While a £200k saloon could hardly be called a mainstream or budget offering, the Ghost is nevertheless quite a departure for Rolls. While the traditional Rolls-Royce offerings have largely ignored the temptations of cutting-edge electronic trickery and in-car entertainment, the Ghost enthusiastically embraces them. There's a head-up display, lane departure warning, automatically dipping headlights and active cruise control.
There's also a night vision camera hidden in the grille that can detect pedestrians up to 300 metres away, thus minimising the likelihood of the butler having to wipe smudged people off the Rolls's bonnet.
The underpinnings of the Ghost come from a modified version of the BMW 7-series, so although the body is strongly reminiscent of the Phantom (albeit 400mm shorter) the aluminium spaceframe of its bigger brother is ditched in favour of a simpler steel monocoque. The air supension with its electronically variable damping works via double wishbones at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear.
The Ghost might have a lot in common with a BMW under the skin, but its bodywork is thoroughbred Rolls-Royce, with its rakish A-pillar, short front overhang, prominent grille and tapering tail. As with the teak rear 'deck' on the Phantom Drophead, Rolls is keen to emphasise the link between its latest creation and the world of Luxury yachts, describing the Ghost as having "majestic 'Yacht Line' styling" and an "elevated prow".
The Rolls-Royce Ghost will be on show in the metal at the Frankfurt motor show next week, and we can no doubt expect coupe and convertible versions at some point in the not too distant future.