four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.

The second-generation Ghost – set to be unveiled in the coming weeks – will follow the latest Phantom in featuring a system that steers the rear wheels as well as the fronts. It will depart from its bigger brother, however, by shunning rear-wheel drive for four driven wheels.

Rolls-Royce has also detailed a new suspension technology making its debut on the Ghost. Called the Planar system, it features what the firm describes as a “world-first technology” in the form of an upper wishbone damper unit mounted above the front suspension assembly for “an even more stable and effortless ride”. The system has taken three years to develop.

There’s also the Flagbearer system, which uses cameras to read the road ahead and prepare the suspension, and Satellite Aided Transmission, which uses GPS data to preselect the optimum gear for a corner.

The new Ghost switches to the latest version of the Rolls-Royce aluminimum platform used by the Phantom and Cullinan SUV, and company boss Torsten Müller-Otvös noted the only components carried over from the successful original were the Spirit of Ecstasy figurehead and umbrellas.

That aluminium spaceframe is said to “accommodate significant advances in Rolls-Royce’s hallmark magic carpet ride and dynamic abilities”.

New Ghost engineering lead Jonathan Simms elaborated: “Ghost clients told us that it’s the car in their collection that they’re drawn to the most. They love its uncomplicated versatility. It’s not trying to be a sports car, it’s not trying to be a grand statement; it’s simply exceptional and exceptionally simple.

“When it came to creating a new Ghost – one that outshines its incredibly capable predecessor – the engineering team had to start from scratch. We pushed our architecture even further and created a car even more dynamic, even more luxurious and, most of all, even more effortlessly usable.”