There’s the well-known starliner roof to begin with, with its thousands of hand-sewn fibre optic ‘stars’, which now comes with shooting stars of its own. The in-door umbrella, which costs four figures, but is Teflon coated and a rifle-bolt-esque action, and has its own ventilated compartment.
We could go on and on, but from a pure car quality perspective, the attention to detail shines through in the fact that you literally cannot find a stitch, wire, or panel out of place anywhere even in the usual ‘you’d never look there’ places such as under the boot, the underside of the seats or the footwell.
What ensures that cocooned ‘It can only be a Rolls’ feeling isn’t just what you see, but also things like the 100kg of sound insulation the car carries, the advanced air filtration system, and the top-class sound system.
Our only gripe comes from there being huge displays and lots of glass, which meant lots of reflections during our day’s drive time. BMW’s reskinned iDrive pulls infotainment duty here, and works just as well as it does in the German cars.
But if you’re rolling in the Rolls and love music, we recommend you bring along the highest quality files you have: The car’s 1300W, 18-channel ‘Bespoke Audio’ sound system is fantastic, and now incorporates part of the roof as a resonator. It’s a head-to-toe experience where you can feel the bass rumble your legs and the highs twinkling around your ears.
The back seat experience makes you feel like a million bucks, at least until you’re passed by a Phantom with a primary school child as the sole back seat passenger (this really happened during our test drive by the way).
But shifting from the Boss Seat to behind the wheel is no chore. In fact, the Ghost retains that distinctly Rolls-Royce feel of floating above everything and reducing driver load.
The tall, square stance of the car delivers excellent visibility, so despite its length the Rolls is easy to place on the road even when things get tight. The thin steering wheel and light feel give an almost ‘drive by the fingertips’ feel, and summoning up the power to shift the Ghost’s mass is as simple as anything.
The car’s 6.75-litre V12 may boast big numbers all over, but it’s a true masterclass in smoothness. At idle you feel nearly nothing, it’s almost like a BEV, but as the revs climb, so does a little purposely-engineered noise and vibration to clue you in, as the V12 sings.
The ride quality and refinement are imperiously good. Singapore’s roads have degenerated into a posterior penalising patchwork of paths, and the ride quality of most cars has suffered in recent years. Not so the Ghost, which glides along unconcerned that you’ve just swooshed over tarmac that would make a Mercedes blush.
If that sounds more of the same as before, then you’re absolutely right. But at the same time, the company boasts that the Ghost is its most technologically advanced car to date – yet if we didn’t tell you, you’d be none the wiser.
It uses RR’s new aluminium spaceframe platform, so while it’s stacked with all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, air suspension, and even a super-trick planar suspension with a new horizontal damper that took years to develop. There’s also the huge V12 and twin turbos, not to mention the insulation and interior amenities. All in it weighs roughly 2.5-tonnes, which isn’t as much as we thought – about the same as the Audi E-Tron or Jaguar I-Pace BEVs.
The lovely thing is, none of that technology gets in the way, you know the way you drive a new car now and there are four different beeps and ten menus to dig through to get things the way you want. Rolls has obviously put effort into this analog-feeling human-machine interface, as there’s no drive modes, and even the instrument dials aren’t fully digital, unlike what we see everywhere else these days.
Speaking of which, we come to the longest bit of the Ghost for most people: The price. It starts at S$1,418,000, and that’s with nothing on it, and no COE either. Rolls says most buyers typically spec their cars out to around 30 percent more, landing you at around S$1.8m, all in. Of course that’s just basic bespoke touches, if you choose to go to the deep end of customisation there’s no end to it really, we’ve all heard the stories by now.
It’s clear that you have to be of a certain sort to be able to even consider owning a Rolls, even this, the least expensive model of the range. But even the least Rolls delivers the comfort, refinement and sophistication to exist on a higher plane of motoring.
|Engine||6,749cc, V12, twin turbo|
|Power||571hp at 5000rpm|
|Torque||850Nm at 1600rpm|
|Top Speed||250 km/h|
|VES Band||C2 / +S$25,000|
|Agent||Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Singapore|
|Price||S$1,418,000 without COE, options|
|Verdict||In comfort, luxury, and opulence you can’t get higher than this – except with a Phantom|