Driven: Rolls-Royce Ghost, images by John Todd
Words By Contributor Theo Nissim, Images by John Todd
Unmistakably Futuristic Traditionalist
The Rolls-Royce tradition is stately, exclusive, luxurious, and sophisticated. For more than one hundred years the hallowed British marque boasts “the best cars on the planet”. Through the decades and corporate structure changes, the design philosophy always respected Charles Rolls and Henry Royce’s mission and core values. One of the first models built was the legendary Silver Ghost, produced between 1906 and 1926. Today an invaluable collector’s item, the car started Rolls’ reputation as the ultimate luxury car. Fast forward to 2010, Rolls-Royce is introducing a smaller companion to the amazing Phantom limousine, the Ghost. Is it a worthy successor to its ancestor from decades ago? Let’s see…
The Ghost is instantly recognizable as a Rolls. The proportions are perfect: the short front overhang and the long rear overhang, the traditional 2:1 ratio between the height of the wheels and the height of the body. The stance is powerful; this is a car with a huge presence. The design language is simple and fluid, without any trace of over-styling. The front respects the tradition, with the Spirit of Ecstasy gracing the hood. At the same time, the lines are totally modern, fluid and dynamic. The LED lights bring a touch of modernism that confirms the car is built for connoisseurs living in the 21st Century. The appearance of the Ghost exudes modernity and dynamism, while paying its respects to the ancestors (Silver Cloud, anyone?).
Limousine, Private Jet, Or?
Inside, the Ghost continues the theme of blending Rolls' traditional details with avant-garde technology and design. The steering wheel is thin and large; the gear selector is nicely located on the steering column, and the dash sports vast surfaces of polished wood. Exceptional leather and wool add to the elegant surroundings. The craftsmanship used in building the car is unrivaled. However, poke a little and you’ll discover copious amounts of technology hiding under the elegant wood: navigation and entertainment systems of the highest quality offer the latest features. The car is equipped with an impressive array of luxury gadgets: night vision with human shape recognition, heads-up display, active cruise control and lane departure warning systems.