Ghost. It’s an appropriate name for the model that sits neither fully in the present nor in the future, at least so far as Rolls-Royce’s product planners are concerned.

On one hand, the arrival of this substantial limousine completes an overhaul for the line-up at Goodwood, which began with an all-new Phantom in 2017, before the arrival in 2018 of the Cullinan crossover (which, inevitably, set new sales records for the company). Now, in the Ghost, we have the Phantom’s not so junior, £250,000 understudy.

The circle is complete, so to speak, and more fundamentally so than you might think. The new Ghost sits for the first time on the same bespoke aluminium ‘Architecture of Luxury’ that underpins its siblings, rather than an adapted BMW 7 Series platform, as was the case when its predecessor was introduced in 2009.

Unlike the Phantom and Cullinan, though, the Mk2 Ghost also points to the future of Rolls-Royce, if not in purely mechanical terms (the company is expected to introduce electric-only vehicles in the foreseeable future, whereas today’s test subject uses an unapologetic 6.75-litre V12 with not one iota of electrical assistance) then in terms of philosophy. Without a hint of irony, Rolls-Royce calls this new approach ‘Post Opulence’. What that means is something less ostentatious and more noble, the ‘antithesis of premium mediocracy’, albeit all within the traditional Rolls remit. Call it the acceptable face of extravagance.

What we’ll now discover is whether Rolls-Royce has done enough to see off stiff competition, which includes Bentley and Maybach. Because whatever language you use to characterise your product, being the one who sets the standard is ultimately what really matters in the ultra-luxury class.



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