The Rolls Royce ghost.
So called because it sometimes seems to be haunted with poltergeists as passengers.
No, nothing to do with being haunted or pulse guys through anything like that.
Ghost is in fact the oldest name used by Rolls Royce.
Now you'll see Henry Royce, the engineer behind Rolls Royce and Charles Rolls who is sometimes unfairly.
I think just characterized as a salesman.
But you might not have heard of Claude Johnson.
He sometimes referred to as the hyphen in Rolls Royce.
He was such an important character in those early years.
Now the first car that was actually produced under the Rolls Royce Badge was the 4050 horsepower.
And Claude Johnson thought that won't do really.
So you had one painted silver and named the Silver Ghost.
And that then caught on through the subsequent cars, right up until the Phantom in 1925.
So it's a very historic name, Ghost.
And this is the latest ghost.
No longer is it based on a BMW 7 Series.
Instead it makes use of the same proprietary Rolls Royce- underpinnings, as you'll find in the Cullinan and current Phantom.
There is talk of post opulence with the design, which is a rather Brian Sewell way of saying it's more subtle in Phantom, a touch more rounded, a little less imposing a more discreet design for perhaps more discreet customers.
Personally, I think the front is still distinctive while not being overt, but the back is perhaps a little too anonymous.
I do rather like the regal Midnight Sapphire painted this car, though beautifully understated.
Everything is relative, of course, because you can't really call something that's over 5 and half meters long and 2.15 meters wide discrete or understated.
And it does feel gargantuan to drive.
Not really, because the steering is particularly imprecise.
Quite the opposite in fact, but more because the view out makes it so hard to place, you said.
Quite high up, it's almost sort of like mini SUV.
View out, but you've got this enormous bonnet is a good job.
The spirit of ecstasy is up here, otherwise you wouldn't know it ended.
Is a sort of infinity pool in front of you.
Have no idea what's over there whatsoever.
Where does it all end?
Squeezing it down narrow country lanes or through narrow city streets is nerve wracking.
Under that enormous bonnet is a six and three quarter liter, not 6.75..
Doesn't sound quite right.
Six and three quarter liter twin turbocharged V12 putting out 563 brake horsepower and 629 pounds sort of talk.
Despite the fact this car weighs 2490 kilos, that's enough to actually propel it from North to 60 miles an hour in 4.6 seconds.
And onto a top speed is limited to 255 miles an hour and 18 gearbox.
If you put it into low, which is really the only mode choice you have in this car.
Does pick up surprisingly quickly.
Makes it responsive on the way out of corners in a way that you might not expect for a Rolls Royce.
It all sounds pretty good as well.
When it wakes up.
With all wheel drive to give consummate traction and all wheel steering that can angle the rear wheels up to 5 degrees, the ghost actually has a surprising turn of pace down the road.
It feels a bit inappropriate like how you kick about after work in your suit and tie and going in for a slide tackle in your several row.
But that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable.
But driving this car quickly, that's not really what it's about.
It's actually it's most enjoyable when it's soothing its way down the road instead of more refined pace that you can enjoy this cars most pleasing quality.
This car actually has the full suite of plain our technology.
So it has things that even the Cullinan and Phantom 8 don't yet have.
It has the flag bearer system, which harks back to the chapters to walk in front of cars with a red flag.
And that reads the road ahead thanks to cameras and then adapts the suspension and the 12 Volt and Rolls system in the rear so that it will soak up the bumps that are on their way to the wheels.
This also has the GPS gearbox which ensures your gently shuffled into the correct gear in plenty of time to cope with the severity of whatever corners lie ahead on the road.
It's so good that most of the time you don't even notice there's any swapping ratios going on, and with all that talk you suspect that half the 8 This would probably suffice.
Then there is something that is unique to this car at the moment, this has mass dampers on the upper wishbones.
They are because there were some troubles with just the very smallest of bumps, typically at low speed and just earning those out things that the air suspension couldn't quite cope with.
Anyway, an engineer came in apparently after hours and came up with the idea of the mass dampers, but essentially it's three kilos on top of a wishbone.
Normally that would be undesirable because it's unsprung weight, but in a car of this sort of size it doesn't matter so much.
I like the fact that somebody came in after hours and I think Henry Royce would like that as well, given that he designed the adjustable shock absorber on his deathbed.
Literally sketch it on the back of an envelope, handed it to his nurse, his dead the next morning.
The torque that I mentioned before, 629 pounds foot, that also helps you drive this smoothly because it arrives at just 1600 RPM or only 600 RPM after tick over.
And that means it's got an almost, well, electric delivery I suppose.
And I mean, because obviously electric cars have all their torque from zero reds, is one of the reasons I think actually Rolls Royces will be suited to being full EVs in the future.
All of this means that the ride is sumptuous.
The word that people always use is waft, but actually Rolls Royce describes it in a way that I'd rather like.
They describe it is like flying on land.
Actually, I should no longer say waft, I should say flying on land.
Of course, the magnificent ride quality isn't really for the benefit of the person driving the car.
It's for those in the back.
In fact, an awful lot of the technology and toys of the entertainment of the occupants of the rear seats.
So let's have a look [UNKNOWN].
Power flows of course because, well, you do want to shut the door yourself.
And this wouldn't be a Rolls Royce review if I didn't mention the umbrellas situated within the rear doors, you have them matched to your car.
[SOUND] And when you put them back in here wet, this sheath is now heated so that next time you get it out, you have a nice dry umbrella.
Anyway, the obvious traits of luxury continue in here.
First, you've got huge amount of legroom.
The seats obviously heat and cool and pummel you with massaging functions, the headrest.
Pretty much better than any pillow I think I've ever laid my head on.
We have a fridge in here, two settings.
So you can have a sort of normal ski resort or Arctic presumably.
Cup of champagne for each room for a bottle of Bollinger.
And then here we have the tray tables which fold down like this with a huge screen that comes out and you've got a television in here or just check the navigation and things like that.
You can fold this away again up into here.
And that's the embossed spirit of ecstasy on the back of there as well.
Let me see, control that in here by your own iDrive controller as you have in front.
The materials are obviously all very wonderful with sumptuous leather.
The one piece here, sort of Lalique glass behind the door handle there.
And then of course there is the starlet headlining,
Which is fantastic, relaxing and endlessly fascinating, at least for the amount of time I've had the car.
Occasionally, if you're lucky as well, you will spot a shooting star airing across like that, this one.
I forgot the carpets, they are little thing in a way really, but so sumptuous.
I mean ,short of actually getting a sheep in here.
They couldn't be more woolly.
If they tried, you feel like you'd you lose your shoes in them.
Anyway, there are very obvious traits of luxury in here.
It's actually the subtler things.
The things that you can't see.
The things that they've done behind the scenes that intrigue me even more about the ghost.
And much of that unseen engineering is to do with achieving, as Simon and Garfunkel might say, the sound of silence.
It is so quiet in here that you can quite literally hear a pin drop.
She louder than I expected.
Who pins made such a racket?
Rolls Royce, when they were developing this.
Actually toyed with the idea of having completely silent cabin and then decided that that was too spooky, so they engineered in the fact that this would have just a very subtle whisper, a single note, so they tuned the entire cabin to resonate at this one note in order to achieve this near silence, they looked at things like the boot rather cavernous 500 liters back there and was an occasional boom, so they put some piping in to relieve the air pressure, Pfizer between there and the cabin.
The seats too were creating a resonance because obviously there are large waist and lots of it is up high, so they added a mass damper talked about those with the wishbones, well, mass dampers appearing here too just to take out the sound of the seats.
And of course, because it's so near silent in here, it means you can hear music better when you want to play it and the audio system is the best I've ever heard.
There's no brand name, so there's no bangin Olofsson or bars and Wilkins or name, it just says the spoke audio and again is the technology that you can't see their obviously the speakers here, but these cells have been turned into giant subwoofer's, and rather than just having the cone speakers that have also used little excited speakers which if we turn the entire T of this ceiling into one big speaker, the result is extraordinary.
Pointlessly trying to get over on film because you couldn't really capture it adequately.
But it's like having your favorite artist sitting in the backseat with you will be able to hear every single instrument in the orchestra, something that you probably didn't even realize existed in the tracks you just listen to.
Rage is, the rest of the infotainment system will be recognisable to anyone that has spent time in a BMW, but this is no bad thing, and it's somehow done slightly more subtly than when the VW Group shows bits across its brands.
There's obviously Apple Car Play 2, and while the technology might be familiar, it is framed by cabin that is a level of detail and luxury that is a cut above almost anything else.
From this cars open pour Walnut to the of the metal vents to the smooth action of their organs dot controls to the way the 850 twinkling stars appear, as if by magic on the beautifully illuminated Facio.
Even simple things add to the ambiance like the fan controls being labeled with soft, medium and high rather than just being illustrated by a bar chart or numbered.
It's like saying cops instead of turn 9 at Silverstone or parabolic instead of turn 11 at monse, it's descriptive, it uses quality.
I should also add talking about the HVAC, if I just turn this fromsoft all the way up to Max and then if I pull this organ stop out here and here.
Normally when I do these pieces of camera we have to turn all the conditioning off basically so it's quite hot in the cars because it's much too loud, this is on Max, and it's barely above a whisper in here.
From the polished air conditioning ducts to the nano freeze filter that removes contaminants from the cabins micro environment.
The Rolls Royce Ghost ensures that its occupants exist in rarified air and although starting at just a quarter of a million pounds, this is in some ways the baby of the range.
It's certainly never felt like a lesser roles to me, certainly not in terms of its size.
When I was behind the wheel, nor in terms of its serenity level of luxury, or engineering, it really is supernaturally good.