Under the title Possessed by Germans, but the Spirit Is British, New York Times gives a thorough review of the new Rolls Royce Ghost. Our own Shawn Molnar gave us a preview of his upcoming review of the Ghost in his latest article, Driving In The Lap Of Luxury.
Let’s take a look at an excerpt from New York Time’s review.
“After BMW acquired the Rolls-Royce name — and little else — some seven years ago, it developed the Ghost’s two predecessors essentially from scratch. Those cars, the Phantom and the Drophead Coupé, have proved quite successful. Perhaps BMW’s surprisingly uncanny sense of what constitutes British-ness can be traced to having done most of the development work on the third-generation Range Rover (2002-present) and its clever, campy revival of the Mini Cooper.
With the Ghost, the challenge was no less tricky, and the importance of getting it right was never more essential. The brand would have a difficult time remaining profitable if it relied only on its loyal but tiny cadre of customers. What the company needed was a car with broader appeal, greater versatility and a less daunting price. Yes, Rolls-Royce needed a daily driver.
“The Ghost is meant to offer our customers a vehicle that can be used in a wider range of driving situations,” Paul Ferraiolo, the company’s president for North America, said recently.
Many Rolls-Royce owners are not, in fact, drivers. Mr. Ferraiolo said he was surprised, at a recent driving clinic for prospective buyers, to hear from one enthusiastic Phantom owner that “17 miles was the farthest the man had driven himself in the last seven years.” Clearly, this is a demographic few automakers would pursue.
The Ghost’s base sticker price of $245,000 may be a bit more palatable to today’s diet-conscious luxury tastes than the Phantom’s sobering $380,000 price tag — or the Drophead Coupé at (gulp!) $433,000. Options alone for those larger models can easily add the equivalent of an Audi A8 to the final tab.
The Ghost certainly cruises with the gravitas you’d expect, given its curb weight of nearly 5,500 pounds, about the same as a Range Rover Sport (but a bit less than a Bentley Flying Spur). Yet it sprints from a stop to 60 m.p.h. in less than five seconds.
The silky-smooth twin-turbo V-12 deserves the credit. The new engine is related to the BMW 760Li’s, though displacement is larger (6.6 liters instead of 6.0) and the output is higher: 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque.
One presumes that customers will not blink at a $1,700 gas-guzzler charge, the penalty for a mileage rating of 13 in town, 20 on the highway.
When prompted, the engine, mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, delivers power in measured but explosive bursts. You cannot hear it, however. While the Phantom is engineered to “waft” over the road, the Ghost is set up to devour the pavement in silence.”