We’ve been lucky enough to steer some of the world’s most exhilarating rides here at D’Marge, but as far as opulent drives go, cruising the sun-kissed streets of Sydney’s Palm Beach in a rolling mansion worth three quarters of a million pretty much takes the bacon.
When the good people at Rolls Royce threw me the keys to their Ghost Series II for a stint, I was naturally giddy. That was until I saw the sheer size of the car and realised I’d be needing a few friends to achieve my dreams of an epic Entourage remake.
Enter my mate Christian’s 40th. The plan was to pick Christian up for a surprise weekend away in Palm Beach and not give him the false impression that we’d gotten him a Rolls Royce for his birthday.
The Ghost Series II is a masterfully executed car in every sense, from its exquisite design inside to its exterior and drive. It follows the same Rolls Royce formula of zero compromises and this remains true in the newly facelifted model for 2015.
What’s In The Box
What stands out most when you set foot into the cavernous cabin is the white perforated leather that dominates pretty much everything. The sumptuous seats, the door finishings, the A-pillars, the rear central arm rest and even an entire mid section of the centre console is wrapped up in luxe white leather that’s soft to touch.
The only contrast colour at play inside the Ghost is the marble black dash section which highlights the entertainment and navigation system. Alongside this are dabbles of chrome on air vents, switches and the centre mounted analogue clock which bears the Ghost moniker with pride.
If this colour combo is not to your ideal, don’t fret – Rolls Royce enable customers to access a multitude of combinations in their vast catalog to suit the most discerning Pantone junkie.
White leather and immaculate finishes aside though, the biggest highlight for the birthday boy and friends (I was driving, remember) had to be the fridge in the backseat pre-loaded with Veuve Clicquot. I’m not sure if every new Ghost comes standard with one of these in the fridge, but I took full credit for it.
Cruising the beachside suburb was a delight with the opulent interior satisfying my friends whilst the crisp sounds from Rolls Royce’s own trialled and tested sound system made good work of Diana Ross’ Shy Guy on repeat. Even when the clouds turned a bit grey we weren’t too concerned as the Ghost, bless thee, comes with umbrellas hidden away inside the doors.
And that made the interior of the Ghost for us – everything within was a hidden luxury waiting to be discovered and relished.
Bold Lines That Could Cut
Let’s get this out of the way. The Ghost Series II is not a subtle car in anyway. It’s not intended to be and the size alone is enough to scare flaming mongrels off the main streets of Palm Beach. It’s four doors of fury finished in bright Salamanca Blue with silver contrast paint that wraps generously around the front fascia and hood.
This would never work on any other civilian car and that’s exactly the point. The Ghost II is not a civilian car, it’s statement car and it achieves this effortlessly with its staunch lines that cut an imposing silhouette through everyday traffic. And we love it for that very reason.
Exterior-wise, it’s unmistakably British (even though it’s now owned by BMW) with a contemporary twist. We’d say it looks slightly more refined with the rounded edges which most of the new Rolls Royce models have been inheriting with grace over recent years.
Engine & Drive
This one can easily be summed up in one line: it’s huge but doesn’t drive like it.
Where traffic cleared up a bit, I stretched her legs and was astonished that a car which clicked in at almost 2.5 tonnes could transfer mass with such nimbleness. We’re not talking supercar proportions here, but instead the big V12’s ability to resist body roll. This can be attributed to the car’s latest suspension update which has significantly enhanced the driver experience for the Ghost Series II.
In the straights however, the car becomes an entirely different beast. The 6.6-litre twin turbo V12 which sends all 420kW and 780Nm to the rear wheels absolutely hammers. Roaring up to speed was a non-issue as was the intoxicating sound which was an odd combination of brutal serenity and air, trees and bikini babes flashing by very quickly.
Indeed the Ghost is quick for it’s size, but it also throws fuel efficiency out the door. And you’d be dreaming if you were expecting anything else from a car which targets a demographic who have little time to worry about a few extra dollars at the pump. Official stats have it at 14L/100kms but that’s dependent on how hard it’s being driven.
Why We’d Sell Our Kidney For One
Besides making the drive up to Summer Bay way more enjoyable for the lucky birthday boy who was initially only going to score a party bus, the Rolls Royce Ghost Series II is a perfect companion for those who’ve made it big in the world.
I was quite popular on my weekend away with everyone at the party asking if I was a car salesman (how many ginger millionaires do you know?).
All jokes aside, we’d sell our kidney for one based on the fact that it’s a magnificently crafted vehicle with attention to detail that rivals that of a five-star NASA spacecraft. It’s big, bold, beautiful and features eye-grabbing suicide doors which open up to reveal the immaculately appointed interior.
For our weekend away, the car felt right at home with the upscale folk of Palm Beach – much like a handgun in a glove box. A luxe leather glove box.
The Ghost Series II is a pure master class in extravagance on wheels. If we plucked Alf Steweart from the Home & Away set and put him behind the wheel, his signature profanities would revert to something like, “Abandon thy presence of my emporium, ye olde Staffordshire.”
It’s rather hard to think of anyone else other than P.Diddy or Jay-Z behind the wheel of one of these cars. I guess I should be happy that I got to be L-Wizzy for a weekend.