From £200,958
Extra driver involvement, superb rear-seat isolation and Phantom-beating rear space in a more contemporary and less-conspicuous package.

Our Verdict

Rolls-Royce Ghost
The Ghost’s steel monocoque is related to that of the BMW 7-series

The Rolls-Royce Ghost looks every inch a gorgeous, forward-thinking Rolls. But can it be as good as it looks?

What is it?

The Ghost has been a runaway success for Rolls Royce. Despite coming in at a fraction under £200,000, the company sold over 2200 Ghosts in 2010 (out a total Roll Royce production of 2711). And that figure is expected to significantly increase in 2011, even without the addition of this Extended Wheelbase version.

This EWB model is 170mm longer than the standard saloon (though still half a metre shorter than the EWB Phantom) which has allowed rear kneeroom to be increased from 160mm to 330mm.

What’s it like?

This extra length has been let into the Ghost’s steel floorpan and the rear doors, which are now only 35mm longer than the front doors, ensuring the EWB’s styling looks nicely balanced in profile. Taking the now-standard panoramic steel roof into account, this Ghost has gained only around 30kg in weight.

The drivetrain remains unchanged, using the same 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 engine and eight-speed autobox. The double-wishbone front suspension and multilink rear ride on air-suspension and electronic variable damping which, Rolls claims, is so sensitive it can detect a solo rear passenger moving from one rear seat to another and make suitable adjustments.

Our brief test drive on the West Sussex lanes around the Rolls factory was useful in that I got to experience the car both as a driver and passenger, front and rear. As far as the back benches are concerned, the Ghost EWB is a superb way in which to be chauffeured. Unlike many stretched ‘luxury’ cars, its clear that most of the effort has gone into isolating the rear passengers from the road and the exertions of the engine, even when the driver is applying full power.

From the driver’s seat, the experience is notably different. This Ghost does not completely isolate the driver from the outside world in the way that the Phantom manages, allowing some poor surfaces and the engine’s full-pelt growl to intrude. It’s a very fine - though obviously large - car to drive and seriously and deceptively rapid. But just not as other-worldly and aloof as the Phantom.

The only other downside was the way the switchgear has been laid out in the cabin. Rather than the Phantom’s impressive minimalism, the Rolls design team seem to have thrown everything they had into the cockpit. For my money, there were too many switches and too many different materials and finishes. The switchgear’s 1930’s font is particularly neat, though.

Should I buy one?

Are you driving or being driven? If you are driving the car yourself (and you are not the typical Chinese buyer that equates prestige with wheelbase) and you don’t regularly carry rear passengers over long distances, stick with the standard car. If you are being chauffeured, the Ghost offers the rear cabin space of a Phantom, without the domineering on-road presence that can attract too much attention.

From a driver’s point of view, the Ghost doesn’t isolate the pilot in the other-worldly way that the Phantom does. This car feels just that bit more down-to-earth. But not too much

Rolls Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

Price: n/a; Top Speed: 155mph; 0-62mph: 4.9sec; Economy: 20.8mpg (est); Co2: 317g/km (est); Kerbweight: 2420kg; Engine: V12, 6592cc, twin-turbo petrol; Installation: Longitudinally; Power: 563bhp at 5250rpm; Torque: 575lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox: 8-speed auto

Join the debate

Comments
21

28 July 2011

[quote Autocar] has allowed rear legroom to be increased from 160mm to 330mm.[/quote]

er, is it just me or should a RR have more than 160mm of legroom in the first place..??!!!

28 July 2011

the current ghost has rear legroom of 1075mm so god knows what this is all about...

28 July 2011

Forgive her, she is just the "Baby" Rolls.

28 July 2011

a rolls royce for short people.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

28 July 2011

How many of these behemoths are actually bought by private individuals?,because i don't think you'd buy one just to ride one up, i suspect most are bought by five star hotels as client transport along with middle eastern governments who should know better and spend the cost of these cars on there populous.

Peter Cavellini.

28 July 2011

apparently the Ghost is the weapon of choice for young asian market business 'tigers' whereas its usually the Phantom that fills the role you described.

28 July 2011

Why are there 3 seatbelts in the rear , but no where for a centre rear passenger to sit, at that price of a Rolls you would hope little things like that would not be so obvious, it the buyer wants 2 separate rear seats give them 2 seat belts, if they want a bench give them three, might be nit picking, but if I was paying £200k I would expect to be allowed to.

28 July 2011

[quote Citytiger]might be nit picking, but if I was paying £200k I would expect to be allowed to.[/quote] very true - hadn't even noticed till you pointed it out and now it just lucks cluttered and out of place

28 July 2011

What is wrong with LWB? or is it just Rolls have to be different and call it EWB. I suppose that they will justify the difference between this and the Phantom as being one a drivers car and one a driven car.

28 July 2011

They really got the styling of the Ghost spot on. It's a truly handsome beast.

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