Rolls-Royce’s latest Ghost perfects sound of silence

Austin, Texas: It’s nothing new to look for the ‘perfect’ idea for car sounds.

Mercedes-Benz boasted six years ago about its distinctive door ‘thug’. Porsche produced a specific sound in its cabin to complement the otherwise almost silent ride of the electric Taycan sedan. The deep rumble of the Lamborghini Aventador can be identified from blocks away.

But on top of the luxury of luxury with machines that can cost $ 300,000 or more – twice the price of an average home in the US – producing the perfect sound experience is particularly worrying. The entrepreneurs and business owners and compatriots who own Rolls-Royces operate in extremely complex worlds, says Richard Carter, the brand’s communications director, and therefore appreciate their feelings of calm and well-being.

Yet there is something like too quiet. The ultimate luxury space must find a balance between closing off the chaos of the outside world, creating a tranquil cocoon, and closing in so that it feels like a grave.

Not a peek

In the new, second-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost, early test audiences reported during its five years of development that the car feels so quiet that it’s disorienting. ‘Border of nausea’, reports the car’s chief engineer, Jon Simms.

It turns out that changing the previous Ghost frame from steel to aluminum (which carries less noise than its heavier predecessor), insulates the car dish into a double-soundproof, sound-absorbing sheet and fills the rest of the roof, trunk . , and flooring with 220 pounds of sound-absorbing materials worked a little too well. The smooth interior of the air-conditioning ducts, the double glazing of the side windows with a clear composite center skin and the tires with lightweight foam.

So the Rolls-Royce engineers had to do something counter-intuitive: make the ride louder. The auditory goal was twofold throughout, Simms said. First, the Ghost cabin had to remain quiet enough to whisper a conversation at speeds up to 80 km / h.

Second, the Ghost had to lose any annoying beeps, clicks, hums or rumbles while the car was driving – quiet but annoying noises “like a mosquito buzzing around your head in a quiet room,” says Simms. And not giving passengers motion sickness is a given.

To find a pitch

Simms and his team developed a soft undertone to compensate for the evocative feeling of silence. They set the rear seat frames and components in the trunk to a specific low frequency, as musicians can tune instruments to a specific pitch.

They recalibrated the 563 horsepower engine to reduce its clumsy noise, avoiding aggressive riding modes such as track or sport, which would make it spin harder. They rearranged the four layers of sound insulation inside the doors to help stick out dead pockets of air. They even facilitated the heavily filled head runner.

I experienced the resulting whisper when I test-drove the Ghost last month. Immediately when the doors slammed shut with a feather light, it felt like I was stepping into a spa. As I drove through the rolling hills of Texas, I felt a deep sense of silence and purity, even in a fast machine powered by fossil fuels.

The balanced colors that come into the cabin via the trunk suggest how one can imagine David Foster’s studio sounding as he records with Andrea Bocelli – that moment when the last note lingers in the air, and the hum of energy disappear.

Alexandra Park Souto, a Wraith, Ghost and Cullinan owner who lives primarily in Austin, says it might be better. Noting that for the same reason she chose to drive her newborn son home from the hospital in the Rolls family: ‘I had to be in a space where I felt protected and safe,’ she says.

For a car manufacturer that sells the best luxury, call it the perfect place.

Source: Gulf News

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