Rolls-Royce explains why Phantom will be left without all-wheel driveOctober 13, 2020
Junior Ghost meanwhile has it
Introduced in September, the second-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost received all-wheel drive for the first time, although the Phantom flagship still does not. Jonathan Simms explained why you shouldn’t wait for such a car.
The new Rolls-Royce Ghost is built on a power structure known as the “Architecture of Luxury”, technologically akin to the Phantom VIII and Cullinan models. This platform features an all-aluminum monocoque body with hand-welded panels and allows for all-wheel drive. Including with adjustable ride height, like on the Cullinan SUV.
Today, F-class luxury sedans are sold with all-wheel drive in the vast majority of cases: this is true for the S-Class and the BMW 7 Series, and even more so for the Audi A8, which has no mono-drive modifications at all. Passenger cars of luxury brands are also equipped with all-wheel drive: Bentley Flying Spur, Maserati Quattroporte, Porsche Panamera, Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The new generation Rolls-Royce Ghost also has an all-wheel drive system.
We hypothesized that buyers of the flagship Phantom, the brand’s largest, most expensive and most luxurious car, could also be in demand for an all-wheel drive transmission. And we asked the chief engineer of the new Ghost, Jonathan Simms, if the company is ready for such requests. Simms confirmed that it is technically possible for Rolls-Royce to build a Phantom with four-wheel drive, if so requested by customers.
However, they do not currently have such a need. In particular, the engineer cited Russian buyers of the brand as an example: “Before the launch of Cullinan, we talked a lot with clients from Russia, an important market for us. In a country where SUVs are particularly popular, we have received many requests for the traditional off-road model, not the more passable Phantom. “
According to Simms, the Phantom remains the pinnacle of ride comfort of any Rolls-Royce, and is most commonly used with chauffeur. About one hundred kilograms, which the car will add with the installation of all-wheel drive, will make their own, albeit microscopic adjustments to the smoothness of the ride, known as the “flying carpet-plane”. In particular, an increase in unsprung masses. Thus, all-wheel drive on the Phantom as an initiative of engineers should not be expected.
Moreover, the buying behavior of Rolls-Royce customers does not always match that of other car buyers. In particular, it is more likely that the owner of the Phantom will also buy a Cullinan, and now, possibly, a Ghost for driving. The company considers the new model the most interesting in terms of driving. It is emphasized that this is not a sporty driving experience – rather, the new Ghost provides more driving involvement than any other Rolls-Royce in history.
For this, the “Ghost” has not only an all-wheel drive transmission and a steering rear axle, but also a suspension with the Planar system. It consists of an upper transverse arm damper, a set of Flagbearer stereo cameras that read information from the track at speeds up to 100 kilometers per hour, and an automatic machine connected to the navigation system. The engine to match the character is the familiar from the “Phantom” V12 6.75 with two turbochargers, producing 571 horsepower and 850 Nm of torque.
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