Rolls-Royce's "baby" Ghost is anything but, offering the same luxury treatments as its much bigger and more established older brother Phantom. The Ghost retains all of the extravagance you would expect from a car with the double-R badge, but at a more city-friendly size.
With this shrunken size, Rolls-Royce considers the Ghost to be a daily-use vehicle, a luxury sedan that can be driven to the office and on errands every day. Note: that's driven, not being driven in, as most Phantom owners would expect. And despite being smaller, the Ghost still has all the modern amenities of a bespoke luxury sedan. The seemingly endless array of cabin amenities include reclining rear seats with individual DVD screens, automatically closing doors, a door-mounted umbrella holder, and every surface decked out in real wood, leather, aluminum, and chrome.
Under the hood of the Ghost is an all-new 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine with 536 horsepower, because Rolls-Royce owners would expect nothing less. Paired to a silky eight-speed automatic transmission, it is as smooth as its owners would expect, including those new to the brand. Rolls-Royce believes that many Ghost customers will be new to the brand, and hopes to double its US sales.
Body style: Sedan
Engine: 6.6-liter turbocharged V-12
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
The Ghost was an all-new car in 2009, and at Rolls-Royce, progress doesn't come quickly. The Ghost has been a boon for the Rolls-Royce brand, selling well in Asia, the Middle East, and America.
Sedate, elegant, yet muscular, the Ghost takes its styling from the Phantom, but shrinks them to a more manageable scale. The upright front fascia remains largely intact, adding a commanding presence. The rear "coach doors" are reverse-hinged, and two-tone paint is available as part of an array of options. The legendary Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament can rise at the touch of a button, for maximum attention seeking.
Inside, it's luxury all the way, with a wide expanse of hand-polished wood across the dashboard and double-stitched leather everywhere else. All of the Ghost's switchgear is unique to the model, and while some controls are a clearly less extravagant than in the Phantom (astute drivers will notice that the navigation system is shared with that from the BMW 7 Series), all pass Rolls-Royce's exacting muster.
Performance & Handling
On the road, the Ghost doesn't feel very small at all. It's still big and stately--surging forward on a seemingly endless wave of torque from its V-12 engine. Shifts are seamless and silky smooth, and the Ghost corners flatly for its size, thanks in part to the active shock absorbers. Those moneyed few expecting to the Ghost to be agile for a Rolls-Royce won't be disappointed. But if they're also expecting the maneuverability of a 7 Series sedan, they won't find that here.
Traction and stability control are standard equipment, as are front and side airbags for front passengers. Front and rear occupant side curtain airbags are also standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
13 mpg city/20 mpg highway
- Rolls quality in a smaller package
- Torquey V-12
You Won't Like
- Still a large car to drive
- Some controls not up to Phantom quality
The baby Rolls is still a proper Rolls
If You Like This Vehicle
- Bentley Continental Flying Spur
- Mercedes-Benz S600
- BMW 760Li