The original Rolls-Royce Ghost, unleashed in 2009, was designed to be a bit of a contradiction in terms — an ultra-luxurious limousine with sporting pretensions. Those who found its elder sibling, the Phantom, a little lacking in driving pleasure could get behind the Ghost’s wheel and indulge their inner Fangio, all the while revelling in one of the finest automotive cabins (lots of) money could buy. Its massive 12-cylinder engine, shared with parent company BMW’s 760i, put out 553 horsepower and 80 kgm of torque, figures that any supercar would be proud of. It might seem that any upgrades to a car of this stature are unnecessary, but change is a constant; hence this, the Ghost Series II.
Using the same engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox (which is satellite guided in order to predict the driver’s next move), the ‘new’ Ghost sees a few subtle visual changes. The headlamps and indicators are more ornate, the bumpers are rounder, the character line down its flank is a little softer and there’s what is called a ‘wake channel’ on the enormous bonnet — Rolls-Royce says it resembles the vapour trail left by a jet plane. Er, quite. Those headlights, by the way, operate in high beam by default, dimming automatically when there is oncoming trafffic; in India, it’s probably safe to say that they will stay permanently dimmed. The cabin’s seating structure has been changed, and there is a lot more chrome everywhere, but other than that, sitting in one of these is still stereotypically First Class Cabin.
The suspension has been upgraded, and you can option a ‘dynamic driving package’, which the company claims will not affect its magic-carpet ride quality a jot. This technically means that you can sprint from 0-100 kph in 4.8 seconds, hit a system-limited top speed of 250 kph, throw the Ghost II around a series of corners like a go-kart and still ensure that not a drop of Dom besmirches the car’s sinfully well-crafted leather seats — technically. We wouldn’t try this at home, or indeed anywhere else. At an estimated price of Rs 4.5 crore onwards, the Ghost Series II is certainly not for the faint of wallet, but for those who have that money lying around in chump change, there is possibly no better way to arrive at an occasion — and then floor it and rocket out of said occasion.