Time really flies by when you’re a Ghost. No, really. Rolls-Royce first introduced the Ghost five years back at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, and it’s one of those rare cars to have aged really well. Unnoticed, in fact, and that’s a good thing.
|Name||Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II|
|Engine||6,593cc; twin-turbo V12|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic with Satellite Aide|
|Max Power||563 hp @ 5,250 rpm|
|Max Torque||780 Nm @ 1,500 rpm|
|Price||from RM2.65 mil (estimated, excluding road tax and insurance)|
Five years into the Ghost nameplate, Rolls-Royce commissioned the Series II, or a facelift, if you will. The powertrain remains the same – as we’ll get on to in a minute, but the Series II’s fascia have been refreshed and it gets an interesting tech, a Satellite Aided eight-speed automatic transmission.
On the outside of this 5.4 meter long limo, the most notable change is the design of the headlights which are now encased with LED daytime running lights – a design feature taken from the Wraith. The LED powered headlights are brighter and whiter than the Series I’s, and defaults on high-beam when lit, dimming only when it detects oncoming traffic.
Its front and rear bumpers have also been redesigned and stands visually wider. Also, the ‘waft lines’ on each side of the car now end softer, while chrome inserts now grace the front air intakes which apparently feed more air as well.
The bonnet now features a tapered line, or as Rolls-Royce puts it, a ‘wake channel’ sitting prominently behind the Spirit of Ecstasy. For those who are not in the know, the Spirit of Ecstasy is the ornament on the bonnet, in the form of a woman leaning forwards with her hands stretched outwards and behind her.
Inside, the front seats are new and now include electronically adjustable thigh support, while the rear seats have been re-angled for better comfort and augments better communication with other passengers. The instrument dials get matte chrome finishing and the clock’s fascia gets a 3D chrome surround that are polished with metal chaplets resembling some premium watch design.
Full grain leather is now standard with the Ghost, the same grade of leather used in the RM5 mil Phantom model, but is processed for four additional hours to accentuate the natural grain structure of the leather. This, you need to see for yourself because any pictures will not do the justice.
There’s also the 18-speaker Bespoke Audio System to satisfy your inner audiophile. Nestling behind the rear armrest are your entertainment controls used to independently operate the 9.2-inch high-resolution screen. Rear seats are also adjustable via the buttons on the side of the console.
Need we remind you that there’s a cooling compartment within the rear centre armrest for your champagnes, as well as an integrated pop-up cup holders? Oh, there’s also built-in umbrellas which are part of the car’s structural rigidity. Yes, all those come standard with the Ghost.
Let it be known that Rolls-Royce is under the stewardship of BMW, and as such, the Ghost shares the underpinnings with BMW’s 7-Series, and the massive 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 engine is based on the 760Li’s 6.0-litre V12 unit. Output figures however, remain the same as the previous Ghost – 563 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 780 Nm of torque from as low as 1,500 revolutions.
Those chunky numbers results in a century sprint time of 4.9 seconds, while managing an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h. It gets the same buttery smooth eight-speed ZF automatic transmission driving the rear wheels, but this one is wired with satellite guidance, like the Wraith. It uses GPS and mapping data to ensure that the car is always engaging the right gear when negotiating corners.
Lugging around this 2,470kg limo results in a fuel consumption rating of 9.8 litres per 100km highway; 21.2 litres per 100km city. When driving cars like this, you don’t really care.
For the first time on a Ghost, the Series II rides on a new set of 21-inch wheels, and customers can choose from five different designs, each with its unique character and features a self-righting wheel centre which ensures that the monogram is always correctly displayed.
Suspension is also revised here, with the front and rear struts stiffened up for a more dynamic driving experience. If you choose to go with the Dynamic Driving Package, the Ghost gets adjustable dampers that improve the car’s cornering ability. Rear axle bearings are new and hydraulic (previously air sprung), reducing vibrations and cabin intrusion while enhancing ride quality and rear stability.
Safety wise, the Ghost Series II features a Head-Up Display (HUD) that projects essential driving information onto the windscreen, such as directions and speed limit. There’s also a new Night Vision mode that picks up images via an infrared camera in the front grille capable of detecting animals and pedestrians up to 300 meters away.
Standard safety features to make the list comprise of all-wheel ABS with EBD, Stability Control, engine immobiliser, brake-disc drying, emergency braking assist, emergency braking preparation, post-collision safety system, emergency interior boot release, front and rear head airbags; just to name a few. In short, you’ll probably never die in a Rolls, not when its monocoque is made out solid steel.
If the rear space isn’t enough for you, then there’s the Ghost Extended Wheelbase which gives you an additional 170mm rear legroom. In a typical Rolls-Royce fashion, the degree of customisation is bound by its customer’s imagination. Want your family crest rendered in carbon fibre with gold-plated inlays on the dashboard? No problem. All-pink Ghost, why not?
As we’ve said, customisation options are limitless, and customers can begin by choosing any colour from their range of 44,000 different hues. For unrivalled paint quality, the folks at Goodwood hand-spray the five layers of primer, paint and super high-gloss clear coat, followed by tens of hours of hand polishing.
If the Ghost isn’t your cup of tea, then give the Wraith a look, the English carmaker’s quickest Rolls yet. It’s priced from RM2.8 mil upwards, and as far as any Rolls go, have it pimped out your style.