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A true vision - the 2021 Rolls Royce Ghost

Many people are familiar with the legendary quote by the even more legendary Sir Henry Royce which includes the line, “…Take the best that exists and make it better…” But, if I may challenge the esteemed gentleman by noting that perhaps that feat is somewhat less tasking at the innovation stage of a products’ life and becomes increasingly more difficult as it evolves.

Girl walking toward s a Rolls Royce car parked in front of a gothic cathedral

This, then, is the daunting task that every engineer, designer, technician and craftsman is tasked with on each iteration of every single new model created of what is already widely-acknowledged as the world’s most exclusive and luxurious automobile - Taking the best that exists and making it even better! Not an enviable task I might add.

And so, knowing all this, it was left to little ol’ me to review the world’s leading luxury automotive brand with a discerning and critical eye. Bring it on – this was not my first rodeo!

As a devout petrolhead and a diligent scribe I already knew a lot about the Rolls Royce Ghost before it arrived on a glorious summer’s day recently. As soon as I had been handed the keys, I was confronted with my first dilemma.

Does one drive the car oneself or should I opt to be driven in it as Kings, Emperors, Presidents, and Statesmen have been ferried around for over a century? Lacking the services of a chauffeur the choice was somewhat forced upon me – and - obviously being an ‘epicurean’ - I did enjoy the idea, as we always do, of FROW (front row)!

This turned out to be the correct choice as this is probably Rolls Royce’s most driveable and fun motor vehicle and the one their customers most elect to drive themselves.

Rolls Royce parked in front of a fountain

The new Ghost is – dare I say somewhat understated. There is, of course, no mistaking that this is a Rolls Royce but it doesn’t scream it at you. The iconic and powerful front grill (which now features illumination) is a dead giveaway.

Then, of course, the Spirit of Ecstasy sits perched proudly. For motoring enthusiasts and beyond, there is no more recognised symbol of quality, and luxury than the Spirit of Ecstasy – two hallmarks that embodies all Rolls Royce motorcars.

This is one big motorcar but the lines are softer and mask its size. There are no redundant shiny metal bits and the front, rear, and sides are truly minimalistic with only necessary adornments, which equates to no unnecessary curves, no intakes, no vents, nor scoops.

Since its launch in 2009 this car has claimed to be a less formal interpretation of the brand and thus entice a younger more entrepreneurial client. If the Phantom is for those at the zenith of their career, then the Ghost is definitely a car for those who know they are on the way there, albeit via the fast lane!

The car's 6.7 litre V12 engine makes it capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph (100kph) in 4.3 seconds and from 0 to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in 10.4 secondsIts 563 horse provide a top speed limited to 155 miles per hour (249 km/h) and it reaches the 1⁄4 mile mark (0.40 km) in 12.7 seconds. These figures are truly phenomenal if you appreciate the size of the car. It is over five and a half metres long, a tad more than two metres wide and weighs a mammoth 2490kg. Yet, despite those proportions, it’s only when you actually drive the car that you truly understand how effortlessly it achieves those speed number as it glides along the motorway as if on rails.

The craftsmanship and historic dedication to creating the finest automobile is evident in every stitch on the supple leather and every reflection of its burled surfaces or polished steel. Modern amenities are of course all present touches that go beyond its class sector. Even in this entry level Rolls Royce everything is beyond expectations.

The previous iteration of the Ghost shared many parts with the BMW 7 Series, the new Ghost Series II is based on the same aluminium underpinnings as the Rolls Royce SUV – the Cullinan and the flagship Phantom saloon – these being exclusive to the Rolls Royce brand and providing yet more stability and ride comfort. Surprising to some may be the fact that the Ghost – like every other Rolls Royce – has both four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering as standard.

This is the car for people that demand the very best – even if it does come at an extraordinary price tag. The Ghost retails for around £250,000 as a base price – most customers of the brand like to make the car their own by adding bespoke features which is a big part of the offering – and thus takes the price well north of £300,000. Undoubtedly, a vast sum of money for a motorcar, but still – they took the best there was – and made it even better!


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