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2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost vs. Bentley Flying Spur and Mercedes-Maybach S650: Battle of the opulent

Let's see how these grandiose sedans stack up.

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All three are fancy, but only the Ghost has rear coach doors.

Rolls-Royce

There are luxury sedans and then there are luxury sedans. The latter, of course, refers to highfalutin four-doors like the new Rolls-Royce Ghost that made its debut Tuesday. It's not the only game in town, of course, and good as the new Ghost seems to be, it's got some pretty impressive competition.

So, let's see how the second generation of Rolls-Royce's best-selling car stacks up against its other 12-cylinder, mega-luxe rivals, the Bentley Flying Spur and Mercedes-Maybach S650. We'll compare the usual specs, but also take a closer look at the lovely details that make each extra special.

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Exterior dimensions

These are three full-figured four-doors. Big boys. Large lads. Rolls-Royce will soon offer an even longer, extended-wheelbase version of the Ghost, just in case you somehow find the standard version too puny for your needs.

The base Ghost is similar in size to both the Bentley and Maybach, though it's the portliest of the three by a long shot. The Rolls-Royce is the longest car overall, though the Maybach has the greatest distance between its axles and the Flying Spur seems to strike a nice middle ground between the two.

Exterior Dimensions


2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 Bentley Flying Spur 2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650
Wheelbase 129.7 in 125.7 in 132.5 in
Length 219.0 in 209.3 in 215.0 in
Width 84.6 in 77.8 in 83.9 in
Height 61.8 in 58.4 in 59.0 in
Weight 5,628 pounds 5,373 pounds 5,280 pounds

Interior dimensions

The sedans' cabins are pretty similarly sized, too. Interestingly, the Maybach is the only car that offers more legroom up front than in back and the Bentley outdoes the Rolls-Royce here, too. But the Flying Spur suffers when it comes to overall cargo capacity -- it's down about three cubic feet compared to the Ghost and S650.

Interior Dimensions


2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 Bentley Flying Spur 2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650
Front headroom 40.9 in 37.4 in 42.3 in
Rear headroom 39.1 in 37.0 in 37.9 in
Front legroom 41.6 in 41.3 in 41.4 in
Rear legroom 41.9 in 42.9 in 40.0 in
Cargo capacity 17.7 cu-ft 14.8 cu-ft 17.6 cu-ft

Powertrain and performance

All three cars have twin-turbocharged, 12-cylinder engines and there isn't a dud among 'em. Of course, with great power comes great consumption and, as you can see in the chart below, none of these cars is what we'd call efficient.

The most interesting takeaway here is that the Flying Spur is nearly a full second quicker in the 0-to-60-mph sprint, despite having comparable power. In fact, the Maybach S650 is the lightest car of the group and has a whopping 738 pound-feet of torque, yet it matches the Ghost's 4.6-second acceleration time. It's also the only car to offer rear-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive.

Then again, power and acceleration are kind of relative in cars like these, where the goal is to offer supple on-road manners. We can't speak to the Ghost just yet, but its new suspension technologies should make it buttery smooth on all pavement surfaces, definitely giving the Flying Spur and Maybach a run for their money.

Performance


2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost 2020 Bentley Flying Spur 2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650
Engine 6.75L twin-turbo V12 6.0L twin-turbo W12 6.0L twin-turbo V12
Power 563 hp 626 hp 621 hp
Torque 627 lb-ft 664 lb-ft 738 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed auto 8-speed auto 7-speed auto
Driveline All-wheel drive All-wheel drive Rear-wheel drive
0-60 mph 4.6 seconds 3.7 seconds 4.6 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (limited) 207 mph NA
Fuel economy (city / hwy) 12 / 19 mpg 12 / 19 mpg 13 / 21 mpg

Tech and fancy features

All three cars offer extremely plush accommodations, with available two-person executive seating in back. Heated, cooled, massaging seats are on hand across the board, as are rear-seat entertainment systems, refrigerators (you have to keep the Veuve chilled, duh), sun shades and more. Bentley and Rolls-Royce have the upper hand on outright luxury, what with their hand-assembled cabins and beautiful decor. But the Maybach is hardly a dud in this department -- you'd be hard pressed to complain about the premium accoutrements on offer here.

The Bentley and Maybach are about evenly matched as far as infotainment tech are concerned. The former uses a Bentley-skinned version of the excellent Porsche Communication Management system, while the latter runs Mercedes' older COMAND software. Still, both of these are better than the older, BMW iDrive 6-based tech found in the Ghost, which doesn't even offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Driver-assistance features are in no short supply, with all three cars offering a full suite of the good stuff. But the Ghost earns bonus points for its pièce de résistance Starlight Headliner, which is one of the coolest bits of cabin lighting available anywhere. It brings the night sky inside the car and owners can spec their own personalized view of the sky. The Ghost's new illuminated dashboard is another bit of specialized brightwork that sets it apart from the rest, as well.

If you have to ask...

These are not cheap cars, nor should they be given the luxury and power on offer. The Mercedes-Maybach S650 is the cheapest, or maybe we should say least-expensive, at just over $200,000. The Bentley starts about $10,000 more than that and the Ghost comes in at a whopping $332,500.

Then again, these starting prices aren't unreasonable for the cars' target customers and they're also only the beginning. Especially with Bentley and Rolls-Royce, the sky's the limit when it comes to options and personalization options. You're rich; go wild.

Pricing


Base price
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost $332,500
2020 Bentley Flying Spur $214,600
2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650 $202,550