First Drive: 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost
Senior Editor Ron Kiino obsesses over P. Diddy while taking the brand new
"baby roller" for a ride around the block.
Shot by: Jim Gleason
Edited by: Gordon Green
Rolls-Royce Ghost Test Drive and Review-- Video Test Drive with Chris Moran
A test drive in a 2010 Rolls-Royce with Chris Moran. Rich people are
different from the rest of us. Their wants and needs involve parameters and
details completely foreign to the proletariat. While we use our vehicles
for transportation, utility and sport, the rich view their automobiles as a
necessary accoutrement to their elevated lifestyles.
For the ultra-wealthy, an appropriate equivalent might be an original
Remington bronze or Picasso painting. And just as they need art in their
mansions, they need beautiful transportation. The 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost
lives up to those lofty requirements by simultaneously being a rolling work
of art and a status symbol beyond reproach.
Like access to the Queen, our time with the Ghost was strictly limited, so
comprehensive driving impressions will have to wait. But what we did get
was a rare glimpse into what the world's richest inhabitants will enjoy
when the Ghost goes on sale this year. And as you'd expect, life is good on
this side of the financial Bell Curve.
In the world of automobiles, there are better vehicles than the 2010
Rolls-Royce Ghost. Some may feature more complex and innovative
engineering. Others may provide more performance. There are certainly more
expensive and exclusive cars.
But none of these facts matter. To those attracted to the newest, smaller
Roller, what matters more is how the Ghost goes about its business of
enhancing a well-off individual's life.
Certainly, the engineering is solid. It's what you'd expect of
Rolls-Royce's caretakers at BMW. Approximately 20-percent of what's used in
the Ghost is related to the current and previous generation BMW 7 Series.
In other words, Rolls-Royce started with premium stock and went no where
Certainly, the 2010 Ghost has more street presence than BMW's flagship. The
differences are so great that most would never know the two were related,
even with the knowledge that the hallowed British marque is under German
The Ghost's lines are artfully drawn, not a bit fussy or over done. They
are simple and elegant, and impart a sense of solidity. Important details
such as the coach doors (otherwise referred to as "suicide" doors by the
unwashed masses) allowed designers to make a single element of the front
and rear door handles. The design simply looks right. Tiny details
reinforce the aura, including the "RR" centers that spin freely within the
wheels so the logo remains upright at all times.
While there's not much to set the Rolls apart at the rear -- those chromed
Exhaust tips are a $3,200 option -- up
front the car's heritage is unmistakable. Set off by the optional $5,000
Silver Satin Bonnet finish, the smaller-than-on-the-Phantom recessed grille
looks appropriately updated and none-too-large given its surroundings. The
strong horizontal shape of the Xenon headlamps (with integrated running
LEDs) accentuates the fenders and provides another familial styling cue. A
single line of turn signal LEDs rest directly below the main lamps, and
standard foglights would apparently be gauche.
And, of course, one cannot overlook the Spirit of Ecstasy. She's been the
brand's mascot since the very beginning, and looks remarkable for being 99
years old. She first adorned a Rolls-Royce in 1911, and has been used in
various poses ever since. To protect against theft and in the event of a
collision with a pedestrian, she quickly retracts into the faux radiator
shell. Find her image in the gallery and look at how lovingly she was
sculpted. If you look close enough, you can see how her young eyes look
eagerly ahead. While setting a good example for all, her eager attitude is
warranted given the performance available from the Ghost.
Based on the twin-turbo V12 from the
fourth-generation E66 7-Series, the Ghost's engine has been stroked from
6.0 to 6.6 liters and produces 563 horsepower at 5,250 rpm with
575 pound-feet of torque at just 1,500 rpm. The gearbox is based on a unit
spreading through BMW's ranks, the excellent ZF eight-speed automatic.
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