2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

Is the revised RR Ghost even ghostlier? We have a go in one to find out

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

In my head the Rolls-Royce Ghost is still a relatively new car. Sure it’s been around five years, but that’s not a long time for a marque of such breeding. Its bigger brother the Phantom, for example, was around for nearly a decade before they put the two capital ‘i’s on the end of it.

But, to use a rather vulgar term in this company, the Ghost is a more ‘mass market’ Royce, so is perhaps more subject to the rigours of regular revisions that more mundane metal requires. Having said that, you’d be hard-pressed to tell there was anything Series Twoish about the car at all.

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

So what’s new for Ghost II?

At the front of the car – quite a bit actually. The bonnet is new and features a tapered ‘wake channel’ – wake as in emanating from the ‘Flying Lady’s’ wings. And the lady herself is thrusting more furiously forwards as if trying to eke out more force from the little wings of hers.

The bumper is new, the headlights are new and now with LEDs, anti-glare and turn technology. The lenses themselves have been reshaped – and the kink in the lower part of the lamp unit is probably going to be the most obvious identifier between Series I and II. Plus of course, new wheels.

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

Inside the front seats are new and now with adjustable thigh support, the angle of the rear seats has also been tweaked. There’s been changes to the instrument panel and central console, mostly in order to employ the latest infotainment and display systems being utilised in the BMW range-toppers, including the iDrive knob you can trace out letters on top of.

Underneath the suspension has been reengineered along with changes to the steering, to make it more ‘dynamic’, plus it even gets the Satellite Aided Transmission first seen on the Wraith to allow it to know what kind of terrain, road conditions and altitude it might be at, and automatically adjust the drivetrain to cope with it.

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

Does it feel much different?

No, not really. The front is a little more distinctive and separates it from the Phantom. The interior is both classy and modern, elegant and hi-tech – quite a remarkable achievement. All the new kit works wonderfully and feels superbly crafted – there is no sense in forcing misappropriated plastics in amongst the plush wood and leather of this cabin. It all seems to gel together rather nicely.

It’s a surprisingly urgent chariot that’s for sure, with measured performance that builds in a relentless fashion whilst the ‘Power Reserve Meter’ barely suggests any hint of burden at all – but then we are talking a 571bhp 6.6-litre V12 which urges this barge from stationary to 100kph in 4.9 seconds, without breaking a sweat.

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

Whilst this cannot be deemed a ‘sports saloon’ by any stretch of the term, it does bring remarkable composure and ability to hurried proceedings should you deploy a substantial swathe of the reserve power. Even hard cornering won’t leave ‘Ellie in her Nightie’ all flustered and undone. In fact the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ is very much in evidence as the Ghost simply glides through direction changes with unseemly alacrity.

Having said that, and if we’re really being picky, you do get a little more of an occasional jolt from the revised suspension over some road irritations, moreso than I recalled from the previous iteration of the series.

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

Verdict

Existing Ghost owners will be delighted because the Series II is better inside and even more adept at tackling ‘dynamic’ stuff than before. New owners will be sated by the knowledge they are getting what is still the ‘second best car in the world’ – the Phant being numero uno! And the rest of us will just be a little more thankful that it’s easier to spot the difference from the front now. However I can’t quite shake off the dread that some of that legendary ‘waftability’ is beginning to wane in pursuit of more frivolous concepts such as ‘sportiness’.

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II review

2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost II Review – The Specs

Price:  AED1.3m ($355k)
Engine: 6.6-litre V12, 571bhp @ 5250rpm, 575lb ft @ 1500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch automatic
Performance: 0-100kph 4.9 seconds, Top Speed 250kph, 9.8L/100km
Weight: 2940kg

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