“Obsessive” is not a bad word at Rolls-Royce
When reviewing client feedback from the first Goodwood Ghost, it became clear to Rolls-Royce that its cocooning, near-silent acoustic properties were of the utmost importance. Ghost owners value the sense of calm and wellness that their Rolls-Royce creates. Therefore, in creating new Ghost, the marque’s team of acoustic specialists were obsessively focused on this highly complicated engineering task.
To achieve a sense of absolute serenity, the acoustic team began by adapting the marque’s proprietary aluminum spaceframe architecture. A double-skinned bulkhead section was selected to insulate the cabin from the already near-silent 6.75L V12 engine, and space in the roof, trunk, and floor were created to fill with more than 100 kg of sound-absorbing materials. Additionally, the brand chose double-glazed windows with a clear composite center sheet as well as tires lined with lightweight acoustic insulation foam.
New Ghost Acoustic Engineering Lead Tom Davis-Reason says, “The extraordinary acoustic quality of new Ghost is the result of significant engineering developments and fastidious attention to detail, but it really is underpinned by the marque’s proprietary aluminum architecture. There is simply no way we could have created such an acoustically refined environment using a steel platform.”
Once the sound stage was created, every component was obsessively interrogated for its acoustic properties. Those that produced unacceptable levels of noise were discarded and completely redesigned at the home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex. Even the inside of the air conditioning ducts were smoothed to better insulate clients from intrusive noises.
Whisper-soft sound quality
Here’s the interesting part: upon early testing the acoustic team discovered that removing all noise was disorienting. Their solution was to create a ‘whisper’ – a soft undertone that clients experienced as a single, subtle note. To achieve this, each component had to be tuned to a specific resonant frequency. This task included the creation of acoustically tuned damping units for the seat frames, as well as a suite of ports between the cabin and the large 500-litre boot to ensure the low frequency it generated was consistent with new Ghost’s ‘note’.
The marque’s experts named this exhaustive process the Formula for Serenity. Following its creation, these specialists presented the acoustic advances they had made, showcasing how these developments would serve the demands of new Ghost clients. Rolls-Royce has elected to share elements of these internal briefings to demonstrate the engineering substance that underpins this extraordinary new motor car ahead of its official unveiling this year.