By Matt Degen
Don't let the 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost's "bargain" starting price of roughly $250,000 fool you: It is still a Rolls-Royce through and through – and then some. In fact, when it was introduced in 2010, the Ghost boasted the most powerful engine ever put into a Rolls-Royce automobile, and some of the most sophisticated technology as well. The 4- or 5-passenger sedan is still massive, but is more manageable around town than the larger Rolls-Royce Phantom models. As would be expected in a car of this caliber, interior opulence abounds. Just as impressive is its twin-turbo V12, which effortlessly moves this heavy, rear-wheel-drive sedan. For those who can afford such a vehicle, the 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost is among the most luxurious ways possible to travel by land.
If you want the ultimate in comfort, cachet and elegance in a bespoke sedan that also happens to be an excellent driver, the 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost has a strong chance of living up to your standards.
The Ghost is still a very large vehicle to manage, and keep in mind that Rolls-Royce dealerships are relatively sparse. Initial and long-term cost savings aside, a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, Jaguar XJL or 7 Series from corporate cousin BMW offer similar levels of refinement and larger dealer networks.
For 2012, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is available in a longer, extended-wheelbase version. At 219.3 inches, it's about half a foot longer than the standard Ghost and offers more than seven inches of additional rear legroom. Also new is a 2-tone bespoke option that creates a similar exterior look to 2-tone versions of the Phantom.
Driving Impressions Piloting the Rolls-Royce Ghost is an absolutely sublime experience. The Ghost provides one of quietest, most comfortable and composed rides we have experienced in a car. This aspect of the...Rolls-Royce should not be a surprise, but rather expected of a car costing a quarter-million dollars and whose very brand name is equated with the finest things in the world. What delightfully startled us is the car's performance. The Ghost's massive, 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine propels this sedan rapidly yet smoothly. Like a razor-sharp knife gliding through butter, the Ghost has a silent swiftness that is nearly unparalleled. In the past, it was unbecoming to mention performance figures in relation to a Rolls-Royce, but nowadays the automaker is happy to report that its hand-built car can hit 60 mph from a standstill in a mere 4.8 seconds – fleet enough shame many sports cars. Cornering is just as pleasurable thanks to a sophisticated air-suspension system that keeps the Ghost planted.
The 2012 Ghost's ever-adapting air-suspension is so sensitive that it can detect a rear passenger moving from one side of the seat to the other. The result is a Rolls-Royce that can take corners at speeds much higher than you'd expect.
MULIPLE CAMERA ASSISTANCE
If you own a Rolls-Royce, it is an unwritten rule that you back the big car into a space when parking. That feat is more easily accomplished with the Ghost's multiple camera system, which combine to create a virtual birds-eye view of the car and its surroundings. The system also is a help when going around blind junctions.
There's one word you need to know when it comes to the interior of your Rolls-Royce: Bespoke. In other words, the interior you want is the interior you get. Because these cars are handmade in limited quantities instead of rolled off an assembly line en masse, Rolls-Royce vehicles can be highly customized to a client's taste. Generally speaking, though, you can expect to find the finest leathers, interior wood veneers from a single tree, and built-in umbrellas housed within the Ghost's front doors. The driver's seat provides a commanding view, and passengers will feel like they are traveling in a private jet. Rear occupants enjoy superb legroom and can be further coddled with heated and ventilated seats that massage their back, plus an integrated chill unit with integrated Champagne glasses.Exterior
The 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost is a hulking piece of metal with a massive front grille and soft curves front to back. But its most defining feature is seen upon opening its doors, specifically the rear ones. The Ghost uses wide-opening rear-hinged doors in back, sometimes referred to as "suicide doors." In addition to making for easy entry and exit, they can serve as protection from paparazzi or something worse hurling toward VIP passengers. When the occupants are safely inside, the doors self-close at the touch of a button. Back up front and prominently displayed is the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament guiding the way. Upon stopping, she automatically retracts into the hood, lest this spirit become the spoil of some passing miscreant.
As noted, each Rolls-Royce Ghost can be configured to a customer's taste, but each comes with a V12 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, multiple cameras, separate climate zones, a heads-up driver's display, and a 600-watt audio system with a 10-channel amplifier, 16 speakers and built-in 12.5-gig hard drive for music storage. A rotary dial on the armrest controls functions such as navigation and audio.
Yes, even a Rolls-Royce can be optioned up. Among the extras you can add onto your Ghost are tech and safety features like lane-departure warning, active cruise control and even a night-vision camera that can detect objects nearly 1,000 feet away. In the rear passenger compartment you can have climate-controlled seats, veneered picnic tables and twin 9.2-inch LCD screens for a private theater. For those who must watch "American Idol" or the Super Bowl live, a TV tuner can also be had.
At 5,545 pounds, the Ghost is a heavy car that needs a big engine to push it. That push comes in the form of a 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V12 that puts out 563 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque, the latter from just 1,500 rpm for a broad path of power. All that gusto finds its way to the rear wheels via a buttery-smooth 8-speed automatic transmission. It all works to make the Rolls-Royce Ghost wickedly quick for such a car, with a stated top speed of 155 mph.
6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V12
563 horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
575 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg
The old saying of, "If you have to ask..." certainly applies here. Still, one can always dream. If you're dreaming of owning a 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost, you'll also want to envision $253,700 for a base model. A Rolls-Royce Ghost extended wheelbase version starts around $294,000. These numbers, mind you, are before options. Because these cars are usually custom made, the cost associated with each model will reflect what particular accoutrements each client selects. Though the Ghost is the least-expensive Rolls-Royce, its base price is still higher by tens of thousands of dollars than a Bentley Continental, and about twice the price of a Maserati Quattroporte. Automotive depreciation probably isn't your life's biggest concern if you are buying a Ghost, but should you begin to fret, you might ease your mind knowing that these models are so far holding their value quite well.
By Blondie (FL) on Wednesday, November 07, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "full of crazy gadgets down to the rear screens"
Cons: "a big lumbering giant"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Gigantic, Lumbering (although it has v12 Power) Comfortable gas guzzling way too much excess for a normal use car. Cannot use without severely depreciating vehicle. You must be able to purchase, keep in garage admire it and occaisonally ride to some extreme restaurant and act like a big shot."
By Idyguy (CA) on Saturday, February 04, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Effortless power, stunning beauty and detail"
Cons: "Back-up camera not standard, plastic door handles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"What can be said about the finest motor car in the world? It is everything one would expect. Powerful, beautiful and comfortable. The finish is amazing and the technology outstanding. This is my first Rolls after a long string of Bentleys, but it won't be my last."
9 people out of 11 found this review helpful