China has recently taken a larger role in Rolls-Royce's business, and to show its gratitude the automaker used the Shanghai motor show to reveal a pair of new products. The luxury automaker used the show to reveal its new extended wheelbase and bespoke China Edition Ghosts.
We've been hearing reports that Rolls-Royce planned to expand its Ghost lineup over the next few years, but we didn't anticipate anything quite this soon. Variations are expected to take the shape of coupe and convertible models, but the first to market is an extended wheelbase variant. While standard Ghosts may be positioned as driver's cars, the EWB is best as chauffeured ride. Engineers stretched the wheelbase 6.7 inches, assigning the extra space to the rear cabin, with knee-room twice that of the standard model according to the manufacturer.
The Ghost resides on the same platform as BMW's 7 Series, which is described as rather flexible, allowing Rolls-Royce to make changes relatively easily. Coupe and convertible variants are expected to become available within the next three years. While the EWB Ghost will be available in all parts of the globe, the China Edition will remain in, you guessed it, China.
Rapidly becoming one of the world's largest luxury markets, Rolls-Royce packed its bespoke China Edition full of opulent touches. For starters, the gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament with matching gold coachlines running the length of the sedan sets it apart from regular Ghosts. A trio of paint choices including Deep Garnet, Black Ember, and Infinity are contrasted by a striking red interior.
"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," said CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös. "We expect to build on last year's record growth, with further strong demand for Rolls-Royce models and a positive economic forecast throughout the region."
With 32 showrooms, the United States remains Rolls-Royce's largest market, but that will likely soon change. Three new dealers are scheduled to open in China by the end of the year, bringing the region's total to eleven. Rolls-Royce experienced a 160-percent sales improvement through the first three months of the year.