On the road: Rolls-Royce Ghost | Technology | The Guardian

3 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on On the road: Rolls-Royce Ghost | Technology | The Guardian

On the road: Rolls-Royce Ghost

‘There are probably a few exclusive art deco bars or classic yachts that can conjure up the same atmosphere of insulated refinement. But can they go from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds?’ Photographs: Simon Stuart-Miller for the Guardian

If you have to go, runs the old maxim, then go in style. But how to bow out in a manner befitting the unique scope and scale of this column? In a Nissan Micra. perhaps, or a Renault Wind. What about a Smart Fortwo Brabus. a Hyundai i10 or a Vauxhall Corsa ?

Each of them, in its own way, speaks of the profound emotions such illustrious cars fuel-inject into our central nervous systems. But, alas, none happened to be the one that would provide my valedictory ride. In the event, I was forced to make do with a Rolls-Royce Ghost.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: the Ghost, well, it’s hardly the Phantom. is it? After all, it was designed to be a smaller and lighter alternative to the Phantom, which implies, does it not, some diminution in size and comfort? These anxieties naturally plagued my thoughts, but somehow I found the strength to endure, and determined to maintain the steely objectivity upon which readers have come to rely.

There’s no doubt the Ghost, the latest addition to BMW’s Roller roster, is a smaller car than the Phantom – smaller in the sense that Canada’s smaller than Russia. Which is to say, it’s massive.

Given its bulk, it looks sleekly handsome. There’s nothing spectacular in its styling. It says Rolls, but in cool sans serif rather than bold capitals.

Inside is a level of comfort and thoughtfulness to which very little in the outside world can match up. Everything from the leather seats to the dark wood veneer and chrome vents feels like the product of craftsmen’s tireless handiwork. There are probably a few exclusive art deco bars or classic yachts that can conjure up the same atmosphere of insulated refinement. But you have to ask yourself, can they go from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds?

And can they do it while remaining in a state of hushed smoothness? I don’t think so.

That’s what is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this extraordinary car. With all its satisfyingly substantial heft, it can still accelerate more rapidly than a Porsche 911. One flex of the right foot and it’s like propelling the QE2 into hyperspace.

Paradoxically, I don’t recall ever being at the wheel of a car that was more pleasurable to drive at under 30mph.

The distinction most frequently made between the Phantom and the Ghost is that the former is a car to be driven in, the latter a car to drive. This seems about right, except that I didn’t find any of my passengers complaining. With its TVs, roominess and general air of indulged living, it offers a comprehensive leisure environment for all occupants.

Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that for an all too brief period, life seemed fuller, sharper, in a word, better. You can’t ask any more of a car. And, as it turns out, I’ll no longer need to try.

Rolls Royce Ghost

Price £195,783

Top speed 155mph

Acceleration 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds

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