2012 Roll-Royce Ghost Extended Review

Throughout our history, we have used experimental cars to explore new ideas, engineering solutions and to shape the future of the marque. Roll-Royce Ghost EX (Extended) models are not concept cars, they are fully-formed and functional vehicles in their own right. And while they are not designed to go directly into production, many of the ideas they inspire do. With Roll-Royce Ghost Extended 200EX we began with a blank piece of paper, an eclectic team of designers and a clear objective. Namely to create a Rolls-Royce that achieves unprecedented dynamism and modernity. We found inspiration in contemporary furniture, architecture and luxury yachts. The character for the car, however, was very much inspired by a photograph we found in our archives of Don Carlos de Salamanca, who won the 1913 Spanish Grand Prix in a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. His proud expression conveyed a sense of adventure and confidence, which we wanted to capture in Roll-Royce Ghost Extended 200EX.

Goodwood is the modern home of Rolls-Royce. Here the Ghost range and Phantom model family are hand-built under the same roof one of the largest single-span ‘living roofs’ in Europe. Covered with thousands of sedum plants, it changes colour with the seasons and helps our building blend seamlessly with the surrounding countryside. As do the cedar cladding louvres, which also automatically adjust to shield the glare of the sun. This creates the perfect environment for our craftspeople to hone their skills transforming the finest natural materials into the finest cars in the world.

Roll-Royce Ghost Extended passes through 60 pairs of hands before it’s handed over to you. These belong to the skilled craftspeople and technicians at our Goodwood plant. Here modern manufacturing processes combine with traditional craft skills to turn the bodyshell into the finished car. In all, it involves over 2,000 individual operations and takes 20 days to complete. Unsurprisingly, there are no short cuts along the way. In keeping with Rolls-Royce tradition, you have the freedom to define the appearance of Ghost and Ghost Extended Wheelbase and tailor them to your own individual needs. This means, in addition to the exterior colour, leather upholstery and wood veneer, you can specify a wide range of options, accessories and equipment from the new Silver Satin bonnet finish to some of the most advanced technology ever to feature in a Rolls-Royce. You also have the opportunity to bespoke many aspects of Ghost and Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase with the Bespoke programme.

With the Bespoke programme, you can complement the contemporary exterior and interior styling of your Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended with many personal touches and embellishments that showcase the extraordinary skills of the craftspeople at Goodwood. For the exterior, you can choose from an extended palette of stunning paint colours. Then, should you wish, you could add a set of single or twin coachlines. Each one is painted by hand using a special brush made from ox and squirrel hair, and takes around three hours to apply. Our meticulous approach to detail also extends inside the car. The additional range of veneers can be enhanced with stainless steel pinstripes. Or you could have the Spirit of Ecstasy logo or Rolls-Royce monogram inlaid by hand into the veneered door cappings.

Not only can you choose from a wider range of leather colours and combinations to furnish and trim the interior, it can also be finished with seat piping and contrast stitching. Or you can create your own colour scheme using a pallet of different leather colours, which can be applied in any combination you desire. You can also have the Rolls-Royce monogram or your initials embroidered into the headrests.

There are many ways you can further enhance the appearance of Ghost and Ghost Extended Wheelbase. One of the most striking is the optional Silver Satin finish on the bonnet and windscreen surround, which accentuates their already charismatic presence. As do the visible exhausts that hint at the abundance of power under the bonnet. Large 20" wheels can also be specified either in alloy or in chromed alloy with matching chromed centre caps or body coloured centre caps. Inside, additional full-grain leather panels and deep lambswool footmats make the presence of the finest natural materials even more apparent.

Once specified, the optional technology in Ghost and Roll-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase is at first only noticeable by its apparent absence. Then by the ease with which it can be operated. The Control Centre Display provides a wealth of information, yet remains out of sight behind a veneered panel until required. In the case of Night Vision, it displays the thermal image of pedestrians up to 300 metres away whose body heat is detected by a discreet infrared camera in the grille. The screen also makes parking easier, as it shows you what’s happening around the car thanks to a series of cameras mounted on the front, sides and rear. At the flick of a switch, the Head-up Display means you don’t have to take your eyes off the road as driving related information, such as speed or directions, is projected directly on to the windscreen in front of you. And the Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, means you don’t have to touch the brake or accelerator when the car ahead speeds up or slows down, even to a standstill. These are just some of the options available on Ghost and Ghost Extended Wheelbase, and why they are the most advanced cars we have ever produced.

There’s plenty to keep you occupied when you travel in the rear even on the longest of journeys. With the Theatre Configuration, you can play DVDs or watch television on one of the two large individually controlled 9.2" LCD screens. Or upload your favourite music from your MP3 to provide the soundtrack for your journey. The Individual Lounge Seats allow you to enjoy even greater levels of comfort and even a gentle massage. Perforations in the seat surface release a cooling stream of air, while the rear climate control allows you to choose and regulate the temperature on your side of the car.

Roll-Royce Ghost Extended shares the same paint shop as Phantom, and the same mirror-like finish. It takes us seven days to achieve. In that time, we spend longer sanding the bodyshell between coats by hand than we do painting it. Once the fifth and final coat, a layer of clear lacquer, has been applied, it receives a further five hours of hand-polishing. Which is why when you look closely at Ghost’s paint work, you’ll see a perfect reflection of yourself staring back at you. Even the slightest imperfection has no place in a Rolls-Royce. Which is why we only use A-grade bull leather. This ensures the upholstery and trim in your Ghost will have no unsightly scars or stretch marks. We use at least eight hides for each interior, and to guarantee perfect consistency of colour throughout, each one comes from the same batch. We also drum dye our hides rather than paint them, so that the colour permeates right through the leather. This process also imparts a natural suppleness to the leather and means it will neither squeak nor crack. So all you will notice when you settle into your Ghost is the remarkable softness of the leather itself.

Beautiful wood in its most natural form adds a simple but striking finishing touch to the interior.
To give the impression of a seamless flow of grain from the dashboard to the passenger compartment, we only use wood from the same tree for each car. Not only does this ensure a consistent colouration, over time it will acquire the same patina. If you prefer a more contemporary feel to your interior, you can choose Piano Black or one of our straight-grained veneers such as Malabar or Dark Wenge. Whereas if you favour a more traditional look you can opt for Walnut Burr or Elm Cluster. An enhanced range of hardwood veneers, including Mahogany, Oak Burr and Black Stained Ash, are available through the Ghost Bespoke Programme.


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