Rolls-Royce Ghost engineering talk with Jonathan Simms

Rolls-Royce Engineering Lead Jonathan Simms talks about engineering the Ghost.

Video Transcript

JONATHAN SIMMS: The brief we were given for the dynamic character of New Ghost was-- perfection in simplicity. But, actually, we knew that fulfilling that brief, to create that perfection, to create that simplicity from the customer view was actually going to be incredibly complex. Regardless of the climate, the road conditions, whether you're driving or being chauffeured, it had to feel just right.

Our challenge with Ghost was to distill the dynamic highlights from the complete portfolio of motor cars into one single product. This wouldn't have been possible without our Rolls-Royce space frame architecture. This is completely configurable, which allows us to set up the vehicle to deliver the exact result our client would expect on the road.

So, we're not asking a platform to do something it was never designed to do. We're looking at the trademark Rolls-Royce characteristics. So, the effortless magic carpet ride, the dynamic sense of one endless gear and-- new for Ghost-- the reassuring all wheel drive system.

We created, with our front suspension, a world first. We introduced a new system, which-- in simple terms-- dampens the dampers, to remove as much energy transfer as we can from the road into the body of the vehicle, creating for the customer that sense that the road has almost been plain smooth in front of them. You experience the sensation of flight on land over all tarmac surfaces, wet or dry.

In terms of the dynamic properties of New Ghost, we also responded directly to client feedback. Not only did they want to use their Ghost in more places, but they also wanted to spend more time behind the wheel to really experience our 571 PS twin turbo V12. Ghost benefits from our flag bearer system that proactively brings together a camera coupled together with sensors in the suspension assembly, which scan the road ahead and make millions of calculations per second to actively adjust the suspension for the conditions that the client hasn't even yet experienced. Even our gearbox is linked to the car's global positioning system, scanning the road ahead to select the perfect gear for the corner you're about to encounter.

Ghost had to feel nimble in the city, as well as out on the open road. We decided the best way to achieve that was all-wheel steering. At low speeds, the rear axle turns in the opposite direction to the front wheels, creating a very tight turning circle. You don't have to worry about the vehicle's size. At higher speeds, the rear wheels turn with the front wheels to give you stability during high speed lane changes.

It's really a call that whispers. It doesn't shout. And we took that very literally when it came to the acoustics. We found that removing all noise can actually be quite disorientating and uncomfortable. We've invested a great deal of time and an obsessive level of attention to detail in creating one uniform tone inside the cabin.

The seat frames, for example, resonated with a different frequency to the body. So, we introduced damping units, within the seats, to bring them together into one single note. The large boot produced a frequency that you could just notice at motorway speeds.

So we introduced a set of invisible ports within the parcel shelf to harmonize those frequencies. Even the drive shafts have been created so that any noise they make does not intrude on the meticulously tuned cabin. When we describe what we've done to bring our clients New Ghost, we've been described as obsessives. We prefer "perfectionists".