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A budget Rolls Royce, at Rs 2.5 crore!

Last updated on: December 4, 2009 18:50 IST

Image: Colin Kelly, regional director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Asia, with Brenda Pek, general manager south and east Asia Pacific, unveiling the Ghost.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera Rediff Business Desk

British luxury car maker Rolls Royce unveiled the super luxury saloon, Ghost, in Mumbai on Friday.

The magnificent automobile is smaller, but more dynamic, than the previous models, and comes at a price tag of Rs 2.5 crore (Rs 25 million).

The Ghost is also the most technologically advanced offering from Rolls Royce, which is now part of German auto major BMW.

Powered by a new twin turbo 6.6-litre V12 engine, it is virtually silent, with 80 per cent of its torque available from idle. Coupled with the 8-speed ZF gearbox it accelerates from 0-62 mph in just 4.9 seconds and has a governed top-speed of 155 mph.

A budget Rolls Royce, at Rs 2.5 crore!

Image: Colin Kelly poses with the Ghost.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

Each Ghost is hand-built to order, so you can choose the finishing touches to make it uniquely yours.

During the day the car's Night Vision System remains out of sight behind a veneered panel. As darkness falls a discreet infrared camera in the grille can detect the body heat of pedestrians up to 300 metres away.

At the touch of a button their thermal image is clearly shown on the Control Centre Display, giving you plenty of time to slow down and pass them safely.

The Head Up Display projects driving-related information directly on to the windscreen in front of you, allowing you to concentrate on the road ahead.

A budget Rolls Royce, at Rs 2.5 crore!

Image: The massive boot of the Ghost.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

You can check your speed, follow directions and see other information without having to look down.

For clarity, the inside of the windscreen has a special coating to create a sharp easy-to-read viewing panel.

A simple safety feature that helps you stay fully in control on long journeys. If your concentration is broken and the car drifts towards another lane, the system warns you by vibrating the steering wheel.

The Ghost's Active Cruise Control makes driving in heavy traffic less tiring. You can set it to maintain a predefined time gap from the car in front, reducing speed to a complete halt if necessary.

A budget Rolls Royce, at Rs 2.5 crore!

Image: Models pose with the Ghost.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

Once the traffic begins to move again, Ghost accelerates to the pre-programmed speed as soon as possible.

"We expect to sell 75 units in 2010 in India, of which 'Ghost' will comprise 50-60 units," Roll Royce regional director Asia Pacific Colin Kelly says.

Last year, the company had sold about 15 units in the country, comprising cars from the 'Phantom' family. Phantom costs about Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million) to Rs 4.4 crore (Rs 44 million).

A budget Rolls Royce, at Rs 2.5 crore!

Image: The high door of the Ghost allows one to enter the car effortlessly.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

This year, the company is looking to more than double its global sales. "We are looking for sales of 2,500 units globally in 2010, of which two-third is expected to come from the yet to be launched 'Ghost'," Rolls Royce general manager (south and east Asia Pacific) Brenda Pek said.

She says that in India the company expects to sell 14-16 units this year and increase it to 75 units next year. "Everybody is keeping an eye on India. India is a key market for us. Last year, we added our second dealership in Delhi and if demand increased we will expand more," Brenda said.

Rolls Royce has already received 25 bookings for the 'Ghost.'

A budget Rolls Royce, at Rs 2.5 crore!

Image: The Bonnet 'V curve' of the Ghost has a grey matt finish paint, a first for cars.
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera

To keep pace with the launch of 'Ghost', Rolls Royce is also increasing its global headcount by adding 200 more to its staff this year.

"Globally, we have an employee strength of 700 and we are increasing this to 900 by end of this year, mainly to cater to the anticipated demand of the Ghost," Brenda said.

The UK-based company's global manufacturing facility is at Goodwood in Britain, where cars are hand-built by engineers.