A STAR is born or in this case reborn.
And as the lights go down and the new Rolls-Royce Ghost takes its place 850 stars come out on the Ghost dash joining the thousands already on the roof on the Starlight headliner – it is truly a magical moment.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost first made its appearance in 2009 in direct response to customer demand for a more minimalist vehicle – one they could drive themselves, and why not?
With a whopping 6.75-litre V12 engine under the bonnet delivering 563bhp why on earth would you want someone else in the driving seat?
That Ghost was a huge success – the most successful product in the company’s 116-year-old history.
Today’s Ghost is pared back in looks yet with more tech, more luxury and even more bespoke options for a truly one-off unique machine.
The bodywork is smooth and clean helped by the aluminium spaceframe being hand-welded together at the same time by four of Rolls-Royce’s renowned craftsmen.
The bonnet is smooth with the Spirit of Ecstasy embedded at the front above a smaller backlit Pantheon grille. The lines hug the body, tapering off at the rear for an elegant finish.
The legendary attention to detail is in the chromework surrounding the windows. With such a smooth finish, designers realised water droplets on the roof would enter the car and fall on the rear seats when the door was opened.
Thus the chrome surround starts off flush with the front windows widening out to droplet-size at the rear glass to take the water and deposit it safely on the hindquarters of the car.
Inside the leatherwork is smooth and clean with no fuss, no quilting effects and matched to a porous wood finish.
The hides for the leather are taken from cows raised for their meat on the hills of Bavaria where there are few insects to damage the skin.
They are embellished only by exquisite singles lines of hand stitching.
Driving the Ghost is a feast for the senses. The car feels wonderful and responds beautifully thanks to the all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering. Perfection in looks and performance.
It glides from roundabout to junction with effortless ease and powers forward in reply immediately when you put your foot down.
Rolls-Royce call the sensation you get whether driving or just sitting in one of their cars, the Magic Carpet ride, enhanced in the new Ghost by two systems working together.
The first is the Planar suspension fitted to each of the corners of the car working in conjunction with the second, the Flagbearer system.
This comprises cameras on the windscreen and the front of the car that scan the road surface ahead and send back the results to the suspension which adjusts itself accordingly in advance.
All of this is done against a background of peace and quiet. Indeed Rolls-Royce call their acoustic engineers, ‘experts in serenity’.
They have overcome every little bit of noise and when the car became too quiet for their liking, they added a whisper, a soft harmonious single note as the background to the car.
Nothing is too small for the men and women at Rolls-Royce to examine, nothing too complicated to fix.
The new Ghost missed its global launch this year in Washington DC and instead has stepped more quietly onto the world stage from the wings.
Yet its grace, confidence and personality will ensure that, like its predecessor, it will find its own place in the spotlight.
Car reviewed: Rolls-Royce Ghost, on the road price £301,775 0-62mph 4.8secs Top speed 155mph Engine 6.75-litre V12-cylinder unleaded Fuel Economy Combined 18-18.6mpg CO2 emissions (combined) 347-358g/km Max Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 8-speed automatic with all-wheel-drive Warranty Four years/unlimited mileage
Maggie Barry is an Award winning journalist, she regularly travels in Europe and beyond to test drive cars. A former lecturer in journalism and motoring editor of Media Scotland she has written for and contributed to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail among others. She is on the panel judging the Scottish Car of the Year and Women’s World Car of the Year. She lives near Glasgow with her husband and several cars.
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