Rolls-Royce Ghost: wafting silently into view

Less ostentation, more traction – but the new Rolls-Royce Ghost remains an exceptional machine, says Nicole Garcia Merida.

Price: £249,600. Power: 563bhp at 5,000rpm. Torque: 627lb ft at 1,600rpm. Top speed: 155mph. 0-62mph: 4.8 secs.

“Rolls-Royce doesn’t make anything as humble as a mere car; these are bespoke luxury mobility experiences,” says Top Gear. The new Ghost is no exception. In keeping with its name, there’s an almost “ethereal quality” to the way the new version of the beloved model moves seamlessly on the road. This iteration of the Ghost – which was first released 11 years ago and went on to become the most successful Rolls of all time – pushes the boundaries of technology “in the search for the sweet spot that defines a car designed to be driven as much as it is to be driven in”. 

As soon as it’s put in to motion, it’s clear that the Ghost is “exceptional”, says Ben Oliver in the Robb Report. The engine noise is barely perceptible – “even with the throttle wide open it’s quietly authoritative rather than shouty” – and the chassis is stuffed with more than 200 pounds of sound-deadening material to that end. It’s also “hilariously fast” for such a big car and the ride is “exceptional”. 

“Thankfully, post-opulent does not mean post-luxurious”, says Oliver. The car is Rolls’s response to client’s requests for “a little less ostentation and a little more traction”, but don’t worry: “Other drivers will have no doubts about what you’re driving. The new Ghost simply tries to express its status with material quality rather than ornamentation.” On the traction front, the Ghost has all-wheel-drive to make it more usable in snowy conditions, all-wheel steering to make it more nimble in cities, and an unhybridised twin-turbo V12, delivering 563bhp via an eight-speed gearbox. 

The Ghost is all-new too – every component has been changed, says Ray Massey on This is Money. The only carry-over from the 2009 model is “the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ flying at its prow and the pull-out umbrellas stowed in the doors”. Indeed, what makes the Ghost stand out is “the exquisite attention to detail of the interior”. And although it may have the dimensions of a barge, driving it is “not at all intimidating”. It delivers its potency “effortlessly smoothly” and the most fun to be had with it is on twisting country lanes, “accelerating and braking with gusto”. The car’s clever “flagbearer” system uses cameras and sat-nav to read the road and prepare for tight curves, bumps, or changes in the surface, giving the car “impeccable manners and poise” – packing a mean punch when required, wafting along “in eerie silence” at other times.

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