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Rolls-Royce Ghost review

Harry Metcalfe
18 Feb 2010
Verdict:

New twin-turbo V12 'baby' Rolls is as enjoyable from behind the wheel as it is in the back

Evo Rating: 
Price: 
£192,500
For 
It's even better than the Phantom
Against 
But it still costs £192,500
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Boasting a mighty 563bhp from its 6.6-litre, twin-turbo V12, the Ghost would be described in traditional Rolls-speak as having ‘rather more than adequate power’. It certainly promises to give this car more driver appeal than any other Rolls-Royce I can think of, as does the claimed 0-60mph time of 4.7sec.

Rolls-Royce likes to think of its new model as being less ‘blingy’ than the Phantom, but compared to any other four-door on the market it still looks distinctly regal out on the road. That massive chrome radiator and the sheer size of the car certainly give it presence. The Ghost may be the baby in the range, but it’s a flipping chunky one, measuring 5.4 metres long and a challenging 2.1 metres wide, and straining the scales at a portly 2365kg.

Plenty of work has gone into making the Ghost a more responsive drive than any previous Rolls, which has resulted in it possessing excellent steering for a limo (the wheel itself is a classic thin-rimmed item, naturally). Turn-in is accompanied by slightly less roll than you expect given the cushioning ride quality, thanks to the clever active anti-roll bar system first introduced on the 6-series BMW. (The impressive angle of lean in the cornering shot doesn’t seem nearly as bad from inside the car.) As well as controlling roll, the system allows the wheels to work fully independently from each other when going straight ahead, benefiting the ride quality.

The huge thrust available from the stroked 6.6-litre V12 (it’s an enlarged version of the 760Li’s 6-litre) gives the rear tyres a real workout, especially in damp conditions, where the traction control has a hard time keeping the tyres from self-destructing whenever the turbos take hold. There’s such an abundance of power that high-speed cruising is a breeze, with instant acceleration up to the limited top speed of 155mph a mere flex of the ankle away. Just as with the Bentley Continental GT, the new Ghost is a whole lot faster than you think it ought to be, which is no bad thing.

There are a couple of areas that could be improved, though. First, the tall tyres on the standard 19in wheels feel like they’re almost peeling off the rims through the corners. The optional 20-inchers, complete with lower-profile rubber, would no doubt solve this. In fact they should probably come as standard – I doubt the ride quality would suffer, as it’s so good to begin with. Also, the silly door mirrors need to be junked immediately as they’re so huge they seriously hinder front three-quarter visibility. They’re the result of some bureaucratic nonsense which demands (from 2011) that mirrors are sized to match the car, and on something as big as the Ghost that means they need to be as big as a laptop.

Overall, though, the Ghost is a great car. As a drivers’ car it’s a little hindered by its tyres, but as a limo, designed to be entertaining to drive whilst delivering the most cosseting passenger experience this side of a Phantom, it’s brilliant.

Specifications

Engine V12, 6592cc, twin-turbo
Max power 563bhp @ 5250rpm
Max torque 575lb ft @ 1500rpm
0-60 4.7sec (claimed)
Top speed 155mph (limited)
On sale Now

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