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Wanting to build excitement leading up to the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, Rolls-Royce has released a slew of details and photos of its upcoming Ghost (formerly known as the 200EX Concept). As expected, the Ghost features umbrellas hidden in the door jambs, self-righting "RR" wheel caps, and a motorized Spirit of Ecstacy hood ornament, but we're most interested in what's happening under the hood and in the cabin.

Under the brushed metal hood is a new direct-injected 6.6 liter twin-turbo V12 engine, sending 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed, shift-by-wire, automatic gearbox. That's enough twist to rocket the big ol' Ghost from 0-60 mph in an estimated 4.7 seconds and onward to an electronically governed top speed of 155mph.

The new powertrain delivers this performance while emitting just 317g/km of CO2. If you've ever seen how a Rolls is, you'll find its 20.8 combined mpg to be quite impressive. On the other hand, I'm fairly certain that your average Rolls-Royce owners probably never pump their own gas.

Concealed behind a veneered panel is the new control center, which appears to be based on BMW's new iDrive. The central rotary controller seems to back up this assumption. Through this control center the driver can access navigation, communication, and entertainment functions.

Other cool cabin technologies available for the Ghost include keyless entry and start, voice control, rear, front side and top view cameras, a Night Vision camera with Pedestrian Recognition, a Head-up Display, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assistance, and Active Cruise Control. A good rule of thumb here is that every feature available on the Editors' Choice winning BMW 750Li is available in some form on the Ghost.

Unique to the Ghost are its 600 watt, 10-channel audio system with 16 speakers (including two floor-mounted subwoofers). This system features USB and auxiliary inputs and a 12.5 GB hard drive for storage of music files ripped from USB or CD sources. The audio system can be specked with a Theatre Configuration, which allows all settings that do not directly affect the driver to be controlled from the two 9.2-inch LCD screens in the back of the front seats and a second rear center-mounted rotary controller.

source: reviews.cnet

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