When does a Rolls-Royce Ghost become a Phantom rival? When you add 170mm to the wheelbase and launch the Ghost Extended Wheelbase.
At 5569mm long, the LWB Ghost is still comfortably shorter than the 5834mm regular Rolls Phantom (the stretched Phantom soars beyond six metres!).
The Ghost LWB was launched today at the 2011 Shanghai auto show. Rolls will only build the long-wheelbase Ghost to order and will start production later in 2011.
Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase: how much more room?
Goodwood claims that rear legroom is more than doubled compared to the regular 'SWB' Ghost, itself hardly a cramped place to sit.
Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: 'Ghost Extended Wheelbase delivers all the poise and dynamism enjoyed by discerning Ghost owners, with the indulgent experience of an extended wheelbase car. It is the very best of both worlds. This is the first time we have undertaken a world launch of a Rolls-Royce car in China, underscoring the strategic significance of this market and the Asia Pacific region.'
Powering the Rolls-Royce Ghost LWB
It's business as usual under the bonnet of the stretched Ghost. There's the regular 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12 which produces 555bhp and 575lb ft at just 1500rpm - enough for 0-62mph in just 5.0sec.
Rolls says customers in China bought more Centenary Collection special edition cars than any other market in the world. Its dealers in Beijing and Shanghai topped global showroom sales, and it's busy expanding its Chinese dealer network to 11. It's a reflection of a booming economy when the locals can afford a £482,000 Ghost Extended Wheelbase - local taxes hugely inflate the price of luxury imported vehicles.
Rolls-Royce appears to be prospering in 2011: in the first quarter, sales have jumped 160% compared with 2010. The biggest market remains America, followed by China, the UK, the UAE and Japan.