With its latest Ghost sedan, Rolls-Royce has developed a brand new model positioned below the Phantom and in the process seen its sales nearly double over the past year. What the car’s design team was seeking to create was a modern Rolls-Royce that achieved a new dynamism but remained true to its luxurious heritage.
Additionally, the Ghost’s introduction has allowed Rolls-Royce to carve out a new luxury niche that the ultra-luxury brand has long left to lesser rivals such as Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Where the Phantom truly is a car to be chauffeured around in, the Ghost is the Rolls-Royce model that you wouldn’t mind driving home yourself.
This is mostly due to the car’s twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 engine, which turns over a massive 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. This makes the Ghost more powerful than the Phantom despite being positioned below it, ensuring that this is the drivers’ car in the Rolls-Royce lineup.
The monster V-12 rockets the 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds--comparable to some sports cars--and sees it easily reach its electronically governed top speed of 155 mph. Fuel economy is rated at 13/20 mpg city/highway, which is very reasonable given the car’s size and level of performance. Sending drive to the rear wheels is a ZF eight-speed automatic.
Its underpinnings are loosely based on the same setup found in the current BMW 7-Series, which means it features some of the very latest developments in chassis engineering. These include a new four-corner air suspension system matched to multi-link aluminum front and rear axle geometry. A new chassis management system is also fitted and is designed to control the car’s anti-roll stabilization and suspension stiffness.
This means that if you’re not driving, the Ghost is still a great place to be--especially when in the back seat. The rear-hinged rear doors open to expose a classy cabin with plenty of wood trim and shiny chrome. There’s also a large LCD screen that controls much of the infotainment and climate systems, while warm leather and deep carpeting leaves no doubts as to the Roller's heritage.
The Ghost is also fitted with a safety tour de force of airbags, traction and stability controls, even a grouping of cameras that channel a near-360 image of its surroundings for dent-free parking maneuvers. Night vision, a lane-departure warning system, active high-beam headlamps and cruise control are integrated as well. Of course, with a pricetag of $246,500, you’d expect nothing less for shuttling around your precious cargo.
For a more detailed look at the 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost, check out our road-test of the 2010 model by clicking here