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One of the most common things I hear from friends and family that I talk to about my work is: "Who in their right mind would pay more than a quarter million dollars for a car?"

Of course it's not the dumbest thing I've been asked, but I think everyone seems to forget that when you're spending this kind of dough it is relative.

Not only will this type of buyer have more money than God, they'll also likely have a few other vehicles in their mansions' three-plus car garage. It's pretty unlikely this consumer will use its high-end purchase as their daily driver.

Rolls-Royce Ghost

In the instance of the Rolls-Royce Ghost, however, that stipulation may be ready to change. After recently spending some time with the 2015 Ghost Series II, it's become quite evident that the "baby" model may just be the best.

Before we start though, let me clear something up. Series II refers to this Ghost as being the newly refreshed version. Think of it like how Porsche's 911s receive Mark II status upon refresh, except Rolls-Royce decided to distinguish the difference between it, Porsche and old-school Lincolns.


Rolls-Royce Ghost









Taking delivery of the Ghost Series II was a delight. It came in an Alpine White paint, featured large diameter chrome wheels and its interior was swathed with many hides to create a peaceful, all black environment. Observing it on the outside, it's clear that this vehicle looks more modern than the first Ghost. When parked and the suspension is lowered for easier ingress/egress, dare I say it even looked...sporty?

Unlike its more costly and controversial sibling, the Wraith, the overall vehicle's design is intended to be more classic and timeless. Think of the Ghost as a polo shirt whereas the Wraith is like high-end couture fashion. Essentially, in 10-15 years when you see a Ghost rolling down your local boulevard it will still be revered as a proper Rolls-Royce. The Wraith, on the other hand, may not hold value well due to its risqué look — time will tell on that one.

This really speaks to the point of why one buys a Roller over one of the market's more plebian offerings. It's about making a statement. Sure, you could acquire an all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Maybach that boasts an unbelievable amount of the latest and greatest technology, but that won't make people gasp. While a Maybach is about understated elegance, the Ghost lets everyone know you've arrived. THINK: When you pull up in a Ghost and the coach door swings out, people are transfixed. Technology isn't what defines a Roller.

Yes, the Ghost has many of the features one would come to expect in a modern day, large luxury automobile but you may be surprised by the Ghost's execution. Much like the flagship Phantom, there is a sense of elegant simplicity in the cabin. Unlike many of today's luxury offerings, there is no diamond-pattern stitching on the leather seats, dashboard or on the door panels. In fact, it's the complete opposite. There isn't any intricate pattern work — what you see is what you get. What you will notice, however, is how the entire interior is swathed in hide. From the upper and lower dashboards to the door cards to the headliner, it's all leather wrapped.

The seats in my test car didn't feature 20-way adjustment nor did they have a massage feature. They were comfortable as is. I kind of want them in my living room. In addition, rather than opt for an HVAC system that is dependent on a digital thermostat, every Roller I've been in uses a red and blue dial. Turn it to the red for heat, turn it to the blue to keep the interior cool. This is the kind of basic interior controls you'd expect to find in an economy car. Personally, I'd rather have this though than fidget with a digital thermostat that never feels quite right. Once again, Rolls-Royce does its best to keep it simple.

That is until the BMW AG traits seep in. The most complicated element of the Ghost's interior is the BMW-sourced iDrive infotainment system. It has been re-skinned and the user experience is slightly changed to fit Rolls-Royce's branding. For example, rather than be bothered with a chime, the Ghost lets you know what's going on via the sound of a harp. Personally, I have become so accustomed to BMW's system that I do not find a problem with it at all, however, I can imagine if it were my first time all the iconography would become a little daunting. Really, a first-time user would need approximately two weeks to settle in to the system's sub-menus and features.

Probably one of the coolest technology features in the Ghost is its pedestrian detection system. Not only does this serve as a surefire way to ensure you slow down if an individual cannot be distinguished in front of you, it also helps if you're rolling through the woods and intercept a family of deer. This happened to me in the wee morning hours and I was thankful for the system because it worked exactly as intended. It flashed an image of a deer in front of me, I naturally cursed under my breath and hit the brakes. Although I couldn't see the deer with my naked eye, as I cruised by I noted a couple staring at me like an alien from the side of the road. Also note that the Ghost Series II comes with Nightvision a la the BMW 7-Series as standard.


Rolls-Royce Ghost









But, as I noted before, technology doesn't define a Rolls-Royce.

The way it rides, however, does. To be straightforward, there's no other vehicle on the planet that rides like a Rolls-Royce. If you blindfolded consumers and had them take the Pepsi Challenge with a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley and other high-end luxury autos, I am confident every person involved would pick the Roller out. That's because when you're a passenger in a Roller, you simply waft along. It's hard to describe precisely but it's probably the closest one will get to experiencing a floating carpet.

That's because the suspension is tuned, quite literally, perfect. That's not an exaggeration. Rolling over bumps is not an issue as they are quelled quite well. Though the Ghost is not nearly as isolated as the Phantom, it falls into an admirable second place.

Where the Ghost does surpass the Phantom though is on the highway. While the Phantom feels a bit unsure of itself at speed, the Ghost is firmly planted. This means you will not find yourself constantly correcting the steering inputs and the surefootedness of the Ghost will make you feel more confident behind the wheel.

In addition, the Ghost has more juice as it is equipped with a 6.6-liter V12 powerplant that churns out over 560 horsepower and 575 lb.-ft. of torque. While the Phantom isn't exactly a slow poke, getting to 60 mph and overtaking is much less of a concern in the Ghost.

While that much power may sound quite supercar-like, I reassure you that the Ghost is tuned so its passengers will not be jarred. The best way to describe its powerband is like that of a crescendo. When you really plant your foot into the accelerator you feel the motor swell and the power comes on, but it definitely is not sharp to distress back seat royalty.

So, what does all of this mean for the Ghost? Personally, I think it is one of the best Rolls-Royce products to have. While the Phantom is the flagship, it can become a bit ponderous motoring around town and its highway manners are not exactly kind if you're behind the wheel. I see it like this: The Phantom is literally a rolling living room and the Ghost is a rolling living room that can turn. The "baby" Rolls removes many of the Phantom's headaches while still providing the expected Rolls-Royce experience.

If there was something I could change though it would be the Ghost's rear seat legroom, which is not as spacious as I would have hoped. There's good news, though: Rolls-Royce produces a Ghost Extended Wheelbase for those of you wanting more.

And that really speaks to the company. For every problem you may find with one of its products, there's an answer. To me, that's the ultimate in luxury, however, you will need a fat checkbook to accommodate the cost.


The Good:

- If you're expecting the best, it's pretty hard to claim this is anything but — serious attention to detail in all of the vehicle's execution
- Nothing rides like a Rolls-Royce
- Ample power that makes highway driving a cinch


The Bad:

- For such a large sedan, one would expect rear set legroom to be a bit more ample
- Not as technology advanced as the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Maybach
- Power and weight takes a toll on mpg — I chalked up 12-14 mpg during my time with the Ghost


The Lowdown:

Rolls-Royce claims to build the very best automobiles on the planet. Frankly, after spending so much time in them, it's pretty hard to dispute that. All Rollers, including the Ghost, ride much more comfortably and smooth than the likes of any Bentley or S-Class. In addition, the Ghost can do things better that the Phantom has a bit of trouble with — this includes ease of use in a parking lot situation as well as high-speed highway travel. If you want the latest and greatest technology, other cars will do it better but I don't think that's the point of a Rolls. You buy it for comfort and to make a statement. That's something the Ghost has absolutely no problem delivering.


Rolls-Royce Ghost





















































































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