The Rolls-Royce Ghost is powered by an impressive 6.6L twin-turbo V12 that makes 563 horsepower. It's mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and features a column-style shift lever. The engine makes its peak 575 pound-feet of torque at just 1,500 rpm, so the Ghost 'wafts' up to speed in classic English luxury-car fashion, albeit with even less noise in the cabin than in past Rolls-Royce models. Zero-to-60 mph acceleration takes just 4.7 seconds, while the top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph.
The Ghost follows Rolls-Royce styling tradition on the outside, for the most part, with a long hood, short front overhand and an upright windshield. The modern Ghost has just a little more modern panache, especially on the inside. The hood, grille and windshield surround can be done in a polished satin finish if desired.
Teflon-coated umbrellas are integrated into the front doors, while the rear-hinged rear doors open up to 83 degrees and can be closed by just touching a button. A panoramic sunroof lets a lot of light in from overhead as well, while quad-zone climate control makes sure that everyone is comfortable.
Optional 'individual lounge' seating provides a massage function for all of the positions, as well as ventilated perforated leather upholstery; also available is a chilled cooler box, with added illumination and integrated champagne glasses. Yet another addition is the small wood-veneer picnic tables--fitted to the back of the front seats, with leather-covered backs.
Cabin materials and craftsmanship have long been Rolls-Royce strengths; with natural veneers, hand-matched woodgrain, hand-stitched interior panels and drum-dyed soft leathers offered in many different colors--along with a number of other custom trims--it's nearly impossible that any two Ghosts will look the same.
Rolls-Royces have a tradition of being rather simple when it comes to technology features, but the Ghost pushes that a bit. On the center console, a rotary controller accesses tasks like navigation, communication and entertainment functions, and a roller-ball controller on the steering wheel helps navigate through some of the menus. There's also voice control.
Entertainment is provided by a majestic 600-watt, 10-channel, 16-speaker sound system with two floor subwoofers, hard-drive storage, USB and aux inputs. An entertainment system with two 9.2-inch LCD screens installed in back of the front seats is also offered as an option.
The long wheelbase version answers the question that plenty of buyers are bound to ask at this price point: Does the Ghost make a good limousine? The extended wheelbase version makes a convincing argument, adding an extra bit of leg room for rear seat occupants.
The Ghost, which is built on a steel monocoque structure, utilizes a 4-wheel independent suspension with air springs front and back, controlled via an automatic adaptive variable suspension system. The system can even detect the distribution of passengers and adjust accordingly. The Dynamic Stability Control system also works together with this system and Cornering Brake Control to give the Ghost a more nimble feel than is typical for such a large, heavy sedan.
A host of active-safety features are available in the Ghost, like a night vision system, head-up display, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and active cruise control. There's even an Advanced Crash and Safety Management system that uses sensors to decide which safety features to deploy.