A Ghostly game of chicken
Wealth Creator gets behind the wheel of the new Rolls Royce Ghost and discovers the next generation of the esteemed marque have been built with the driver in mind
It was the most expensive game of chicken I have ever played.
Cruising on the freeway at 100km/h in one of the top luxury vehicles of the world, I was told to follow the car in front at the exit and not touch the brakes - just steer.
As we left the main road and the car in front slowed, so too did the new Rolls Royce Ghost I was taking for a spin. In fact, without me doing anything at all – except for steering – we maintained a perfectly polite distance behind the car we were following until it stopped at the lights.
At which point we slowed down perfectly and stopped roughly two metres behind it.
“Pretty cool, isn’t it?”
The guys from Rolls Royce have one of the better jobs in the world working for such an iconic luxury car manufacturer, but even they were excited by the automatic cruise control feature in the latest vehicle.
So new to Australia that my guides didn’t yet know what all the features were (memorable moments include the argument over what a particular button did – it was actually a dual control on the driver’s side that allows the driver to adjust the front passenger seat without leaving their position) the Rolls Royce Ghost is seriously… fun.
Fun isn’t a word you normally associate with the cars floating on the road behind the Spirit of Ecstacy, which to date have radiated old-world luxury to perfection. But this is the new ‘entry-level’ vehicle, a beast which has been tricked up with some great new options.
Engage reverse for example and you are not only guided by proximity sensors all over the car showing you how close curious onlookers are standing, but also by three cameras which provide an almost 3D image of the world around you.
Or there is the in-car navigation system, which is projected onto a head-up display on the windscreen so your eyes never have to leave the road. Thankfully, the voice is splendidly British so you are constantly reminded of your roots.
The seats have in-built heating and cooling functions as well as a massage feature which would be fantastic for passengers but was slightly disconcerting while actually driving.
And the active cruise control, once you get used to it, is quite frankly brilliant. As cars merge in front of you it simply backs you off to a safe distance and when the road opens up you are back to the speed limit without even noticing it.
In short, the car is a pleasure to drive, a pleasure to be a passenger in and not bad looking on the eye.
With the quick take up rate of the car in Australia so far, don’t be surprised if you look in the rear-view mirror soon to see a Ghost following you – at a perfectly maintained distance, of course.