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First drive: Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.

First drive: Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Rolls-Royce enhances its 'entry-level' Ghost with some subtle changes inside and out, making the best even better.

 



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Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Rolls-Royce has refined its Ghost model - which has been on sale since 2010 - with subtle updates to the styling, while increased comfort comes from new seats, revised suspension and transmission technology. Greater personalisation options also give Rolls-Royce's customers more of exactly what they want.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II standard wheelbase
Price: 216,684
Engine: 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 petrol
Transmission: rear-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic
Body style: four-door saloon
CO2 emissions: 327g/km (Band M, 500 per year)
Combined economy: 20.2mpg
Top Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Power: 570hp at 5,250rpm
Torque 780Nm at 1,500rpm

What's this?

An evolution of the Ghost that launched in 2010, the Rolls-Royce Ghost II is refreshed with some detail changes in its style, equipment and specification. They are, as you might expect, slight, but as a whole they add up to a more convincing package - from a basis that was already rather extraordinary. So there are new LED headlights, framed by daytime running lamps, re-sculpted bumpers, a new bonnet with a 'wake channel' pressing running from behind the Spirit of Ecstasy to the windscreen scuttle and other subtle surface revisions that quietly distinguish the Ghost II from the original in a manner that's meant to be a touch more assertive.

With comfort high on buyers' agendas Rolls-Royce has completely redesigned the seats. They're surrounded by the usual mix of beautifully considered, incredibly finished surfaces; be it metal, wood, leather, plastic or chrome, the Ghost II is never anything but a tactile delight. The usual Rolls-Royce quirks remain; there's a dignified 'power reserve' gauge in place of a mere rev counter, while the odd BMW-sourced button does betray its parent company, but you'll need to be nit-picking to find them. Likewise, the BMW-sourced iDrive system is familiar, though it's backed with Rolls-Royce specific graphics, operates with all the slickness we've come to expect and adds features like the ability to raise and lower the Flying Lady with the push of a button to keep oiks from grabbing a souvenir when it's parked up.

How does it drive?

That should perhaps be 'how does it feel to be driven?', given a large number of buyers will sit in the back. Perhaps fewer with this standard wheelbase version, though even in the back there's generous room and all the comfort you could ever wish for. For all the appeal of the back seats you might find yourself inclined to give your driver more holidays as it's just as appealing up front. There's something undeniably satisfying about looking down the bonnet at the Flying Lady on top of the upright grille, the Ghost II feeling as big and imperious as you'd expect. That's as may be, but there's also a deftness to its controls, the accelerator needing the merest touch for instance, and the 6.6-litre turbocharged V12 makes light work of the Ghost II's not insubstantial bulk.

That engine is whisper quiet too; it's difficult to believe there are 12 cylinders containing explosions under the Ghost II's re-profiled bonnet. With 570hp and - more importantly - 780Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm, the Ghost moves gracefully, while the eight-speed automatic gearbox uses GPS information via the satnav to ensure it's picking the right ratio for the situation ahead. It does so almost imperceptibly, and there's no option to change ratios yourself, though we cannot conceive of a situation when you'd ever want to. The ride comfort is in most instances unimpeachable, though the odd bump causes a ripple through the suspension. The steering is nicely weighted but a bit slow, while the brakes' soft initial response and bite when coming to a stop does require patience to master if you want to drive with maximum smoothness. Still, that's not likely to be your worry, as you'll be paying someone else to drive it.

Verdict

An effective refresh of an extraordinary car, the Ghost II is everything you'd expect from your Rolls-Royce. You might want the long-wheelbase model if you're more inclined to be driven, but from wherever you're sitting the Ghost II is a very special experience indeed.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

5 5 5 5 5 Interior Ambience

5 5 5 5 5 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

5 5 5 5 5 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

5 5 5 5 5 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 13 Oct 2014









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2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.



2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by James Lipman.
 

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. Image by Rolls-Royce.
 






 

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