If you’ve spent more than $275,000 on a car, you probably have a Rolls-Royce Ghost in your driveway. And you’re in good company, as the big-body Rolly is the best-selling car in its class.
It’s time to put your Rolls dealer on speed-dial; there’s a new Ghost. And it’s called the Ghost II.
Effortless and intentionally boat-like design
Despite the cost and sheer amount of luxury and refinement to the Ghost, at its core, it was designed – as Rolls-Royce puts it – to “harness the power of simplicity.” That means that nothing should ever distract the driver or passenger’s pleasure.
But, honestly, just looking over that wonderfully long hood would be distracting. The British automaker accurately describes the front fascia as more closely resembling a jet air-intake than a traditional Rolly. And I’d say it does. Get too close and you might be sucked right in.
Beneath that big face and hood featuring “wake channel” lines, Rolls designers have installed large chrome air intakes that rapidly feed cool air to the front brakes. Those well-cooled brakes are surrounded by 19-inch wheels as standard, with 21-inchers available on option.
Ensuring Jeeves never forgets who he works for when he’s pumping gas in the rain, Rolls will also monogram the stainless-steel fuel-filler cap. Rolls-Royce calls this option a “surprise and delight.” I just call it amazing.
On the inside, all the seats have been redesigned. The biggest change perhaps comes in the rear, though. The second-row passenger seats recline, allowing for unparalleled lounging with heat and massage. The rear row seats are also now slightly angled toward one another, “to create a more intimate setting, allowing passengers to communicate more easily,” as Rolls puts it.
For when you’re looking forward, the instrument dials have undergone a transformation. They’re now surrounded by metal chaplets and are designed to evoke the feeling of precise, handmade wristwatches. Surrounding those elegant timepieces are two new wood veneers: Paldo and Walnut Burr Crossband.
The Ghost II isn’t all about old-world luxury and decadence, though. In the 21st century, the successful Rolls owner demands technology, too. In keeping with the original design, however, the technology is there to help, without raising your heart rate.
What could you ever imagine your four-door British luxury sedan to do? The Ghost II can do it – and more. With the push of a single button, “on-board Wi-Fi facilitates email, file sharing, telephony and video-conferencing. The user is also able to watch televised business news in order to remain ahead of the game.”
Rather than include a touchscreen, which can gather “unsightly fingerprints at driver and passenger eye level,” the Ghost II includes a Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller and a touchpad. The pad can be used to write out letters and numbers in English, Latin and Arabic. Just like a smartphone, users can pinch on the touchpad to zoom in and out on the screen.
Uncomplicated power and responsive handling
Rolls-Royce doesn’t give performance numbers for the Ghost II. Suffice it to say, it’s wildly powerful. The Ghost II features a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 that is now mated to an eight-speed automatic Satellite Aided Transmission, which was first seen on the Wraith.
The transmission knows what kind of road you’re on – be it a windy mountain road or a slow-moving highway – and chooses the perfect gear for the situation.
Cushioning the blow of all those twin-turbo’d ponies hitting the pavement is the optional Dynamic Drive Package that utilizes redesigned front and rear struts and a new steering gear. The ride is both smooth and spirited with just the appropriate amount of road feel coming through the thicker steering wheel.
If you’d like to follow the rest of the unveilings from the Big Apple, be sure to check out our 2014 New York Auto Show coverage.