Rolls Royce Ghost EWB

   It is inevitable that sooner or later you will ask. So, I will save you the trouble. A Rolls Royce Ghost EWB – that’s extended wheelbase incidentally – should you require or desire such a car, and in exactly the same specification as the one their rather lovely PR people loaned me recently, will set you back… £281,925. That’s excluding local taxes.

   How you might ask, can any car costing that much ever make sense? And, in certain circumstances, I might be inclined to agree with you.

 With an unladen weight of just shy of 2.5 tonnes, a length of 5.5 metres (that’s over 18 feet in old money) and the ability to seat just four-people, the Ghost EWB is not the kind of thing one just pops to the shops in. Trust me, I tried. I needed at least two parking spaces, plus another one either side in order to open the rear-hinged rear doors. Neither will it fit on my driveway.  

  And then of course there are the looks you get: Stares, gawps, and about-turns on pavements. Some people smile, some give up a thumbs-up; certain faces are simply agog. There are looks of appreciation and looks of pride. And there are those, inevitably, of jealousy and scorn.

  As you glide near-silently by, perched high in a super-soft handstitched leather armchair and sat behind Rolls Royce’s trademark thin-rimmed black steering wheel, you can see bystanders mouthing their questions. Who is that? Where’s that going? How much did that thing cost? And of course, as you get closer to home: Who the hell does he think he is?

   Driving a stretched Rolls anywhere is a sure-fire way to get noticed, especially so if it just happens to be a brand new one. Driving one through the sleepier parts of Shropshire? That’s a whole different experience again. In Houseman’s quietest places under the sun, Rolls-Royces are, alas, in seriously short-supply. Hen’s teeth are apparently more abundant.

  Fortunately, you can of course leave the riff-raff behind you. And very easily.

  There’s barely a murmur from under the Ghost’s vast bonnet as you ease the accelerator deeper into its thick, lamb’s wool carpets. The power reserve meter - there’s nothing as uncouth as a rev-counter to be found here - hardly moves as you do so. It’s a cliché perhaps, but honestly, the way the Ghost gathers speed is effortless.

   Gear changes never trouble the driver either, they’re taken care of by an 8-speed auto ‘box that’s assisted with its decision making by the Sat-Nav. The ratios are selected seamlessly depending on the topography; approach a corner, the gearbox changes down, ease off on a straight and it changes up. And all the while, Eleanor, the little silver lady sat atop the grille acts as you guide as you thread this most majestic of land-yachts along.

   It would of course be incongruous to expect, or indeed indulge in, any form of sporting driving behavior. Your passengers – stretched-out behind you in their heated seats, no doubt watching television, surfing the web, or enjoying a chilled drink from the fridge would complain (or indeed dismiss you) should you try. But trust me, the Ghost can be punted along at a fair–old lick. 0-62mph in 4.8 second is fast in anyone’s book.

    However, pushing a little harder reveals that on occasion a Rolls-Royce’s impeccable manners can slip a little. Upon being pointed at a corner the body does rolls on to the outer front corner - slightly more than you might expect from such a sophisticate -  before settling on your chosen course, and tracking your line like an obedient butler. The finger-light steering, and an incredibly smooth ride, make you forget just how quickly you can cover the ground.

    But what of the original question: Can a Rolls Royce Ghost with an extended wheel base and a price-tag equivalent to the cost of my house, and the two either side, ever make sense?

   Well, consider this. During my time with the Ghost I was kindly invited to a party. As the night went on the celebrations became louder, and the guests, shall we say… more animated. When it was time to leave I shut the door on the Ghost and was immediately cocooned from all of the outside world. I rode, nee, wafted, home in near silence. It was bliss.

   It’s at times such as those that Ghost EWB does what it does best. It provides an oasis of calm like nothing else automotive can. That’s when it makes sense, and in doing so it is without doubt without equal.

 

 

Rolls-Royce Ghost EWB

Engine: 6,592cc, 12Cyl, 48V twin-turbo Petrol

Transmission: 8 speed satellite guided auto. Rear Wheel Drive

Power: 563 bhp @ 5250rpm

Torque: 575 lbft @ 1500 rpm

0-62mph: 4.8 sec

Max Speed: 155 mph (electronically limited)

MPG: 19.8 combined.

CO2: 329g/km

VED Band: M

Price: £219,500 before options. (Ghost Driven: £281,925 exc. Local taxes)

 

Many thanks to Emma, Pia, Matthew, and Sarah at Rolls-Royce for the loan of the Ghost EWB  

@bird_liam

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Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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