Driven: 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost Page 3

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Steeped in [just enough] tradition

When Rolls-Royce began work on the new Ghost, and showed it as the 200EX concept, the Phantom already had reinvigorated all the traditional reasons you'd want to own a Rolls-Royce. The RR4 telegraphed how Rolls would soon offer some new, compelling reasons to drive its cars, and a detail as simple and stunning as a brushed-metal hood nearly gave its hand away.

The outline still bore the hallmarks of a classic Rolls design. The shading inside those lines revealed how the car underneath would flex its BMW corporate muscle to deliver remarkable performance. The Phantom's arch grille had settled down to earth on the 200EX and tilted itself back a bit, and the very formal rectangular headlights softened with the break of steel between them. The concept's flowing rear pillar relaxed the patrician demeanor, and the gradual taper in the sideview gave it visual power without any stereotypes of aggression.

Inside the cabin, the concept welcomed passengers as warmly in front as it did in the rear seats. Familiar touches like gimballed vents with chrome pulls were folded in with and LCD screen. Wrapped in wood and leather, the cockpit managed the same balancing act. With widespread acclaim in concept form, the 200EX rapidly became the Ghost in series production--with few changes.

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