Perhaps it’s just the relaxed West Coast way of doing things, but we were surprised at the accessibility Rolls-Royce was giving to its new Ghost model at the LA Auto Show. Normally at auto shows the public are kept away from cars and only the media are allowed up close. Except with Rolls.
We’re not saying the media can’t get intimate with a Rolls, but rather than just walk up you usually have to ask. And once past the velvet rope (both a literal and figurative rope), the regal British automaker’s representatives won’t stop you from dropping your bargain suit bottom where only Armani has been before, but you do get a sense of unease about the situation as their fingers twitch and their faces turn to a police wince.
Then again, perhaps the folks at Rolls were a little more inviting as this is just an “entry-level” model.
The Ghost is the first entirely new model from Rolls-Royce since 2003, when the flagship Phantom debuted. Slightly smaller than that uber-luxury land-yacht the Ghost is still massive and excessively luxurious. It’s real claim to fame, however, might be its more performance-oriented engine, a 6.6-liter V12 that makes 563hp and 575 ft-lbs of torque at just 1500 rpm. Using a new eight-speed automatic transmission the Ghost will be able to hit 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
The Ghost will be available with a very long list of standard an optional equipment, including rear-seat LCD screens with fold out tables and, of course, umbrellas in the doors.
Rolls-Royce is expected to follow the same product development strategy with the Ghost as with the Phantom, so expect to hear rumors of both a coupe and a convertible starting soon.