Rolls Royce announced its brand new Ghost luxury car today, in a move that has led many (that is, us) to question the luxury car maker's levels of creativity. We've already had the scarily named Phantom, Wraith and Silver Shadow, but Ghost? Seriously? What's wrong with 'Banshee' or 'Poltergeist' or 'Incorporeal Being'?
We digress. The Ghost is perhaps best described as a baby Phantom -- a Roller for potential Phantom owners who've lost their jobs (or bonuses) due to the recession, but who aren't yet poor enough to have to slum it in a Lexus.
On paper, it's the most powerful Rolls Royce ever. Beneath its long, apparitional bonnet lies a newly developed 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 producing 563 horses and 780Nm of torque. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, but 0-60mph comes in -- get this -- 4.7 seconds. Not bad for a car weighing nearly 2.5 tonnes.
While the Ghost looks set to be more of a driver's car than the larger Phantom, that's not to say it doesn't feature a similar level of luxury. Rear doors can be closed not by slamming, but by pressing a button. Lounge-style seats massage you as you drive, there's a fridge to keep the bubbly chilled, and it has picnic tables. The words 'pimpin'', 'extra' and 'large' spring to mind.
The new Roller is crammed with technological geekery, too. Cameras located around the Ghost provide front, side, top and rear views of the car, for a fish-eye view at blind junctions, or obstacle recognition and reverse path prediction when parking. The Ghost also has Night Vision and pedestrian recognition systems that can detect objects up to 300m away, displaying them on the central touchscreen in the dashboard if they're adjudged to be in imminent danger.
Audio entertainment comes courtesy of a 12.5GB hard drive that lets users rip music from USB or CD sources, aired with a 600W, 10-channel amplifier feeding 16 separate speakers, including two floor-mounted subs. All audio settings can be controlled from either the front or the rear, thanks to two 9.2-inch LCD screens mounted in the back of the front seats.
We can't show you any of these funky new features right now, as Rolls Royce likes to hide all its gadgets away behind false panels and motorised flaps. Not to worry, though -- we'll be on hand at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, where we'll be getting elbow-deep in Rolls Royce gadgetry, with all the pictures to prove it. In the meantime, take a look at the press shots in our gallery.