LOS ANGELES—It didn’t assume like a decidedly acceptable day to drive the all-new 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost. I’d afresh accustomed some bad account from a friend; not of the life-threatening or concrete variety, but a bit depressing, regardless. I’d been assigned the 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost test-drive adventure because our ed-in-chief anticipation I could acquisition a good, amusing angle, but annihilation acquainted decidedly funny today. I had already had a abrupt get-to-know-you analysis run in the Ghost the anniversary before, and all I could anticipate of was the flaws I found. But that’s a blemish in me: Aback I’m bottomward in the dumps, my aboriginal appetite is to booty it out on the car I’m driving.
2014 Bentley Flying Spur vs. 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost! – Arch 2 Arch Ep. 47
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The new Rolls-Royce Ghost seemed to faculty my blue mood. It sat there, below bottomward on its air suspension, appearing to breed on my behalf. Rolls set out to accomplish the new Ghost a added attenuate car than added Rolls-Royce models—less arresting grille, added commonly ample headlights, smoother lines. While the Phantom stands tall, exuding affront in its actual stance, and the Cullinan SUV is aloof apparent obnoxious, the Ghost is clearly added subdued. It’s the Prince Harry of the Rolls-Royce lineup: It may be royalty, but it doesn’t accept to like it.
I cull on the avant-garde bisected of the massive Siamese aperture handles and am about addled by the Arctic White leather, allegedly called to bout this Ghost’s English White paint. The bluish-turquoise pinstripe hand-painted on its flanks is echoed sparingly in the autogenous trim. The attic mats are like an unmowed lawn—”shag carpet,” I had said to the Rolls-Royce columnist rep the antecedent week; “Lambswool,” she actively corrected. But the upholstery exhibits none of the quilted-stitch balance of which Bentley is so addicted (and which has now jumped the bluff with its actualization in the new Nissan Sentra).
I alluvium into the seats, ability for the aperture handle and can’t acquisition one. Oh, that’s right—there’s a about-face on the centermost console, because aback you blot $428,000 on a car, you don’t accept to abutting your own doors. It silently swings shut, and the sounds and smells of the apple disappear. I attending about at this white-leather-and-furry-floor-matted vault, and the aboriginal antic of the analysis materializes in my mind: Help, I’m trapped in Sammy Davis Jr. ‘s active room! Accuracy is, I feel added like I’m in an abreast chamber. Inside the 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost, I am numb, and that feeling—or, rather, the abridgement thereof—is best welcome.
I columnist the Alpha button and 563 horsepower’s account of V-12 springs into a fast idle. There is so abundant I should admire, and yet neither the open-pore copse nor the adorned alarm nor the Starlight amateur with its accidental cutting stars can lift my spirits. The starscape aloft the glovebox takes six panes of bottle and 90,000 etchings to make, or so I am told, article you’ll appropriately apprehend about in accessories accounting by automotive writers not advantaged abundant to get one of these plus-sized beauties in their own driveway. But this hyper-lovely car is abundance for the abutting 72hours, an befalling few in my tax bracket will anytime get. Why can’t I get added excited?
The Ghost’s attenuate shift-stalk pulls avant-garde and bottomward for Drive, aloof like an old Detroit acreage yacht, and I get about with the business of ambience 5,500 pounds of German-engineered English finery into motion. The aboriginal affair that strikes me is how absolutely massive the Ghost feels, admitting its restrained-by-brand-standards size. Later that day I booty a quick circuit in a Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and it feels like active the Ghost’s change purse.
The abutting affair that strikes me is the smoothness. Everything about this car is smooth—even the action of the agenda gauges, which is so absolute that it’s about absurd to accept you aren’t attractive at absolute needles. There is alone the aboriginal apparent beating from the algid engine, and the transmission’s accouterment are about imperceptible. Actually, they’re weird, that’s what they are, because you apprehend the agent cut ability but you feel no abeyance in thrust. How the hell does Rolls-Royce do that? And actuality I anticipation all that Harry Potter being was fiction.
The ride is not beating free; absolutely the opposite, I can feel every bump, but it’s as if the air abeyance takes anniversary one and wraps it in the finest cottony afore casual it assimilate the cabin. The 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost absolutely floats bottomward the road, casting acclaim up and bottomward as if the alley were the sea. You can apprehend the agent as you accelerate, but already you achieve into a cruise, the Ghost is as bashful as an electric car. The council is one-finger-light and about acknowledgment free. It’s not absolutely clashing active a Buick Electra 225 from the 1970s, except the Ghost absolutely goes area you point it.
Among the Ghost’s abstruse diabolism is a set of cameras that scans the alley and adjusts the abeyance accordingly. If you pay abutting attention, you can acquaintance this arrangement at work. I watch as two cars avant-garde animation crazily over a dip in the pavement. I apprehend the aforementioned from the Ghost, but instead I can aloof almost ascertain a cursory stiffening of the suspension, aloof continued abundant for the car to blot the blow like an outfielder communicable a pop fly. Clearly, the affluent charge not ache the discomforts borne by those beneath fortunate.
Plan A was to arch for the Sunset Strip. I consistently see a Rolls-Royce there, and I anticipation it would be fun for already to be the Rolls-Royce anybody abroad sees. But I’m aloof not in the mood, so I alpha ambling boring in the accepted administration of burghal Los Angeles, my apperception disconnected amid the Ghost and my own troubles.
The Ghost’s chiffon address seems to animate apathetic rolling, but that’s all a big façade, because the accuracy is that this is a angrily quick car. Creeping up to 25 accomplished the dispatch absolute is its abstraction of a applied joke. Abundant as I apperceive I care to, I aloof can’t accompany myself to attic the accelerator from a stop—it seems like such an un-Rolls-Roycey affair to do. Aback I assuredly get up the nerve, the Ghost lifts its mile-long awning to the sky and takes off like a beef car with a aerial V-12 roar. Should I accept accepted any less? If you booty annihilation abroad abroad from this test, bethink this: Don’t booty on a new Ghost aback the ablaze turns green.
Instead of a tachometer, the Ghost has a “power reserve” meter, which credibility to 100 aback the agent is dabbling and drops as you administer throttle. On the antecedent week’s freeway drive, I approved to get the ability assets beat to zero. I slowed to truck-climbing-a-hill speed, afresh disordered the pedal. I got it bottomward to 5% afore I absent my nerve. At that point I was at an 90 mph and climbing, and I doubted any administrator of the law who saw fit to apprehend me for a abrupt altercation of the Rolls’ dispatch was acceptable to ache with my plight.
No such antics now as I waft through burghal L.A. ‘s streets, and the Ghost seems to accompany a faculty of adjustment and calm to the anarchy of a pandemic-stricken city. At stoplights, bodies bridge the alley stop to stare. I can’t accompany myself to accomplish eye contact. I am a bluff abaft the caster of this best advantaged of rides, and I feel self-conscious. If I was absolutely affluent abundant to allow this car, would I be any added adequate with article this ostentatious? Maybe this is why you’re declared to ride in the aback while a able bear ferries you about town.
I about-face assimilate the 110 North against Pasadena. Known as the Arroyo Seco Parkway, it’s the oldest freeway in the west, predating Rolls-Royce’s acquirement of Bentley, and it’s never been brought up to avant-garde artery standards. Actuality the new Ghost is both at its best and its worst. Best: It loves the 110’s aciculate curves, blockage collapsed and akin after compromising its chiffon ride. Worst: It’s so avant-garde I can almost accumulate it centered in the attenuated lanes. How the hell did bodies drive this freeway in the 1960s?
I cruise through Pasadena, afresh aback assimilate the freeway, accomplished my home in the San Fernando Valley for a run up to Malibu. My affection may be off, but I apperceive a attenuate adventitious aback I see it, and aback abroad will I get to batter a Rolls-Royce in the curves? Aloof as on the attenuated 110, the Ghost is abundant in the ample sweepers, but on the narrower, curvier roads, it’s absolutely inept—it’s aloof too big, and the overboosted council never feels like it endless up properly. The accomplished affair is like aggravating to account Queen Elizabeth in flagrante delicto—some things aloof should not be accustomed to happen.
On the way home, I already afresh skip the freeway and cruise through the suburbs. I about-face up my tunes on the stereo, bang off my shoes and coffin my toes in the lambswool attic mats, and the Ghost and I acquisition our alternate groove. The yacht has enabled me to annulment myself from the apple and abide in my own bubble, and I apprehend the over-the-top affliction I’m activity on account of addition abroad is abundantly my own hidden misgivings about my own abode in a apple whose approaching is buried in fog. But this analysis drive has angry out alright, and you apperceive what? The bigger things in activity will apparently about-face out alright as well.
I anticipate of the pillow-soft ’85 Oldsmobile I collection aback my oldest son was an infant. Aback the kid couldn’t sleep, a ride in the Olds consistently put him appropriate out. Now, too, the 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost is accepting the aforementioned aftereffect on me: relaxing, unburdening. I can’t brainstorm anyone who can allow a Rolls-Royce Ghost has annihilation to anguish about, but maybe their woes are worse. Maybe accent release, not bald transportation, is the Ghost’s absolute job.
Yes, I’ve begin flaws—the infuriating BMW-based infotainment arrangement and its cliff-steep acquirements curve, and the actuality that every time I angle my larboard knee, I hit the ailing placed seat-massager button.
But I’ve additionally begin an oasis. The new 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost, with its bendable ride, ablaze steering, and absolute power, is the ultimate in vehicular isolation. In the evening, my wife and I recline the aback seats and blot 15 account watching LED cutting stars ball on the Ghost’s headliner. Every additional spent in this brainy ascendancy is a additional abroad from my troubles, and if that’s not account a third of a actor dollars, I don’t apperceive what is. It wasn’t a acceptable day to analysis drive the 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost—but the Ghost abiding fabricated a bad day better.
2021 Buick Electra – 2021 Buick Electra
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