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The Top Gear car review:Rolls-Royce Ghost
What is it like on the road?
You’re more likely to drive the Ghost than its Phantom bigger sister, but it’s still a sizeable machine to pilot around town. Therefore for peak relaxation, the business of driving it is best left to someone else. However if you did fancy giving it a go yourself, you’d be pleasantly surprised by just how easy the Ghost is to manage. Yes it’s long and wide, but so’s a Range Rover. And all kinds of people have those.
The Spirit of Ecstasy sits in your eyeline (assuming you haven’t hidden it away), and makes judging where the Ghost begins straightforward. You sit high and have SUV-sized mirrors and many cameras with which to monitor your surroundings. Despite its value, size and presence, the Ghost is as unstressy a car to drive as a Ford Fiesta. Well, mostly.
It feels authentic enough behind the thin-rimmed wheel, but there’s a bit more chatter through the steering wheel than in the Phantom. Likewise, the engine’s heard more often, but the sound of a 6.5-litre twin-turbo V12 isn’t a bad one. And in any case, this is still very nearly as quiet an internal-combustion engine as we’ve heard, beaten only by other Rolls-Royces.
The days of Rolls-Royce stating power outputs as ‘ample’ are long gone, but 563bhp more than fits that description. Combined with 575lb ft of torque and a slick, but sometimes busy eight-speed automatic (there’s no means of manually controlling it – but it’s so smooth and unobtrusive you may as well just let it do its thing), the Ghost will reach 62mph in 4.9secs. That should let you escape swiftly from even the most determined traffic-light beggars. You won’t want to, though. The Ghost encourages such a relaxed, restrained and fingertippy driving style, you seldom find yourself using more than a quarter throttle.
The ride is largely excellent, the Ghost’s trick air springs claimed to be able to detect which side a passenger sits in the rear and adjust accordingly, but our underinvested roads see the Ghost sometimes struggle to retain its dignified composure.