The new Ghost wants to be the understated Rolls-Royce
They call it the "Post-Opulent car".
I think we can all agree that Rolls-Royces aren't the most inconspicuous cars there are. Even the brand's "entry-level" car, the Ghost, is no exception to this rule. When it was first introduced in 2010, the Ghost was meant to be the smaller and cheaper Phantom that still looked like a palace on wheels. That was before though. Last year, Rolls-Royce introduced a completely new Ghost with the objective of making it less opulent and subtle. The result is a car that will look really similar to the one it replaces for the untrained eye, but the new Ghost is actually more Rolls-Royce than ever.
Let's start by saying that the new Rolls-Royce Ghost is a completely new car that no longer shares components with the BMW 7-Series. No, the new "Baby Rolls" is the real deal. Based on the same platform as the Cullinan and the Phantom, the Ghost is meant to be more comfortable and dynamic than it ever was. The brand from Goodwood also worked extensively on the design which is meant to be more discreet, yet distinctively Rolls-Royce. To be honest, I still don't really understand what they meant when they said the car followed the "Post-Opulence" philosophy. Even though it's the "entry-level" car, it is over 5.5 m long and 2 m wide. Oh, and there is still this abundance of luxury in the cabin that only Rolls-Royce has the secret for. Not all that understated if you ask me, but I could live with it.
Obviously, any new Rolls-Royce feels more like an evolution than a revolution, and that is not a bad thing. You still get the familiar 6.75-litre V12 that develops 563 bhp. Why would you change such an extraordinary engine? Getting up to higher speeds seems effortless and the transition from one gear to the other is nearly imperceptible. It's no sports car, but the Ghost is still capable of reaching 100 km/h from a standstill in only 4.6 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 264 km/h. Not too bad for a car that weighs 2.5 tons.
In addition to that, you get for the first time four-wheel drive. Something that was only available on the Cullinan so far. As you can see in the pictures, we were able to fully test the capabilities of this system in the snow. The Ghost proved to be very stable and find a lot of grip in these tricky conditions. It's rather amazing to be able to do all of that in the comfort of a true Rolls-Royce. The ride quality is one of the smoothest we have experienced in any car. I think it'd be even unfair to compare it to the rest of "normal" automobiles. It feels more like it's actually gliding on the road as an airplane would in the sky. I mean the car is even equipped with a system that reads the road in front of you to better prepare the suspension in case of bumps. Also, they developed a GPS gearbox that optimizes the gear changes when the road you are driving on is going up, down, left, or right. This is completely surreal and this ride quality can be even more noticeable when you are sitting in the back obviously.
It may be the "baby Rolls", but everything is relative. Again, it's over 5.5 m long, so it's even longer than the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. That means more legroom in the back, but that's not it. It also means that there is more room for tech and luxury. Of course, you can have the optional fridge to casually store your bottle of champagne, but you also get very cool tray tables behind the front seats that automatically unfold to make introduce an infotainment screen that basically lets you operate everything in the car. You could also opt for the must-have starlit headliner which showcases every now and then... shooting stars! Some may not like the exterior design of the new Ghost, but I think we'll agree that the interior is an amazing place to sit in.
When driving the Rolls-Royce you immediately realise how quiet it is. I mean, the British brand even worked extensively on equalising the sound that is generated throughout the cabin when it drives so that it delivers only one single note. Again, truly remarkable. Everything in this car seems over-engineered for the sake of comfort and that's an excellent thing. Nobody can truly appreciate the amount of attention to details that have been committed to the Ghost, and it is certainly a step above what the competition is doing. I don't see how the new Ghost could be considered the "entry-level" Rolls-Royce. It is as refined as any car in the range, just in a smaller package. And now, it's even more Rolls-Royce than ever.
I would like to thank Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Geneva and Pegasus Automotive Group for providing us with this beautiful new Rolls-Royce Ghost. Without them, this article would have never been possible. Ideally located between Geneva and Lausanne, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Geneva has one of the most beautiful dealerships I have ever seen in Switzerland. Also, a huge thank you goes to the team of PR&Co for perfectly coordinating this test drive.
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