Rolls-Royce has just handed us a wax-sealed, gold-plated envelope containing a bunch of numbers on the upcoming Ghost - the new ‘baby Rolls' previewed by the 200EX concept (pictured) - and here's the big news: it's bloody quick.
How does 4.7 seconds to 60mph grab you? Yes, four-point-seven. That's faster than a BMW M3, as quick as an Audi RS6. That's phenomenally fast.
All that fastness comes courtesy of an all-new 6.6-litre turbocharged V12 producing 563bhp, and 575lb ft from just 1,500rpm.
Don't worry, though - just because it's quick, this isn't some hardcore, track-focussed Rolls.
"First and foremost, the Ghost is a Rolls-Royce," says director of engineering Helmut Riedl. "This means that despite its extraordinary performance figures, it has been engineered for effortless composure and refined power delivery. It is delivered free from stress and exertion but at the same time must engage the driver."
To that end, the Ghost rides on air suspension with multi-link front and rear axles. Rolls-Royce promises that it'll be quieter than a mute dormouse in a library, with engine, exhaust and tyre noise dialled down to near-imperceptible levels.
The Ghost goes on sale in the UK towards the end of this year, with prices starting at £165,000.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost is a driver’s car. You know, the type of driver who is paid to wear a suit, always be early, and smile even on his worst of days. As such, the ride is so supple that you might imagine the massive twenty-inch wheels dancing around potholes rather than just soaking up the impacts. The twin-turbocharged V-12′s 563 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque are massaged for gentle yet firm delivery through the eight-speed automatic. The engine never feels aggressive, yet there’s always jet-like thrust at the ready.
The small Rolls affords plenty of room for rear-seat passengers, and the trunk could swallow a small Chevy. As you might imagine, the rear seats are just as comfortable as the fronts, and the lambs’-wool carpet under your feet feels like it’s three inches thick. I was surprised, though, to see how much equipment was optional, rather than standard on the Ghost. A panoramic sunroof-standard on a $46,355 Acura ZDX-is a $7000 option on top of the $248,700 base price. Passive entry costs $1700 while those iconic wood tray tables cost $2800.
he navigation and entertainment system is borrowed from BMW’s iDrive, which means that Rolls doesn’t have to curse high-dollar cars with inferior electronics, like so many other niche manufacturers do. The center stack is kept free of clutter by burying a few settings (such as stability control) deep in the iDrive-like system. There’s also a neat interactive owners’ manual that can be accessed when the vehicle is stopped.