By Keith Buglewicz
One would think that simply owning a 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost – regular or long-wheelbase version – would be enough. Yet the storied British manufacturer has added a special edition to its Ghost sedan: the V-Specification. In addition to adding 30 more horsepower to the already-powerful V12 engine, the V-Specification gives the Ghost special wheels, embroidered armrests, and other touches, for an additional $20,000. That's a lot, to be sure, but considering the entry price for a Rolls-Royce Ghost is already more than $267,000, we suppose it's not too bad. Besides, anybody shopping for a Rolls-Royce isn't really looking for bargains. In fact, part of the appeal of the brand is its Bespoke division, which can individualize your car however you can imagine...and afford.
Despite the excellence of Mercedes-Benz and BMW sedans, there's nothing in the world that matches the street presence of a Rolls-Royce. The fact that the 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost is as fun to drive as it is to ride in is a glorious bonus.
The 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost offers up a limited-edition performance package called V-Specification. For an extra $20,000 – a pittance for a Rolls-Royce owner – you get an additional 30 horsepower from the V12 engine, plus special wheels and embroidery. The V-Specification is available from January to July of 2014.
Driving Impressions Rolls-Royce refers to its vehicles as "motorcars," a 50-cent word that goes from snobby to sensible after you drive one. Driving the Rolls-Royce Ghost reinforces that perception. Power from the...... V12 is effortless, with only the slightest murmur of the engine's growl allowed inside. At speed, the Ghost is as quiet as its namesake, gently wafting over pavement imperfections as if it were hovering above them. Yet what's startling is the Ghost's performance. Hidden deep beneath the leather and luxury are the bones of a BMW 7 Series, borrowed from the corporate parent of Rolls-Royce. Highly modified for supreme-luxury duty, there's still a bit of ultimate driving machine here, and it shows in the way the Ghost accelerates, brakes, and even takes a corner. How quick? Rolls-Royce used to hide its performance specs, but the Ghost can accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, quicker than many so-called sports cars.
The 2014 Ghost's air-suspension is sensitive enough to detect a rear passenger moving from one side of the seat to the other. More importantly, it helps this big Rolls-Royce sedan take corners at speeds much higher than you'd expect.
Under the "what will they think of next" heading is the Starlight Headliner option for the 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost. It's speckled with more than a thousand fiber optic lights, creating the illusion of a starry sky above your head. You can even customize the arrangement to your favorite constellations.
Rolls-Royce cars are handbuilt, allowing the 2014 Rolls Royce Ghost to become a canvas on which ultra-wealthy buyers can express themselves. Rolls-Royce's Bespoke division lets them go well beyond custom paint or interior colors. There's custom embroidery, special woods with gold inlays, matching crystal glasses with your family crest on them...you get the idea. Regardless, you'll always be surrounded by the finest leathers, wood veneers, and even built-in umbrellas housed within the Ghost's front doors. The driver's seat is commanding, the rear seats are like a private jet, complete with an integrated chill unit with champagne glasses.Exterior
Subtle, this car is not. The 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost has a commanding presence, with a massive grille, slab sides, soft curves, and the head-turning appeal that only comes with a car as rare and expensive as this. Even opening the rear doors is an event: They're hinged at the rear, and power open and closed. Not only is it dramatic, but it's practical: they can serve as protection from paparazzi or something worse hurling toward VIP passengers. The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament guides the way up front, automatically retracting into the hood to avoid being snatched by passing miscreants.
As noted, each Rolls-Royce Ghost can be configured to a customer's taste, but each comes with a V12 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission, multiple cameras, separate climate zones, a heads-up driver's display, and an upgraded audio system with a 10-channel amplifier, ceiling mounted "exciter" 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.
Beyond the Bespoke individualization program, there are standardized option packages for the 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost. 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. The V-Specification package adds 30 horsepower to that total. 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: 13/21 mpg
While the 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost may be the least expensive Rolls-Royce sedan you can buy, this is hardly an "entry level" car. The starting price is more than $267,000, or more than $307,000 if you want the long-wheelbase edition's extra rear legroom. Options packages cost as much as whole cars. For example, the V-Specification costs $20,000; another option package adds more than $50,000 to the price, and the Bespoke division charges as much as it costs to make your dreams come true. For most Rolls-Royce customers price is literally no object, so the fact that the Ghost costs tens of thousands of dollars more than a Bentley Continental, or that you could get two Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans for the same price is inconsequential. Depreciation is probably far off your radar if you're buying a Rolls-Royce, but it's still nice to know that the Ghost holds its value quite well.
By Bob on Thursday, June 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Everything about, except but windshield wiper cont"
Cons: "Windshield wiped control arm placement"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After two years with our Ghost I am still dazzled by it.,,quiet inside like no other car. Easy to drive. Handles wonderfully. Faster than will ever be needed. AND it still has the Rolls-Royce feel brought up to date. My next car will be a Wraith, but I still have way to many miles to put on our Ghost."
16 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Blondie 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."
12 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By Idyguy 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."
14 people out of 18 found this review helpful