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Rolls-Royce Ghost successor targets 'post opulence,' says CEO

The next version of one of Rolls' most important models will be much more minimalist in design, says the company's CEO in an open letter.

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With just a few lines, we can already tell that this new Ghost will absolutely still look like a Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce's Ghost is one of its more "affordable" cars, and since its introduction a decade ago, it's become one of the most important models for the brand and one of its bestsellers.

Now, as the Ghost gets ready to undergo its transition to a second generation, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös issued an open letter on July 27 describing some of the thinking behind the forthcoming changes to the model.

One of the more interesting ideas put forth in his letter is that of "post-opulence" being an increasing trend among Rolls-Royce buyers. That being the idea that future Ghosts should be "luxury objects that celebrate reduction and restraint -- that don't shout, but rather, whisper. They are seeking design purity by rejecting obvious and unnecessary embellishments and overt complication."

What exactly does that mean, in language that those of us who aren't oligarchs or oligarch-adjacent can process? It means that vulgar displays of wealth are becoming less popular in a world where income inequality has become an increasing public concern worldwide.

"Of course, there will always be a place in this world, and at Rolls-Royce, for items and products of opulence that express the very best of human endeavor, inspire greatness and present a sense of theatre and magic," Müller-Ötvös said. "But we at Rolls-Royce remain alert for any signs of a recalibration of need within layers of the global luxury marketplace."

Rolls-Royce determined that this new, minimalist approach was the way forward following a study by its Luxury Intelligence Unit. As such, the only things being carried over from the outgoing model will be the Spirit of Ecstasy (natch) and the umbrellas. Everything else is new.

Now, we won't get to see what all of this actually means in practical terms for a few more months, according to Müller-Ötvös. Still, it sounds like it could be a fairly radical departure for a brand that's not known for radical departures, and we're excited to see it.

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