THE new Rolls-Royce Ghost starts as a massive £208,000 and, unlike the previous BMW-based model, is made from an aluminium platform used for the Phantom and Cullinan Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).
The previous generation Ghost was built on BMW’s 7-Series platform and was, therefore, steel.
The new car, however, uses the same aluminium platform used for the Phantom and Cullinan SUV.
This has saved considerable weight, which the designers and engineers, have added by fitting extra sound deadening material (108kg of it) and other pieces there to make the Ghost the quietest and most comfortable luxury car money can buy.
One of these parts is a 3kg lump of steel added to the upper front suspension wishbones to dampen vibrations over bumps.
Underneath the bonnet sits a twin-turbo 6.75-litre V12 engine that replaces the previous Ghost’s 6.6-litre engine. Rolls used to avoid talk of horsepower but now the engine produces 563bhp and 627lb ft of torque.
As they say at Rolls-Royce, the power is “adequate”.
This is no facelift of the old car. The Ghost has four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering as standard so is more technically sophisticated than its Phantom big brother.
The team that designed the new Ghost described its styling as ‘post opulent’ – less showy than other luxury cars. The short front overhang is interesting, as is the way designers have kept panel joints to a minimum to give the impression the side is one big panel.
The radiator grille now has a one-piece surround and the flying lady rises up through the bonnet itself instead of being on top of the radiator.
There is of course a touchscreen but many operations are carried out via old fashioned controls. It’s the opposite of a Tesla. The quality of the interior is wonderful.
Stitching is kept to a minimum. One of the car’s options is the ‘starlight’ headliner with hundreds of little LEDs in it to make it look like the galaxy. It’s more tasteful than it sounds.
All the technology to make the Ghost smooth and silent has worked. The engine is barely audible and the gearbox is super slick. The four-wheel steering means changing direction at speed is nimble, and makes parking less cumbersome. For many owners, however, that will be the chauffeur’s problem.
What drivers and passengers alike will love is the great results of the engineers’ work to make the Ghost tackle even the bumpiest roads with hardly any disruption or noise.
It is without question one of the most comfortable cars in the world. Pity about the price, but then the comfort is that luxury cars, including Rolls-Royces, depreciate heavily. It just might take a decade or two before this one becomes affordable.