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The Ghost...back to haunt us!

 

RISHAD SAAM MEHTA | December 2, 2011 15:53
Tags : driving | The Ghost...back to haunt us | car review |
 

If you travelled back in time and brought Aladdin back as your guest, the Rolls-Royce is probably the only motorcar that could simulate the magic carpet ride that the boy with the lamp was accustomed to. And within the new Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheel Base, should he rub the aforementioned lamp, you needn’t worry - there is an abundance of space to allow the resulting giant genie to stretch out in style.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost was introduced across global markets including India in late 2009. It was enthusiastically received as the Rolls-Royce that the owner could enjoy driving as much as being chauffeured in. As expected the rear cabin of the Ghost delivers oodles of comfort and privacy and class to sink into after a taut and aggressive day in the boardroom. But should you want to send your chauffeur on leave over the weekend and get behind the wheel, then the driver’s seat delivers therapeutic thrills on a relaxed weekend out motoring.

This rear seat comfort plus behind the wheel bliss DNA of the original Ghost has been carried over into the Ghost EWB, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ sixth new model. If you look at the Ghost and the Ghost EWB separately from the outside you’d be hard pressed to notice the extra length of the latter unless they are standing side by side. But if you’ve ever sat inside the Ghost you’ll at once notice the extra roominess when you enter the Ghost EWB.

The Ghost EWB is 170mm longer than the Ghost and most of this extra length has been spent on making the rear roomier. The knee-room has stretched from 160mm to a whopping 330mm. For all this extra length and the standard panoramic steel roof, the weight has gone up by just 30kgs.
Driving It:

I was closely looking at the detailing on the ‘Spirit of Ecstacy’, the famous winged figurine, when the engine was fired up. After the sound of the starter motor had died away the engine sounded like a faraway whisper even though my ears were hardly six inches from the bonnet. It tells of how much Rolls-Royce reveres tradition since one of the characteristics of a Rolls-Royce Motor Car right back from the 1900s has been its silent yet stunning presence. Never loud but ever riveting to look at.

I got into the driver’s seat which I could finely adjust to my height and reach and then feasted my eyes on the instrumentation and panelling much of which has been painstakingly built by hand. And it’s a wonderful blend of tradition and technology that while you can configure your Rolls through the futuristic multimedia interface (MMI), the push and pull knobs to open and close the air-conditioning vents remain deliciously old world. As is the 1930s font used for the switchgear and instrumentation.

There is also no tachometer to tell you mundane things like revolutions per minute. In its place is a power reserve meter.

For all its length and presence the Ghost is quite fun to drive. Smooth, stately and calm, you have to drive this car but a short while to know why Rolls-Royce is considered the epitome of motoring. Under the hood resides the 6.6 litre twin turbocharged V12 engine, the same as that of the Ghost, and it makes 563 bhp which it delivers through an 8-speed automatic gearbox in that famed Rolls-Royce whoosh rather than fist-in-the-chest or neck-snapping acceleration. But that doesn’t mean it’s not quick. With just a gentle caress on the accelerator it did 160km/h in a careless sigh. It will also go from standstill to 100km/h in just under five seconds.

It is only on very uneven road surfaces that some road noise filters into the cabin. But at the rear it is isolation at its very best. When the characteristic coach style doors softly click shut you can have a cocoon of quiet if you wish or a rock concert if you so please. An audio system delivering 600 watts through a 10-ch amp and 16 speakers can turn this car into a concert hall.

While all this is standard, you’ll rarely find two identical cars because like all previous models from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the Ghost EWB is bespoke. It is painstakingly customized for its owner. Which is why should you want a foot-rest on your car the company would probably obtain measurements for your inner leg and shoe size to get it just right. If you want a bar, they’ll ask for your preferred tipple to ensure that the bar is suited to that bottle’s shape and size.

You can get your monogramme embroidered into the seats or etched upon the dashboard. You can choose from an array of veneers, woods and leathers for your car’s interiors. You can have special luggage crafted that goes with your car and you can also get special pens or champagne flutes made especially to go with your Rolls-Royce Motor Car.

These are just a few examples in the myriad details that make every Rolls-Royce unique, special and a possession to cherish.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017