A Mysterious Achievement
Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom Deliver the Essence of the Win-Win Situation

There's an experience you probably haven't had, no matter how big your yacht is, or how thoroughly enthroned you are among the automotive consignetti.  Test-drive, back-to-back, the new Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom.  And then climb in the back seat and be chauffeured around town in each by someone who reveres these cars, but also knows what they're capable of – and isn't afraid to put his foot to the floor in a graphic demonstration of the company's brilliantly successful blend of old-world craftsmanship and thoroughly modern technology, what has been rightly called "A mysterious achievement."

The Ghost and Phantom share a family gestalt, to be sure, but it is not one of big brother vs. little brother or bucks deluxe vs. entry level.  It is more two brothers of similar age and breeding, one a self-assured habitué of gym and boardroom, the other a mature practitioner of the art of power… stylish, but unafraid to wear a bow tie.  The Phantom is tradition incarnate, bolted to a modern chassis while the Ghost is the epitome of modern technology dressed in a bespoke suit, tie and shoes and striding briskly toward the future of automotive luxury.

And they differ in motion as well.  The Phantom is very much informed by a nautical theme and feel; visualize one of those great old Chris-Craft mahogany powerboats (the back deck of the Phantom Drophead Coupe is derived from exactly that).  The power of the 453-hp, 6.8-liter V-12 even sounds like a powerful boat motor, but moves things along quite a bit faster; the Phantom is capable of zero to 60 in 5.5 seconds and is electronically limited to a top speed of 148 mph.
The Ghost, meanwhile, takes its cues from executive jets, both in the sleekness of its interior appointments and the way in which power is delivered.  It, too, features a V-12 under the hood, but one that is twin-turbocharged to produce 536 horsepower and a smooth, powerful rush of acceleration that feels like the take-off roll of a Gulfstream; 60 mph arrives in just 4.7 seconds.
From behind the wheel, the Phantom evokes images of the past; it's faintly surprising that the highway and cars you see through the windscreen are in color.  A dashboard switch to turn it all black and white would seem perfectly logical.  And from the back seat, the sense of grandeur and privilege wraps itself around you like a turn-of-the-century tycoon's cloak.   At the controls of the Ghost, the world is a modern, vibrant place, full of jewel-like colors, a Technicolor movie playing on the screen of your windows.  Most other cars on the road seem to be traveling in slow motion, a petty annoyance easily disposed of with a twitch of your right foot.  And in back, the inclination is to communicate with your office, a task made easier by the pull-down picnic tables with the slide-out extender specifically designed to keep your laptop firmly in place.
Both the Phantom and Ghost have the full complement of everything you expect from Rolls-Royce by way of luxury, hand-stitched leather, wood polished to a mirror gleam, everything you touch smooth and substantial.  The Phantom, having been on the market longer, is available in sedan, two-door coupé, drop head coupé (convertible) and EWB (extended wheelbase) sedan versions, with prices ranging from $380,000 to $450,000).  There are rumors of an electric-powered version in the near future and the model is slated for a thorough re-design in 2016, though you can count on it always having a firm grasp on tradition.    The Ghost, priced from $245,000 to $325,000) is currently available only as a sedan, but spy photos have shown a convertible version being tested, and you can count on coupé and long-wheelbase models being introduced in the next few years.
Two are the clearest example we've ever seen of a win-win situation, and if you get, or can engineer, a chance to drive and ride in both, you should.  Nor should you be surprised if you came to the conclusion that the only sensible solution is own one of each. 









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