Currently reading: Rolls-Royce Ghost v Phantom
Autocar editor Chas Hallett samples two of the finer things in life

Autocar editor Chas Hallett has back-to-back tested the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom, ahead of a feature that will appear in next week's magazine.

You can see some of the exclusive pictures from the test by following the link below:

See the Rolls-Royce Ghost v Phantom pictures

Blogging following the test, Hallett wrote: "What staggered me was just how different the Ghost feels to the Phantom. And those differences are apparent from the second you slide into the driver’s seat.

"You sit far lower in the Ghost, and far snugger too. Yes, you're still sitting higher than in most saloons, but it feels far more conventional than the Phantom’s imperious driving position - which still feels totally unique. As does its control layout. The Ghost’s cabin looks and feels exceptional but there are still myriad more buttons on display than in the bigger car.

Read Steve Cropley's Rolls-Royce Ghost video

Rolls-Royce Ghost on video

"Away from the kerb there are huge differences too. The lighter, more powerful Ghost has an accelerative urge that the Phantom can’t even hope to match. It also feels a good deal more nimble on tight, twisty roads."

"On plenty of road surfaces it rides just as well too. But the Phantom is simply about being the best riding car on the planet, and on really broken surfaces and over expansion joints it can still show the Ghost a thing or two about bump absorbtion and noise suppression."

Rolls-Royce Ghost links

Read the full Chas Hallett blog - Rolls-Royce Ghost v PhantomRead Steve Cropley's Rolls-Royce Ghost videoRolls-Royce Ghost on videoRolls-Royce plans Ghost concepts

Twitter - follow all the latest Rolls-Royce Ghost reviews, news and video

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Rover P6 3500S 26 February 2010

Re: Rolls-Royce Ghost v Phantom

You know, I came here to talk cars because I was under the impression that Autocar was an enthusiasts' magazine: I thought I would be welcomed here as a fellow enthusiast and car bore. I thought I'd find people to talk with who would share experiences without in any way patronising me, or making me feel like an inadequate, immature and utterly ignorant little boy. How very wrong I was. I won't name any names, but there are a handful of people on this forum who have done exactly that, made me feel unwelcome. I don't hurt easily, but it did hurt. I'm not trying to be a drama queen here, far from it, but I do have this slightly bitter taste of disappointment. I should probably accept that, whatever limited experience I do have, I do not belong here. Grown-ups know best and all that.

Goodbye and thanks for a brief period of fun, until the disillusionment set in. I shall turn my attention to more productive ends instead. Then I'll (hopefully) do well in my A-levels, do well at university and go on to be sufficiently successful in life to be able to come back and say 'screw all the doubters'. In the meantime, I concede that I am just an ignorant, immature, inexperienced, opinionated young man who needs to get a life instead of wasting his time here. Did I say goodbye? Goodbye.

Rover P6 3500S 26 February 2010

Re: Rolls-Royce Ghost v Phantom

Dan McNeil v2 wrote:
Your above post is a classic of the genre, stuffed as it is with a mixture of ignorance, fiction and inaccuracy

Ignorance, quite possibly. When you have my youth, you are still very naive, as I am well aware.

Dan McNeil v2 wrote:
a classic was your reference to David Bache in the Citroen DS thread, in which you referred to the Chief Stylist of the SD1 and Metro (amongst others) as an engineer (he was a designer – surely you, as an apparent Rover expert, should have known that). Calling Bache an engineer is like claiming that Giugiaro was an ice-cream salesman – it demonstrates an astonishing lack of knowledge, wrapped in your increasingly transparent disguise of gravitas.

I'm sorry, but I've been familiar enough with his work on the P5 and the P6 to know that he was an engineer long before BL existed.

Dan McNeil v2 wrote:
And, when someone pulls you up on your howlers, your response is always a variation on an increasingly familiar theme: you were being “rhetorical”; you were “just guessing”; you were “putting it extremely simply”; you “weren’t actually saying that”. What you never say is: “yeah, you’re right – you called me straight on that one.”

I think you'll find, on the Jaguar engine thread, I have freely admitted to being wrong on some issues. Sometimes you have taken what I've said more literally than I've meant it. If that is through some fault in my expression, I apologise.

Dan McNeil v2 wrote:
Such lack of insight and self-awareness demonstrates that you’ve yet to drive a car of any significance. Certainly, none of your posts suggest you have any experience of anything more interesting to relate than your fascinating account of not being terribly uncomfortable when you were spread-eagled over the transmission tunnel of your parent’s terminally dull 2001 BMW 5 series estate on a moderately long motorway journey.

Well, I've actually driven a number of cars of significance, though mostly on disused airfields. Mk1 Jaguar XJ (I think it was a Series III), Rover P6 (auto and manual, V8 and 4-pot), Range Rovers of all three generations (off-road only), a Land Rover Defender, a Rover SD1 Vitesse, many variants of BMW 3- and 5-series (I really want to get my hands on an E38 7-series, but haven't as yet), Peugeot 205 Roland Garros (a lot of fun, but a bit scary, because of its total lack of crash protection - no, I didn't stuff it). I've also had the odd go in a Porsche 944 and a Mercedes W124 estate.

As for my "fascinating account of not being terribly uncomfortable when you were spread-eagled over the transmission tunnel of your parent’s terminally dull 2001 BMW 5 series estate on a moderately long motorway journey", if you'd ever driven the car in question, you'd realise it isn't dull. Sure, it's a little lacking in character, but, when pressing it hard on a B-road (or a windy airfield perimeter track), it's a lot of fun. Being on the edge, engine up around 4500rpm, in third gear, feeling the tail begin to break traction, then go into a proper slide, holding the slide... it's a wonderful sensation, and a wonderfully benign car to learn these things on, knowing it's big and heavy enough that you have to anticipate your steering, accelerating and braking inputs: it's not a go-kart, but it's not going to flip round and kill you either.

As for "not being terribly uncomfortable when you were spread-eagled over the transmission tunnel", I can assure you that, despite being 5'10", I was perfectly, 100% comfortable. Not 'not terribly uncomfortable'. I think you 'misunderestimate' the E39, to misquote President Bush: I personally think it will come to be considered as much a classic, an icon even, as the Mk1 XJ.

Dan McNeil v2 wrote:

And, to compound your mock-gravitas, you always have that old standby, the “friend” who owns or has driven a car you’ve no experience of, thus enabling you to inject some bogus authority into a discussion.

Instead, you initiate threads that require people to post their counter-experiences (e.g. your Bargain of the Century thread), and, when they post their guileless and honest response, you attempt to trash them and their experiences (in a clumsy, asinine, Clarkson-aping and teenager-pretending-to-be-worldly manner).

I’d put you at 22, and living with the parents. Nothing wrong with that, but get over it.

I have never employed the 'friend' as a device to compound any mock-gravitas. It is purely used to illustrate my own indirect experience (IE as a passenger). I do not claim to have any gravitas. In fact, here goes. I have absolutely no gravitas whatsoever. That comes with a greater amount of age, experience and maturity than I have on my side. If I have offended you with it, that was not my intention.

Furthermore, not all my threads require people to post their counter-experiences: see the Jaguar Engines thread. If my responses to some others' postings have seemed like 'trashings', again, I apologise, as I did not mean them in that way. I merely expressed some mild surprise at some of their experiences, contrasting them on occasion with my own (when it came to that C5, it was from having ridden in one as a front-seat passenger for a shortish journey involving B, A and M roads). Clumsiness has always been a weakness of mine: asinine I may well be. I admit to finding Clarkson entertaining (if sometimes irksome and repetitive), but I have never attempted, other than in jest in conversation with friends and family, to ape him. Even then, it's just sending up his manner of speech, as in "The fastest car... pregnant pause... in the world!".

Please do not take anything I write as pretending to be worldly. I know I am very, very far from worldly. I am far too young. You even flatter me with your guess as to my age: I will be 19 this summer and I am currently living with my parents and am in full-time education (sixth-form college, trying to get my life back on track after my secondary education went to pot... and no, don't leap to conclusions. I have won two lawsuits against former schools for neglect of duty).

Anyway, enough. I know when I'm not welcome. I'll see if I can close my account here. You probably won't hear from me again. Goodbye and thanks for the friendly welcome.

Have you thought about where the next generation of car enthusiasts and connoisseurs are going to come from?

KartKidChun 26 February 2010

Re: Rolls-Royce Ghost v Phantom

Either one would do me just fine! But if I had to chose (not that it matters to me) I'd take a Phantom. Bigger and the name, Phantom. Sound better than Ghost in my opinion.

It's not like you can really chose between them in terms of quality or brand value.