MilliOnAir interactive Magazine June 2017 - Page 106

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

by Jeff Firmin

Rolls-Royce built its reputation on building cars that provided the ultimate levels of luxury and comfort, particularly for those travelling in the rear. The quality of the materials used and craftsmanship applied were never compromised in the marque's endeavour to create the finest automotive environment possible. It mattered little that Rolls-Royces were never renowned for their dynamic driving ability. They were meant to be driven serenely, ensuring maximum passenger comfort.

The Phantom, the first model launched under BMW's ownership in 2002, continued this tradition perfectly, also bringing the marque back into the modern world. But, by 2002, times had changed dramatically since the birth of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, with the class system all but disappearing. Today's generation of business people, entrepreneurs, celebrities and of course lottery winners are far more inclined to drive themselves. These, often younger, individuals, posed an opportunity for Rolls-Royce to offer a more compact, day-to-day, 'practical' model. The result, Ghost, was launched in 2009, winning considerable critical acclaim and firmly positioned the marque as the premier choice for those individuals, with significant financial resources, seeking supreme automotive luxury combined with somewhat understated, timeless class. Following on from the successful Phantom model, Ghost was developed primarily to appeal to the younger owner/driver.

Five years on, Ghost's successor, the aptly named Ghost II, was unveiled in New York in April 2014, at the International Auto Show, ensuring Rolls-Royce continued to build squarely on the foundations set by Sir Henry Royce over a century before. And while BMW's acquisition and ownership of motoring's most famous luxury marque has caused many a raised eyebrow, mainly with those of a more traditional nature, there can be little doubt that the company's success has been delivered by staying true to the founder's principles. The Ghost Series II is a genuinely valid modern interpretation of the principles upon which the Rolls-Royce motor cars of yesteryear were built. BMW deserve the credit for achieving this not insignificant task.

So what makes the Ghost Series II the obvious choice for those seeking the ultimate in luxurious motoring? Keeping to the marque's ethos of harnessing the power of simplicity, Ghost's styling is contemporary and classy. The Spirit of Ecstasy still proudly leads the way but now leaves what the company calls a 'tapered wake channel' on the bonnet behind her, hinting at the slightly more dynamic nature of this model. There is no doubt that Ghost offers immense road presence with a design that will remain current for at least a generation.

Of course, when thinking about Rolls-Royce motor cars, one's primary thoughts will be of the world-class level of luxury and comfort that the marque consistently delivers. Once you've sat in a Rolls-Royce, whether it's moving or not, you soon realise that there is simply no other motoring environment that compares. The Ghost Series II, as you would expect, has been improved somewhat, building on what was already a hugely cosseting environment. But Rolls-Royce believe they have found yet more ways to further enhance your experience. For instance, the seats have been re-structured for 'absolute comfort' with the option for rear seats to be configured in 'Lounge Seat' format. This option angles the rear seats towards one another slightly to make it easier for the rear occupants to converse – less head turn required. The seats are also now available with three levels of heating, have massage functions and can now be reclined. What more could you want except for maybe your own private masseuse but I doubt if Rolls-Royce will ever add that to the options list!