2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost driven: price, specs and release date
This is the all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost – the latest version of Rolls’ smallest four-door luxury car. Watch our video review for full details on this ultra-luxurious Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series alternative…
- All-new design
- Illuminated grille
- 563hp 6.75-litre V12
- 0-60 in 4.6 seconds
- New suspension tech
- Frequency-tuned cabin
- Laser-etched lighting
The Rolls-Royce Ghost might not be as big or as expensive as the Phantom and the Cullinan, but it’s still one of the most luxurious new cars you can buy. Watch our video review below for everything you need to know about it.
New 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost design
Rolls-Royce has gone about designing the new Ghost in the same way you’d renovate an old house – they’ve kept all its character while also making it feel totally modern. The end result is that the Ghost is a bit less showy than the Phantom and the Cullinan, but it still feels like a proper Rolls-Royce.
For example, the Ghost’s 21-inch alloy wheels get a less blingy two-tone design instead of a whole load of chrome, and the inside of the new back-lit grille has been sandblasted to diffuse a soft light rather produce hard shadows like the illuminated grille on a BMW X6.
Rolls-Royce has managed to remove almost every shutline from the new Ghost – that’s the gap where two pieces of bodywork meet. It’s also managed to get rid of any ugly rain gutters in the roof by using the stainless steel door frames to guide the water away from the windows when you open the doors.
Rolls-Royce even had to go out and measure raindrops all over the world to make sure this frame was exactly the right size to channel the water properly. If it does start bucketing down, you can always grab the special umbrella hidden in the back doors…
New 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost interior
The new Rolls-Royce Ghost’s cabin is about as sumptuous as it gets. The dashboard looks pretty similar to what you get in the larger Cullinan and Phantom and it’s all simply laid out and everything feels achingly posh. From the roller controls for the air conditioning to the plungers for the air vents, everything’s particularly pleasing to touch.
The satin wood trim on the dashboard is lovely too, and it feels a bit classier than the over-polished walnut you used to get in old Rolls-Royce cars.
The Ghost may be the baby in the Rolls-Royce range, but it’s still absolutely massive inside. There’s almost enough space in the back for you to social distance from your friends in the front and the boot’s pretty massive. Ok, so 500 litres isn’t world-beating for a car this size, but there’s more than enough space in there for a few sets of golf clubs.
All new Rolls-Royce cars come with self-closing doors, but the new Ghost is the first to get self-opening doors. These use their own sensors, motors, computers and even built-in brakes to make sure they don’t swing open too fast if you park on a hill.
New Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended
The new Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended has also been revealed. This model is 170mm longer than the standard Ghost, all of which has been added between the front and rear wheels to boost cabin space.
This extra space means the new Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended can be had with some features not available on the standard model, including upgraded electrically reclining rear seats and a fridge between the back seats.
New 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost engine and performance
The new Ghost comes with Rolls-Royce’s own 6.75-litre twin turbo V12 engine – but it’s not the same engine you’ll find in a BMW M760Li. It produces 563hp, which is exactly the same as you get in the Phantom.
It doesn’t quite have the same 900Nm of torque as the Phantom, but who’s going to sniff at a whopping 850Nm? All the more impressive is that this engine produces all that torque at very low revs, so it accelerates smoothly without the need for the automatic gearbox to change-down too often.
The new Ghost also gets four-wheel drive for the first time. Usually it cruises around in rear-wheel drive mode but when you accelerate hard it sends power to all four wheels for maximum traction. This means the Ghost can do 0-60 in just 4.6 seconds – that’s 0.2 seconds faster than a BMW M135i hot hatch.
New 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost driving
Every Ghost gets air suspension as standard, along with Rolls-Royce’s ‘Flag Bearer’ system. This uses cameras and sensors in the front bumper that scan the road for potholes and automatically soften the suspension before the front wheels hit one.
The automatic gearbox even uses data from the sat-nav to help it know when to change gear. For example, if you’re approaching a hill or a junction it can change down in advance. That’s less for Jeeves to think about, then.
The front suspension also uses two shock absorbers for each front wheel instead of just one to better soak up bumps and make sure the Ghost stays dead level when you change lanes. There’s also rear-wheel steering to help the Ghost make tighter turns in town and stay more stable at high speed.
Rolls-Royce has fitted the new Ghost with more than 100kg of sound insulation to make it whisper-quiet on the move. It’s even tuned every part of the car’s cabin to resonate at the same, unobtrusive background frequency – from the seat frames to the inside of the pipes for the air conditioning.
New 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost infotainment and lighting
The Rolls-Royce Ghost comes with absolutely loads of screens. For starters, there’s a set of digital dials and a central infotainment display that look just like the ones in the Phantom. In the back, there’s a pair of additional displays with their own fold-out wooden tables. You can use these to choose what music plays on the stereo or program the sat-nav, which is handy if you don’t want to talk to the driver.
One thing that isn’t a screen is the illuminated ‘GHOST’ badge to the left of the clock. This is made up of 152 LEDs hidden in the dashboard that shine out through 90,000 laser-etched holes in the lacquer.
This makes it look like the dash is lit by 850 individual ‘stars’, to match the starlight headliner. Rolls-Royce said it would have been easier to make this an extra screen, but then it wouldn’t have looked anywhere near as good when you turned it off. Only Rolls-Royce would worry about what the dashboard looks like when you’re not in the car…
New 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost price and release date
Rolls Royce hasn’t said how much the new Ghost will cost, but expect to hand over at least £200,000 for one. But you know how it is with Rolls-Royce. You can probably double that price if you decide to have a load of bespoke options fitted…
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