Rolls-Royce Ghost

Series III

Rolls-Royce Ghost, 2022, front
Rolls-Royce Ghost, 2022, front
Rolls-Royce Ghost, 2022, rear
Rolls-Royce Ghost, 2022, interior
Rolls-Royce Ghost, 2022, rear seats

HOW do you improve on the best?

That was the question facing Rolls-Royce when it decided to create the latest version of the Ghost.

Before deciding it sought feedback from customers to find our exactly what they wanted and the answer was a simpler, more minimalist look but still using the finest materials money can buy, ensuring that less is better.

So the decision was taken to start from scratch, taking nothing from car's predecessor except the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy statuette that sits on the bonnet and the famous RR umbrellas that are housed inside the rear doors, in compartments which, incidentally, are heated so your umbrellas can dry.

The result is a car which is the epitome of automotive engineering, luxury and refinement.

Even the famous magic carpet ride associated with Rolls-Royce has been improved thanks to its new Planar Suspension System which the company says creates a sense of flight on land never before achieved by a car.

And having covered more than 700 miles in the new Ghost Series III recently I for one wouldn't disagree.

Working with Planar a camera behind the interior mirror scans the road ahead and sends signals to the air suspension adjusting it in advance for what it's about to drive over.

Potholes and bumps in the road are therefore ironed out as if they didn't exist as this new king of the road floats over every imperfection leaving its occupants neither shaken nor stirred.

And it's all done in the sort of serene silence that other car manufacturer can only dream off.

But then thousands of man hours have been spent ensuring that the new Ghost is as quiet as, well a ghost.

The extensive use of aluminium rather than steel not only lightens the car - although it still weighs a whopping 2.5-tonnes - but also makes it quieter because of its lower acoustic impedance.

And while other car makers have a single layer floor the Ghost has a double layer and the gap between the two is packed with soundproof material, as is the bulkhead separating the engine compartment from the passengers.

There's even soundproofing inside the tyres to reduce road noise.

The attention to detail on the new Ghost is mind blowing. But then so is the price.

The model featured here - with numerous optional extras - was a staggering £335,000.

It's not a price that puts buyers off though, as orders at the Goodwood factory where the models are made will testify.

The new Ghost, while not as large as its sibling Phantom, is still a huge car. At more than 18ft in length and over 7ft or two metres wide it's grown both in length and width.

But those dimensions don't worry the huge 6.75-litre, V12 twin turbocharged engine that powers it.

With 563bhp it can whisk the Ghost to 62 miles per hour in just 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

There's an eight-speed automatic gearbox with a column change but - like something out of science fiction - this box "talks" to the GPS system which reads the road ahead and ensures that it's in the right gear for the next bend or hill well before it reaches it to ensure unprecedented ride quality.

The new model is sleeker, more dynamic and more eye catching than its predecessor, particularly at night when 20 tiny LEDs light its huge iconic Pantheon grille.

But as night falls the interior too has its share of theatre.

Sitting in it for the first time at night I looked up to see the roof headliner totally covered with tiny LEDs giving the illusion of stars in the night sky. And just when I thought I had seen it all there was suddenly a display of shooting stars above my head.

This lightshow ceiling has also been incorporated into the car's 18-speaker sound system with the whole of the headliner transformed into one giant speaker with cinema-like sound effects.

As you take the driver's seat the multi-functional steering wheel lowers to your pre-set position and you sink into the finest hide while the carpets and mats are so thick your feet disappear into them.

Rear seat passengers have plenty of leg room to stretch out and travel as if in the first class section of an aircraft, with heated and cooled multi adjustable seats which can be programmed to give a gentle massage on long journeys.

The interior is pure opulence. Mine was heavily adorned with open pore - or matt finish - wood veneer on the dashboard, steering wheel and doors with the grain in every panel carefully matched to the next.

And the word Ghost is proudly displayed on the passenger side of the dashboard surrounded by 850 stars, but the whole thing is invisible until the interior lights are operated.

Driving the Ghost can seem a little daunting at first. As you open the driver's door the Spirit of Ecstasy rises up majestically from a bonnet which seems to go on for ever.

On previous models she was set further forward in the chrome work of the grille giving a little more perspective on tight corners.

Press the start button and the giant engine bursts into life with a gentle rumble.

What you see is what you get with a Rolls-Royce. There is no choice of driving modes, no paddles behind the steering wheel and not even a rev counter.

The latter is replaced by a power reserve meter showing exactly how much you have in reserve at any given time.

And it was an indication of just how powerful the giant V12 engine is when I noted that at around 75 mph on the motorway the I still had 96 per cent of power untapped.

But make no mistake this big can move. But its puts the power down on it's terms. There's no fuss, no rush, no screaming revs just a smooth surge as you head for the horizon at warp speed.

And with perfect 50/50 weight distribution and both four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steer it has plenty of grip at speed and plenty of agility when it comes to parking, although you can just press a button and let it park itself.

While Rolls-Royce claims the new car is the most technologically advanced car it has ever produced it's nice to see it's retained traditional features like the organ stop air vents, analogue clock and rear hinged back doors.

As always you close the doors by simply pushing a button, but on the new model you also get power assistance to open them.

This is a car for which you rapidly run out of superlatives.


Rolls-Royce Ghost Series III

Price: £335,000

Mechanical: 563bhp, 6,750cc, 12cyl petrol engine driving all wheels via eight speed automatic gearbox.

Max Speed: 155 mph

0-62mph: 4.8 secs

Combined MPG: 18.6

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 343 g/km

Bik rating: 37%


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