As expected Rolls Royce has debuted its new “baby” Roller at Frankfurt. So, if this is the baby, it’s one big baby, especially in the engine department. Outside of the engine department, it’s all Rolls Royce with a big hulking presence lots of wood, leather and all around opulence more befitting an English gentlemen’s club than a car.
This car was rumored for a very long time … The Paris show of ’06 to be precise, so to see it finally rolled out is a bit of a relief. Not to mention just how slow things move at the RR factory. But anyway, here it is, the new “entry level” or “baby” Rolls. Although how many car companies can produce a car that costs in the six-Euro range and call it entry level. Or for that matter, stuff a twin turbo V12 into the engine bay and say that it’s the “baby.”
Rolls Royce has been, for the longest time, carmakers for the old money and landed gentry. They’re the kind of company that had a wild and crazy side, and that was Bentley (you know, if you really wanted to get daddy all up in arms). They’ve been wanting to shed that image for a while and have looked to the new “entry level” or baby Roller as the way to do that. There’s nothing really wrong with that. And on the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with mounting a twin-turbo V12 into a car, any car. But isn’t this supposed to be the “baby” of the line up?
Anyway, now that it’s out, we can see what RR meant by wanting the all-new Ghost, to be the first “driver-orientated” Roller. Looking a lot like its corporate sibling, the Phantom, the Ghost has similar detailing on the front-end and also has the same rear-hinged coach doors that open very wide … you know, so your driver can let you out in a more elegant fashion.
On the inside, the Ghost’s styling features all the “usual” luxury appointments and lavish materials expected from a car with a price tag normally associated with a Manhattan condo. Your choices include such goodies as either individual lounge seating or standard lounge configuration, there’s a massage function and perforated leather for a stream of cooling air to the seat surface.
Naturally, the most interesting details are in the engine bay. Although this is a “baby,” the Ghost still tips the scales at a tank-like 5.368 pounds, so maybe using a twin-turbo V12 to motivate you down the road isn’t such a bad idea. The plant in question is a brand-new 6.6-liter V12 engine with the aforementioned two turbochargers and direct fuel injection. It cranks out 570 horsepower and puts out a maximum torque of 575 lb-ft at a low-low 1,500 rpm. All that power gets to the to the rear-wheels via an eight-speed, shift-by-wire, automatic ZF gearbox.
RR says the Ghost can do 0-60 mph in 4.7 sec and go all the way to an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph. In case you’re wondering, the mileage is 17.3 mpg US, not bad, considering.
Prices will start at around $272,000.