Rolls-Royce Ghost Coupe: A sporty Rolls?

Rolls-Royce Ghost sedan front three-quarter viewThe “baby” Rolls-Royce Ghost will be available as a coupe next summer, which should have Rolls buyers clamoring to have a matching set. However, what’s really exciting about the 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Coupe is that it will be the first performance model from Rolls in recent memory.

According to Autocar, the two-door Ghost will have a more powerful version of the Ghost sedan’s (pictured) twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 under its elongated bonnet. The Coupe will produce an even 600 horsepower, up from the sedan’s 563 hp.

As with all Rolls models (and those of parent company BMW), the Ghost Coupe will be electronically limited to 155 mph. With 37 more horses, it should get there a tad quicker than the Ghost sedan. That car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a very impressive 4.8 seconds.

This performance Rolls-Royce will definitely be fast, but will it be able to go around corners? The company has traditionally eschewed sporty suspension setups for unimpeachable ride quality and impeccable road manners; forcing passengers into their seats with lateral g is not the Rolls-Royce way.

Nonetheless, the Ghost Coupe will apparently have stiffer suspension, riding on a chassis 10 mm lower than the sedan’s and bigger tires. Rolls engineers say the car will be more agile, but that they kept the tweaks to a minimum to maintain that traditional Rolls refinement.

Why does Rolls-Royce need a performance model? The company is one of the least performance-oriented, but most iconic, marques in the business. Still, Rolls and BMW executives have probably been eyeing sales of the Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin Rapide with envy.

Bentley brings a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 (567 hp and 516 lb-ft) and a Le Mans pedigree to battle. The Rapide is basically a four-door DB9, with the same 470 hp, 5.9-liter V12.

Like all coupes, the Ghost will have less formal styling than its sedan counterpart. Instead of just chopping two doors off and calling it a day, Rolls shortened the Ghost both in overall length and wheelbase. The roof is also significantly lower than the sedan’s. The production car’s styling will probably reflect its big brother, the Phantom.

Don’t expect the Ghost Coupe to be a low-slung sports car, though. Despite being the “baby” of the family, the Ghost is pretty massive. It’s based on the BMW 7 Series full-size luxury sedan. Rolls promising a “commanding” driving position that should allow Coupe drivers to look down on the proles.

The Ghost Coupe will adopt a different name before it enters production sometime next year. It will reportedly have its own name, but Rolls has not made a final decision on what that name will be. Whatever it is, it will probably be spirit-themed like the company’s other models (Phantom, Ghost, Silver Wraith, etc.) Maybe the new car will be called Phantasm, or Banshee.

The Ghost Coupe is expected to make its public debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next March; production will start next summer. Buyers looking for a sporty Roller should expect to pay around $250,000 for the privilege.