Rolls-Royce Ghost gets on the Procrustean Bed: LWB Model Revealed in Shanghai

The world premiere of Rolls-Royce‘s Ghost Extended Wheelbase took place at the Shanghai Auto Show, a sign of how important the Chinese market has become for premium carmakers. It’s the first time Rolls-Royce brings a world launch to the Asia Pacific region, and the LWB Ghost is a fitting new model for a market that likes its sedans long and spacious.

The British automaker claims the sixth new model of the Rolls-Royce range is aimed at customers “who require increased space and comfort without sacrificing Ghost’s unique balance of dynamism and poise”. The Ghost Extended Wheelbase will be built to order and will be available in only limited numbers for 2011, as full production begins in 2012.

The LWB version adds 170 mm to the Ghost’s wheelbase, with Rolls Royce stating that legroom is significantly enhanced with knee-room more than doubled compared to the standard Ghost. There’s also a new panoramic sunroof.

The car’s overall length increases from 5.40 meters to 5.57 meters (the Phantom SWB is 5.83 meters long). Visually, the impact of the longer wheelbase can be seen in the larger rear doors.

Under the hood sits the same 6.6-liter twin turbo V12 engine, that produces 571HP and 780 Nm (575.4 lb-ft) of torque from as low as 1,500 rpm. Rolls Royce says the LWB Ghost can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5 seconds.

The extended wheelbase model rides on an intelligent four corner air suspension that promises to maintan the balance between comfort and handling.

The Ghost Extended Wheelbase is priced from 5.118 million yuan in China (including taxes), which is equivalent to €548,000 or $784,000 at the current exchange rates.

Along with the Ghost Extended Wheelbase, Rolls-Royce offerings at the Shanghai Show include a China Edition Ghost featuring red interior, gold twin-coachlines, gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy and stainless steel pinstripes. Developed exclusively for the Chinese market, the limited series model is available with three special paint colors (Deep Garnet, Black Ember and Infinity), silver and gold packages and other specific features.

By Dan Mihalascu

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