Dream Drive: The Rolls-Royce Ghost II
"Very much a ‘driver’s car’ with proper road feel and purpose"
Prices start at £187,740 excluding local taxes
Right now there is a rather soothing piano concerto playing as background music in the office. We are mostly silent and focused tapping away at our keyboards, locked into our own little worlds. Yet mine of course is to share one of life’s most sublime pleasures with you, and somehow the music couldn’t be more fitting.
That pleasure is the Rolls-Royce Ghost II. It is anything but ‘a motor car’…but rather ‘an experience’. One that appeals not only to those who have a bent for fine motoring, but to those of us who also appreciate quality, craftsmanship, and demand only the finest in our personal and professional lives. Rolls-Royce are even bolder in defining the Ghost customer;
"… a unique, exclusive group of exceptional achievers who drive success in today’s world. They know what they want and go out to achieve it. And then, having accomplished their objectives, they reward themselves with the ultimate symbol of success, a Rolls-Royce Ghost."
Once seated in the Rolls-Royce Ghost, you feel very ‘successful’. Cocooned in world class luxury you are in a haven of peace and tranquillity, even when there’s traffic mayhem around you. It explains the smile on my face in early morning traffic whilst looking at the snarls of others on my daily commute through the notorious Blackwall Tunnel.
Yes of course it is expensive but that really isn’t the issue here, price simply reaffirms the financial credentials of its owner. The privilege lies in your good fortune to be a custodian of a great marque, and one you are likely to have in the family for a very long time, possibly generations, as many Rolls-Royce owning families often do.
Improvements for Ghost II are subtle indeed; resculptured bodywork and headlamps, new optional wheel and tyre specs, redesigned multi adjustable seats, and subtle enhancements to instrument dials and clocks, with an added range of wood and finishes.
If one is inclined to consider detail, a slight diversion into such technical dithery reveals a V12 engine producing 593 bhp and generating 780 NM of torque. The whole car weighs 2,360 kg – not far off 2.5 tons yet can rocket from 0-62 mph in 4.7 secs and even up to a no doubt speed governed 155 mph.
The good news is that Rolls-Royces are still made in Britain with the same spirit and ethos that has traditionally characterised the brand. Charles Stewart Rolls and Sir Frederick Henry Royce started their partnership in 1904 with a mission to produce ‘the best car in the World’. From thereon, it was a matter of taking the best and making it better still. The current Ghost was originally launched in 2009, and the subtle improvements making it Ghost II is fitting to yet another Rolls-Royce maxim characterising the brand, that ‘no complication should ever distract from driver or passenger pleasure’.
And it doesn’t,for driving the Ghost is simplicity itself. The automatic transmission lever is still mounted on the steering wheel. Press a beautifully chromed button, start the car and watch the power metre move to 100% which, apart from a few dashboard light monitors, will be your only clue the engine has started, so quiet and subdued is its tone. It is not unknown for owners to lock this car and walk away with the engine still running – yes. it’s that quiet. Engage gear, press throttle, steer. It’s that simple.
Yet dare I say this is very much a ‘driver’s car’ with proper road feel and purpose, with a surprising amount of punch. Maybe along with the Wraith, this is a Rolls-Royce you’d enjoy just as much driving yourself as being chauffeured in, and we suspect many Ghost owners spend a lot of time behind the wheel themselves. If it was mine, there’d be no chauffeur as I couldn’t rest while he’s having such a good time. Praise indeed. The driving enthusiast will probably be shocked at just how quickly you can punt this very big and heavy car across country roads; it has real handling, cornering flat and safe without fuss into even the most challenging bends. Where you expect this car to pitch and roll you get neither.
To drive or to be driven in? That is the question. The answer lies in this car being the top seller across the whole of the Rolls-Royce range along with the Wraith, and that’s because you can do both with absolute pleasure.
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