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Spy shot Rolls-Royce Ghost

The smaller, cheaper — less costly — luxury limousine is still firmly on track for a production preview at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September ahead of the first sales in 2010.

Undisguised test cars are now a relatively common sight in Britain, where Carparazzi photographers caught this Ghost during on-road trials close to Rolls-Royce headquarters at Goodwood.

Work is also well advanced at the Rolls-Royce factory, where a second production line is being installed for the Ghost alongside the existing Phantom assembly line. The plan is to double production from 800 to 1600 cars, although this number could be adjusted during the expected early rush for the Ghost.

More information has just come on the car, which will have an engine producing 420 kiloWatts and 780 Newton-metres of torque. Rolls-Royce says this will be enough for a top speed limited to 250km/h and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.9 seconds.