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Rolls-Royce Gives Up the Ghost

Automaker’s new small luxury car finally has a formal name.

by on Apr.20, 2009

Rolls-Royce will bring back the legendary "Ghost" nameplate for its "small" luxury sedan, which goes into production for 2010. The concept version, the 200EX is shown here.

Rolls-Royce will bring back the legendary "Ghost" nameplate for its "small" luxury sedan, which goes into production for 2010. The concept version, the 200EX is shown here.

Rolls-Royce is giving up the Ghost, at least so to speak.  That’s the name the British maker has decided to appliqué on the back of its new “small” luxury car, which was heretofore known as the RR4.

The tradition-bound maker’s choice is no surprise.  Names like Shadow and Ghost have repeatedly reappeared on branches of its family tree since Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce teamed up in 1904.  The Silver Ghost was the first truly successful model the partners produced.

The Ghost name was formally announced at the Shanghai Motor Show, this morning — though TheDetroitBureau.com first revealed it would reappear in a report last month.  Notes Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Tom Purves, that nameplate “is one of the most revered names in the automotive industry, evoking images of adventure and technical innovation. The name reflects this new model’s breadth of abilities. The first cars to bear the Ghost name were known not only for impressive dependability and refinement but also great flair and style.”

The new Ghost could prove equally critical for Rolls today, considering the lackluster success of the carmaker’s current line-up, its various models based on the Phantom platform and carrying prices in the ultra-exclusive $400,000 range.  Sales have been particularly hard-hit by a recession that has impacted luxury as well as mainstream manufacturers.

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