The new Ghost is a measure of ultra-luxury without too much pretense.
It’s a luxury to go to a really exclusive restaurant and indulge in a memorable meal and a stellar bottle of wine while the attentive staff anticipates your every need. Those thoughts crossed my mind while I drove the quietly composed Rolls-Royce Ghost from the Newark Airport on a Friday evening. Negotiating the New Jersey Turnpike to the Parkway at 6pm isn’t my idea of motoring joy, but cosseted in the quiet luxury of this 5,445-pound machine, the less significant vehicles around us making their collective mad dash from Manhattan were barely noticeable. Although, I’m sure they noticed the Rolls, even in the quickly darkening evening.
We traveled back to the East Coast to celebrate the bat mitzvah of the daughter of close friends. We had made that same journey a few years ago for their son’s bar mitzvah and made it a special occasion by chauffeuring the young man in a new Bentley. So, arriving in a car with less stature was out of the question.
If my duties were simply dressing in black, donning a cap, and acting as a chauffeur, the massive Rolls-Royce Phantom might make quite a statement. But the Ghost makes a powerful pronouncement without the megaphone of pretense. We discovered its allure when we arrived at our Greenwich hotel where the drive was adorned with a Mercedes CL coupe, Aston Martin convertible, and a Porsche Panamera. The bell staff immediately attended to our needs.
Arrivals are fun and festive, but this is a Rolls that’s made to be driven. Despite its girth (I can’t imagine why some would call it a ‘Baby Rolls’), the powerful 12-cylinder engine and eight-speed transmission act in concert to create near-nimble performance. If you plunge into a corner at speed, you’ll be reminded of its generous proportions, but unless you’re attempting sportscar moves, the Ghost will stay firmly planted and poised.
We traveled nearly every interesting road around the New York metro area, including Manhattan, and decided that this was the perfect car for the duty. On one occasion, a New Yorker who seemed off-put by our stately demeanor cut in front of us. But for the most part, reactions to this stately car were admiration. And our friend’s lovely daughter gave her enthusiastic approval to the Ghost. Thank goodness there aren’t more siblings, it’s a hard car to trump. BRIAN DOUGLAS
2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost
TYPE: Front engine,
ENGINE: 6.6-liter DOHC V12
HORSEPOWER: 563 @ 5,250
TORQUE: 575 @ 1,500
BASE PRICE: $246,500
AS EQUIPPED: $318,100