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SURPRISING GHOST

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When you are invited to test drive of a RR, you would expect a lazy, chilled out and elegant drive, looking for a posh location, for the best photo shooting, to match its top class. You just prepare yourself for a cruise control, soft and immaculate ride, in silence, without even thinking of looking at the performance of the vehicle. You know it’s not about acceleration, handling and pure speed; you are prejudiced by history.

It looks like we have to start judging Rolls Royce cars with totally different eyes from now on. The new born Ghost, smaller sister of the mighty Phantom, has hit the market and has entered the main stage with new, fresh, modern yet aristocratic look and dynamics.

Well, I don’t remember last time I was so surprised, nearly shocked to find out that my expectations were so wrong. You pick up the car, get briefed by Manager, receive the due recommendation and hit the road with some anxiety, knowing you are driving a nearly 380 Thousand USD machine.

The interior remains as spectacular as the “mama” Phantom. All the details you would expect and more are pampering you from the first second you sit in it. Comfort is no compromise. The back seats are perfect for two people with a central console to let you play with all the technology the world can offer in this new century. Chairs, not just seats, sound system, isolation and control invite you to stay in the car for hours, as if you were at a David Gilmour’s concert at the Albert Hall.

But then something hits the sleepy part of your brain, the one tuned on performance and driving excitement. You squeeze the “go” pedal and you wake up 12 cylinders, a twin turbo 6,6 Litre engine, 563 bhp, a dragster like 780 Nm of torque at only 1,500 Rpm and a ZF eight speed gearbox. You hit 100 Km/h in 4.9 seconds (yes, four point nine!), good enough to smoke a Porsche Carrera off the stick and you can do that in a world of your own as if you were pushed by wind only or pulled by an invisible endless rubber band. An unexpected yet welcome surprise.

Mr. Helmut Riedl, RR Engineering Director told us that “A Rolls Royce should be graceful in every way: the way it handles, feels and brakes” and we can assure you that they hit the spot. We feel so excited about this car now that we want to drive it more and more, exploring its hidden, graceful handling skill and again we get shocked. The Ghost moves in the corners with the grace of a mature ballerina; the steering wheel is very light but not numb, precision and control are in your hands and feet, like a modern super saloon should be. You actually drive a Ghost, more than be driven. You pick a line and she holds it for you with a kind smile. You never feel the two and a half ton weight, never.

This car is definitely the best driving RR ever. It’s an outstanding chauffeur commuter, especially if you choose the pure lambs wool carpets and you take your shoes off in the back seats; and a beautiful creature to be driven on your favourite roads. Quick, relaxed, safe and bearing a badge which demands a lot of respect and emotion. It’s beautiful looking car, discreet, yet with its own personality, elegant, refined and extremely well proportioned from every angle.

I don’t want to give it back. I would drive this cocoon of luxury and dynamics every day, for a lifetime. RR is distributed by AGMC, which was the number one dealer in the Middle East in 2009 and the second in the world. This means we will see soon many Ghosts in our mirrors.


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