Rolls-Royce Ghost--D&M Motorsports Test Drive Review 2012 Chris Moran
Rolls-Royce Ghost--D&M Motorsports Test Drive Review with Chris Moran. Presented by D&M Motorsports.
Introduced for model year 2010 as the second all-new Rolls-Royce under parent company BMW's ownership, the Ghost is a slightly smaller, sleeker and less-costly alternative to the statelier Phantom. Of course "less-costly" is a relative term when referring a car that, starting around $250,000, costs as much as a nice house or condo in many areas of the U.S. As with the Phantom, the Ghost is a combination of contemporary German technology and classic British artisanship. The car's spaceframe body and engine come from Deutschland, while the interior trim and final assembly continues to hail from England.
We got to spend several days living with the Rolls-Royce Ghost, and truth be told it made us feel like a media mogul rather than a mere automotive journalist.
Unlike the Phantom, which is also available in a "Drophead Coupe" convertible, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is only offered as a "saloon," as four-door cars are called in the U.K. It comes wrapped in broad-shouldered styling that is both formal and aggressive. The automaker's traditional upright chrome grille caps the front end, flanked by narrow Xenon headlamps. A tall beltline runs the length of the car with a bit of a curve to it and meets the gently sloping roofline at a well rounded rear-end treatment. At a massive 212.6 inches long, the Ghost fit in our garage with only a few inches to spare.
Wide-opening rear-hinged "suicide" doors make ingress and egress into the Rolls-Royce Ghost's voluminous rear cabin easier; an electronic lock prevents these doors from being opened while the car is moving. As the car's heritage warrants, the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament resides just above the front grille. However, in a high-tech nod to the realities of modern motoring, it automatically retracts into the vehicle when the Ghost is parked for the sake of security. A cap at the center of each wheel is engineered to rotate separately so that the "R-R" logo remains upright at all times.
Our tester came in a Claret (i.e maroon) paint treatment with the extra cost ($5,750) silver satin bonnet (hood) treatment that we found a bit garish, though it proved to be an attention getter.
Under the Rolls-Royce Ghost's long hood resides a 6.6-liter V12 engine that generates a generous 563 horsepower and is strong enough to propel this nearly 5,500-pound vehicle to 60 mph in a claimed 4.7 seconds. All those horses are channeled to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and tradition dictates that it's operated via a column-mounted shift lever. In this case it's BMW's electronic gear-select system in which you push the lever up for reverse, down for drive and depress an end button in to put the transmission in park; it works well enough but half the time we accidentally engaged the windshield wiper stalk instead. The powertrain delivers smooth and stunningly quick acceleration on demand, yet remains docile around town so as not to overpower a driver. The Ghost is rated at meek 13-city/20-highway mpg fuel economy, which should be of little consequence to a well-heeled buyer.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost rides on a sophisticated double wishbone suspension up front with a multi-link array at the rear and automatic damping height-adjustable shock absorbers at all four corners. It delivers a smooth ride yet remains surprisingly tractable through the curves. While the car's easygoing steering creates a certain disconnected feeling from the road, hairpin turns and sudden curves didn't seem to unnerve the suspension, with only a modest amount of stability control intervention coming to the fore during the most-extreme maneuvers. The car was rock solid and smooth sailing at highway speeds, with the ability to leap fairly athletically from one lane to another when called upon. We felt a few bumps and jolts over pockmarked pavement, due largely we suspect to the standard run-flat tires (which by nature are stiffer than conventional rubber), but by the same token the ride is never floaty or bouncy, which will certainly spare rear-seat riders from ever feeling seasick in this land yacht.
S-Class vs Rolls Royce Ghost
220 S-Class follows 211 E-Class and brand new Rolls Royce Ghost.
Speeds up to a conservative 112mph easy.
Driving was done on a major automobile manufacturer's proving grounds, some screen images simulated.
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