A week and a bit shy of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Rolls-Royce has released official photos and details about its new "baby", the Ghost.
Despite being smaller and more reasonably priced than the AU$1 million-plus Phantom, the Ghost is one big car. It measures 5.4m long and 1.95m wide; that's not only 40cm longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but you could fit two Smart ForTwos end-to-end in the space occupied by a Ghost.
Most of the styling cues are taken from the much larger Phantom, but are distilled with more curves and modern flourishes.
Leather, chrome and wood are key ingredients in the Ghost's interior.
Compared to the Phantom, the Ghost is some 40cm shorter, but, according to Rolls-Royce, interior space is "comparable". Hopefully this is true in the rear seat, where we suspect most Ghost owners will travel.
Like the Phantom, the Ghost features rear-hinged back doors. These are commonly referred to as suicide doors, because on vintage cars with this arrangement the rear doors would pop open on corners flinging passengers out the side and into the hedges.
A teflon coated umbrella is stored within each of the front doors.
The entertainment, navigation and communication system looks a lot like the latest generation of the iDrive system we saw earlier this year on the rather more humble BMW 3-Series. USB and auxiliary jacks allow connectivity to your favourite MP3 player, while there's also 12.5GB of hard disk space available for music storage.
Around the rotary controller are a number of shortcut buttons, including Back, Option, Telephone and Navigation. Judging by the photos we've seen thus far, the Rolls-Royce controller also features shortcuts that are accessed when you nudge it in one of eight direction.
The windscreen may be raked back to an unseemly degree and the grille is no longer completely vertical, but the Spirit of Ecstasy is still perched on the bonnet's edge.
Oh how times change! Rolls-Royce used to quote its power and performance figures as being "adequate". Now the company's rather more forthcoming.
The Ghost is powered by a twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 that produces 420kW of power and 780Nm of torque. Despite a speedometer calibrated for 260km/h, the top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.
There's nothing as vulgar as a tachometer, though. The gauge to the left actually displays how much of the car's power reserve you're currently tapping into.
The V12 drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Floor the gas pedal and you'll be able to reach 100km/h in 4.9 seconds. Not bad for a car that weighs 2360kg unladen (that's about a tonne more than a mid-size sedan). The combined fuel consumption rating looks quite good at 13.6L/100km, but we'd hazard to guess that the city rating of 20.5L/100km will be closer to the mark.
The delectable matte silver grille and windshield surrounds, as well as bonnet, aren't standard unfortunately; sir will have to pay extra for those.
LED driving lights reside in a thin strip below the xenon headlights.
The wheels' double-R logo will always be correctly displayed thanks to the self-righting wheel centres.
Here's one last look at the new Ghost. Make a note of the grille that's angled back a bit, the windscreen that's angled back a bit more and the mixture of hard edges and soft curves, especially at the wheel arches and door edges.
Compare them with the Phantom's much more upright and primly designed features.
It's clear that the softer features on the Ghost are meant to hide the car's proportions somewhat, whereas those on the Phantom are meant to accentuate it.