2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II | Road Test
* A phenomenal all-rounder.
* Power on demand and ample of it.
* Phenomenal grip of the road.
* White dials and buttons dampen the sheer plushness of the cabin.
* Tray tables are a little too far to be of any functional use.
Introduction & Summary
Rolls-Royce: a member of the automotive domain that has earned a reputation for being synonymous with the finest on offer and the epitome of luxury. A subjective repute, it may very well be, but it’s one that has been brewing from the early 1970s with cars such as the Silver Shadow and the Corniche.
Forty-two years later, the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II is here to suggest that the British marque still follows its mantra very closely. Dimensionally inferior to the brand’s flagship model and more affordable than the Wraith, the Ghost is the brand’s take on an entry-level model; an entry-level model that is anything but.
Styling & Design
The Ghost emanates a majestic aura and a sense of opulence – the results of what some would attribute to its two-tone colour scheme and stately proportions. But while the entry-level Royce flaunts its allegiance to its predecessors in several ways, it’s managed to balance keeping up with the times relatively well. With a hood that stretches far into the horizon, complemented by the tasteful use of chrome and carefully detailed contours, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is best described as 5,399 millimetres of sheer beauty; a true masterpiece.
The workmanship, delicacy, and skill that has gone into crafting the cabin is apparent from the moment the coach doors gracefully open to welcome you inside. Dark wood veneer and brushed aluminium embellish the dashboard, while glass-finished buttons and Piano-Black trim integrate into the centre console ever so neatly. The sheer plushness of it all, radiates through the leather that feels like it has been sourced from a well-moisturized bunch of cows and the Lambswool carpets that are thick enough to send an animal rights activist into a hissy fit.
Catering to the needs of those seated in the front just as well as those seated in the back, the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II is home to a plethora of features including, dual 9.2 inch multi-information displays linked to the rear i-Drive controller, wood bedecked tray tables, and a rather strange massage function that feels like it’s trying to perform a lewd sexual act through the seat. For when on the move, there’s the Adaptive Cruise Control system, Forward Collision Warning system and Lane Keeping Assist that work in synergy to keep occupants within the ritzy cabin safe and sound.
Performance, Ride & Handling
Dimensionally, the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost is a hefty English babe and tips the scales at nearly 2,940kg, while measuring 5,399mm long and 1,948mm wide. To put that blizzard of figures into perspective, it translates into the entry-level Roller being 610kg heavier, 400mm longer, and nearly as wide as one of the UAE’s most beloved SUVs, the iconic Range Rover.
Yet, it doesn’t feel all that intimidating behind the wheel and the reason for that is due to what’s hidden under its satin hood: a 6.6 litre direct injected V12 powerhouse. With a turning circle of just 13.4 metres, it’s also astonishingly easy to navigate through narrow car parks; something that is made easier with its speed-sensitive, variable power steering.
Out on the open roads, the Rolls-Royce Ghost clasps onto the tarmac effortlessly – results of its wide stance and the viscous patches of rubber on its feet. But while the suspension setup is a little mushy until some momentum is gathered, it remains unfazed, whether merely galloping down the highway or attempting to indulge in some foolish open-road shenanigans.
Speaking of which, it’s probably the right time to bring up just how powerful the Ghost really is. With twin turbos working to generate 563 horsepower at 5,250 RPM and 780 Nm of torque at 1,500 RPM, there’s never really any shortage of grunt. Dip the accelerator pedal into the footwell and the English beauty charges forward with its Spirit of Ecstasy piercing into the horizon to dispatch a 100 km/h sprint in just 4.9 seconds. Yes folks, those are figures well within Porsche’s Carrera S territory…
When within city limits, though, the Ghost adopts a more dignified persona; one that trundles along while hiding a smirk and letting out a slight giggle. And this is something that it takes great pride in, by constantly displaying it’s only utilizing 10% of its engine power to transport you along the highway at legal speeds on its cheeky power reserve gauge.
Comfort & Practicality
Comfort is something that has been synonymous with the British marque and continues to be with the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost. With an abundance of space, reclining/ventilated rear seats and absolutely no shortage of headroom, it’s fit for royalty. So much so, that once seated in the back, there’s no need to stretch out and shut the door close. A button is present to do it for you.
On the practicality front, the Ghost fares reasonably well. It returns an average of 18 litres for every 100 kilometres and packs up to 490 litres in its trunk (15 litres more than its Flying Spur rival from Crewe). But if you’re wondering whether this is the sort of car you want to bring out of your garage on a daily basis, then the answer is probably a no.
Price & Verdict
To fully understand the brand’s entry-level offering, we need to use the British Royal Family as an analogy to realize its true position.
With the Phantom being the star attraction of the Rolls-Royce line-up, in several ways the Ghost is a lot like King George of Cambridge’s newborn sibling. It lives its life knowing and being second best, inferior to the one that had the world stop and watch in awe as it were born. And that simply isn’t fair. Because at the end of it all, it’s a proud member of one of the most distinguished families out there and it deserves to know that.