Rolls-Royce Designer Henry Cloke talks about the design aspect of the Ghost and how the team focused on minimalist aesthetics.
HENRY CLOKE: The design brief for Ghost came to the studio with hundreds of pages of our customers' insights. We kind of refined and distilled it down to this concept of what is post-opulence. And what do I mean? It's about refinement, about reduction, about simplicity. It was about something that doesn't shout at you, but it whispers.
We were pursuing this minimalist aesthetic that was our absolute objective. I'd say the front of Ghost really demonstrates our obsession with reducing any overt design. There's no additional flourishes. It's very reduced, but it keeps that charm that makes a Rolls-Royce. It's in no way sterile.
Our aluminum body structures, they're hand welded, which means you don't read any additional shop lines. Every car individually is finished symmetrically. That's what gives you this feeling of one canvas, one monolithic sculpture from front to rear. There's more possibilities here for bespoke personalization than ever before.
The character of Ghost comes out. It still has the natural presence you'd expect of a Rolls-Royce, but it's calmly confident. Part of this presence and assertiveness comes through the proportioning. We've widened Ghost and you read this immediately because it's framed by these sharp, vertical bow lines, which make this angular-like graphic, so it's completely framing the face.
We wanted Ghost to have this unique ambience, because there's not lots of features but it should have that character. That spirit should come through, and we discovered we could achieve that with light. So actually, behind the veins of the grill is a subtle illumination. We actually fine-tuned the shapes and even brushed the back of every vein, that you just get this subtle glow so that it removed any sense of anything ever being sterile. It should always have this warmth of a Rolls-Royce. This gentle glow.
We want to give you that subtle message that this is a car to be driven and a car to be driven in. There's no heavy focus on the rear door or the front door. If you look at them, they're almost equal. We're letting you know almost subconsciously when you walk up to the car that whether you sit-in the front or the back of Ghost, you're going to have that great Rolls-Royce experience.
The rear of Ghost, it continues this yachting analogy. It's resolved in a taper from all sides and this is how we create that sense of motion. The focus point is the Rolls-Royce rear lamp. This simple red square ring has become a tenet of modern Rolls-Royce design, but here we've modernized it. It's actually leant forwards a little bit. It's more three-dimensional than ever before.
The Ghost interior is meant to be a detoxifying space. We realized our customers have very complicated lives, so they're not looking for a constant reminder of their success. They're not looking for busy details. They want a thinking space. We found trying to do this actually makes it incredibly complicated, but for our crafts people the challenges are even greater. There's no distraction, there's no complicated patterns in which to hide any error. So a single stitch line must be perfect.
The wood, for example, that you touch, it's not hidden under lacquer. It's open pore so you can feel the veneer through it. And don't be fooled of what might be underneath there. This has got more technology in it than any other Rolls-Royce we've ever built, but it's only there when you demand it. The dashboard, for instance, the illuminated fascia, it's only there when requested. The effortless doors. There's not an additional button. It's the door handle. Everything is there to make it as calming and relaxing and uncomplicated as possible.
Henry Royce said that small things make perfection, but that perfection is no small thing. And we discovered that really holds true today. This philosophy of post-opulence, this philosophy of refining to every detail is what should make it timeless.