by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Rolls-Royce Motor Cars / imcdb.org ::: 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost
ROLLS-ROYCE is making marvelous headway with the attractive new Ghost.
It’s a brand new model that’s set to increase production volume, pit wits with Bentley, and play to a broader clientele. The Ghost also shares more in common with BMW than any previous Roller.
Based on the F02 generation long-wheelbase 7-Series (but nearly twice the price @ $245K) Goodwood insists that its new headlining model shares only 20% of its components with the big Bimmer. Almost 100% of this 20% are functioning bits which are tucked away, working with Teutonic efficiency behind the scenes.
The Ghost’s body is assembled at the same factory in Dingolfing that builds BMW’s flagship sedan. And like the Goodwood built Phantom, the Ghost drafts a BMW V12 into service, but only after it’s gone through several rounds of steroid injections and then gagged with silencing engineering to keep all that bruit down to smallest of decibels.
Still, it’s nothing new for a Rolls-Royce (or indeed rival Bentley) to share components with “lesser” marques.
During the Crewe years, GM provided transmissions and electronic systems. The first generation Silver Cloud, for example, shared the same hard shifting 4-speed autobox that the General first used in 1930’s Oldsmobiles.
Recently, the omnipresent and ever snarky Dan Neil wrote for the Wall Street Journal that driving the BMW 7-Series back-to-back with the Ghost could give the driver an acute sense of déja vu. That said, Mr. Neil seemed to appreciate the Roller’s charms more than its Bavarian twin.
“Everything good that the Bimmer is, the Rolls Ghost is that, amplified and anglicized exponentially—quieter, smoother, more luxurious and veddy, veddy powerful,” he wrote.
When your correspondent ventured to the Ghost’s premiere in New York last spring, I couldn’t help but feel the same way just from sitting in the car and feeling about lustily as I did. Still, it was only a brief taste so, it’s hard to tell just how British this Teutonic Ghost really manages to be.