Baby Rolls Has Spirit
The first progeny of Rolls Royce’s Anglo-German alliance with BMW was the Phantom, star of numerous rap videos and episodes of The Apprentice and yours for £250,000. But with Bentley rapidly cornering what could be facetiously termed the bottom end of the super-luxury market, Rolls-Royce needed a bread and butter model.
The result? The Ghost, aka the Baby Rolls costing some £80,000 less than a Phantom but still nudging the 200k mark. Shorter and 200kg lighter than the Phantom, its 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 musters 563 thoroughbreds and 575lb/ft of torque.
Press the accelerator into the carpet however and the Ghosts true character emerges. It isn’t so much a perceptible increase in pace, more a sense that the world is bending to the Ghosts will and being reeled towards it at an ever increasing rate.
It may remain imposing to other road users but from behind the wheel it feels and handles like a much smaller, nimbler car. Only when required to perform a fast stop does the weight make itself known when even brakes larger than most cars wheels send messages through the pedal as to just how hard they are working.
No less special is the Ghosts interior. A steering wheel which combines a beautiful traditional look and feel but mounted with beautiful modern chromed controls (as are the dials) – in fact, the technology in the car is seamlessly integrated. The sat-nav display is so superbly detailed it gives you the sensation of flying rather than driving over the terrain, projected, as it is, by the head-up display.
The driver may be having the most fun but passengers are well catered for. Boot space is capacious normally quoted in terms of golf sets – the Ghost could probably accommodate half a dozen plus accompanying caddies. There could be few more comfortable or charismatic ways to cross continents. If the Phantom is the car of choice for high-rollers, the Ghost looks like it should be transporting rock’n’roll hellraisers. I mean that as a compliment.