A magic carpet ride: The Rolls-Royce Ghost




The new Rolls-Royce Ghost

If a Mercedes-Benz S-Class isn’t posh enough, but a Rolls-Royce Phantom is too excessive, then this is where the new Ghost fits in – theoretically.

Designed to be somewhere between the two, the modern-day Ghost looks ever so slightly more ‘executive’ from the back compared with the Rolls-Royce Phantom’s truly chauffeured aesthetic.

Another car the new Ghost hopes to take sales from is the BMW 7 Series. In fact, the old Rolls-Royce Ghost shared many of the Bimmer’s components, but now it’s based on a new aluminium platform which is also used by its sister cars from Rolls: the current Phantom and the Cullinan SUV.

While there are several ‘trim levels’ (known as ‘Inspired Specifications’), they mainly refer to the Ghost’s exterior styling and wheels.

The equipment list is dizzying, featuring a choice of 19, 20 or 21-inch wheels in a variety of designs, high gloss and open pore veneer interior trim, a panoramic sunroof, a ‘Starlight’ headliner, and an infotainment system. There are also endless personalisation options to make the Ghost genuinely unique to you, right up to the colour of the ring that surrounds the Rolls-Royce badge on each of the wheels.

Quite simply, there are no highlights because everything in a Rolls-Royce is supposed to be a highlight.

It is awe-inspiring – and, not to be outdone, the engine is a 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 with 571PS – and the car comes with four-wheel drive.

Despite its large size, its turning circle is reduced by four-wheel steering, and regardless of its weight, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is still capable of getting from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds.

It does it with a whisper, though. Yes, you’ll hear a subdued roar if you floor it, but the new Ghost is sublimely quiet and smooth. At times, you’d swear the car was floating just above the road surface – Rolls-Royce even calls it the ‘Magic Carpet Ride’.

The Ghost moves away at a pace then, while the enormous tyres generate a stack of grip around corners. Mind you, that’s not enough to limit the body roll, as you might expect.

Of course, this isn’t a motor built for handling, but although some Rolls-Royce Ghost owners may never drive their car, it’s pretty good for something so large, with responsive steering which weights up pleasingly around twisty bends at speed.

Just don’t expect the trees to smile at you, given you’ll struggle to achieve 15mpg (the official figure is 18.5mpg), and you’ll be producing nearly 350g/km of CO2. That is well over twice the amount of most everyday cars. Of course, the taxman will expect you to pay handsomely for that, although if you’re in the market for one of these, it’s likely just a case of handing over a bit of extra pocket money.

The new Rolls-Royce Ghost interior

The Roll-Royce Ghost’s interior is to die for, with a large number of colour combinations available, an inviting driver’s seat, a shapely dashboard and any number of buttons and controls at your fingertips.

What’s more, nearly everything in the new Ghost is made by hand, or at least by someone controlling a carving, milling, or cutting machine of some sort.

Everything right down to the last button, switch or dial looks like it’s been designed indescribably carefully. And, thanks to BMW’s ownership, the infotainment system is a Rolls-Royce-badged variant of the German automaker’s class-leading iDrive system.

The new Ghost is a joy to sit in, with superbly comfortable seats, while the sufficiency of headroom and legroom is something you simply take for granted when climbing inside. That said, if you must have more space, there is an Extended wheelbase variant if it takes your fancy.

Meanwhile, opting for the four-seater layout gets you two business class-sized seats in the rear. The downside? You’ll then want to opt for a champagne fridge in between the back seats, which means you have to put up with slightly reduced boot space.

Talk about first-world problems!

But to be honest, it’s not a first-world issue because most people, even in the first world, will only come close to affording a new Rolls-Royce Ghost if they sell the house and the kids.

The Ghost is yours for a mere quarter of a million quid.

And remember, this is just the entry-level Rolls-Royce – apparently!

But if you’re still in any doubt about the latest Ghost, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, sums up the model better than anyone:

“The first Goodwood Ghost was a response to a whole new generation of clients, both in age and attitude. These men and women asked us for a slightly smaller, less ostentatious means to own a Rolls-Royce. The success of the product we created for them fulfilled our most ambitious expectations. Over its ten-year lifespan, which began in 2009, the Ghost has become the most successful model in the marque’s history.

“To create a new product that would resonate with our Ghost clients for the next ten years meant we had to listen carefully to their demands. Today we set new standards in customer centricity by creating a completely new motor car for a unique group of Rolls-Royce’s clients. These business leaders and entrepreneurs demand more of their Ghost than ever. They require a new type of super-luxury saloon that is dynamic, serenely comfortable, and perfect in its minimalism. The Ghost is this product.

“The only components that we carried over from the first Goodwood Ghost were the Spirit of Ecstasy and umbrellas. Everything else was designed, crafted, and engineered from the ground up. The result is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet. It distils the pillars of our brand into a beautiful, minimalist, yet highly complex product that is perfectly in harmony with our Ghost clients’ needs and perfectly in tune with the times.”

Fast Facts – Rolls-Royce Ghost II as tested:

Max speed: 155mph

0-62 mph: 4.8secs

Fuel economy: 18.5mpg (WLTP)

Engine layout: 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 petrol engine

Max. power (PS): 571PS

CO2: 347g/km

Price: £250,000

All photos courtesy of Rolls-Royce.

Tim Barnes-Clay

Tim Barnes-Clay is Sorted Magazine’s Motoring Editor. He test-drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches around the world. The dad-of-three has a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism and has been a presenter and producer at ITV Central. He has also worked as a radio reporter and undertakes video and voiceover work. You can follow and interact with Tim on Instagram @tbarnesclay

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