So when is a car not a car? I know its an odd question, but appropriate for the buyer who views an automobile as something other than mere transportation. So how do we really celebrate success, indulge someones personal sense of style, and to insure that someones entrance is a world's stage and defiantly grand? At what point is a car's competition a piece of art, or a yacht? These are questions that are answered in the stratospheric heights of an ultra high net worth individuals existence - an environment steeped in haute luxury.
Here's a glance at some examples of websites and stores claiming haute, or high class, living give off more of a trendy vibe than true haute luxury - attuned more to those that aspire than to those already there. But people have to bear in mind that fashion is not style, and that fashion is fleeting while style is timeless. and Rolls-Royce car are styled to stand the test of time. However changes are not made for the sake of change, but are undertaken to improve the line - Rolls-Royce don't make yearly changes to their models.
Specifications, and 82% of all ghosts delivered are bespoke. Even the dealers' factory orders are often tailored for a specific client - whose tastes the dealer is quite familiar with. the dealers also know that their clients' expectations are demanding and that their clients attention to detail pegs the meter.
However, after having seen some of the clients requests, and seeing the resulting cars, you have to take a minute to wonder if Rolls-Royce is being overindulgent. Th tastes of the client's can vary significantly from the accepted norms - and people wonders if Rolls-Royce would really rather not build some configurations. Therefore, personal taste is just that, personal and Rolls-Royce will tailor the paint and interior of a vehicle to a client's exact specifications as long as there is not compromise to legality or safety.
The Ghost series has brought an significant increase to Rolls-Royce sales since its introduction. However while sales dipped during the Great Rescission, starting in 2008, they have since be able to recover and its projected that Rolls-Royce may sell over 4000 vehicles this year. When the sales dipped it wasn't due to potential owners' economic uncertainty, but its believed that during the difficult times there may be a socio-psychological purchase prohibition. However not unlike the Scandinavian notion of the 'Law of Jante', the acquisition of some luxury items will be postponed; the money is there, but the social permission to spend it on an extravagance isn't.
However when Rolls-Royce developed the original Ghost, they has a particular idea of who their clients for the new model would be. Rolls-Royce expected Ghosts would be purchased by successful entrepreneurs, job creators, innovators, the independently wealthy. and Ghost owners would still be actively engaged in business ventures. Many would see the Ghost as mean of celebrating their continuing success.
Rolls-Royce have chose to show off the new Ghost series 2 in Dallas - It's a successful city, in a successful state. At glance one may not appreciate a number of the refinements over the previous Ghost, but everything from the A pillar forward is new on the series 2 Ghost. The new LED headlamps include an uninterrupted illuminated band that are the daytime running lamps. The hood has now a 'Vapor trial', a set of creases running from the spirit of ecstasy hood ornament towards the cowl. And the new Ghost continues to offer a tastefully elegant and refined driving experience to its owners.
Rolls-Royce knows that, unlike the phantom, ghosts would very often be driven by their owners. to the assembled group of journalists in the proper frame of reference for driving the ghost, Rolls-Royce chauffeured them in ghosts from the airport to the Joule, a little boutique hotel in downtown Dallas, and later assembled them for dinner at the innovative and impressive Stephan Pyles Restaurant.
the event itself took the journalists in a clockwise loop West beyond the center of Dallas, to well North and then back to Dallas from the East. Prior to returning to the city proper, however the Rolls-Royce drivers team met the cars and chauffeured the journalists into the city - another opportunity to sample the creature comforts of the rear seats.
The first impressions formed of the Ghost while underway is a sensation of calm, there is nothing really frenetic occurring - however, on entering a freeway, its apparent that the ghost isn't lacking alacrity. This means its a quick car. The quoted zero to sixty times are sub five seconds for the both the regular and extended the wheelbase versions of the Ghost. beyond adequate by a large margin.
Noted is how big the extended wheelbase Ghost is - remembering the last vehicle that was drove, outside of a box truck, had similar dimensions to the Ghost. its a Ford Excursion, the Excursion being 3" wider, much taller, but nearly the same length and wheelbase as the Ghost. also as an aside, the key to figuring the height of a modern Rolls-Royce is that proportionally the height will be two times the height of a modern Rolls-Royce is that proportionally the height will be two times the height of the tire and wheel, good for a trivia question.
The Ghost is not a difficult car to drive, even at, ahem, extra-legal speeds. Its biased towards mild under-steer and, with the electronic nannies enabled, it allows very little in the way of hooliganism. However it can't be compared to a sports car, and it isn't shopped as an alternative to a super-car, but it acquits itself well with the task of providing an excellent ride to its occupants while remaining sufficiently engaging for the driver. The air bag suspension is an excellent compromise between control, compliance, and comfort.
However to keep in mind, owners don't really use much of their Ghost as daily drivers, they are use in much the same way as town cars were in the 1920s, they are there for nights out in the city, to the opera, to impress a potential client. It was mentioned that, when asked, the owners acknowledged that they sought other means of transportation at their disposal if the journey would be much over an hour - however usually a private airplane.
Luxury is evolving. Its personal, exclusive, and connected. And that was reflected in the venues chosen - and it shines through in the Ghost. The rear seat passengers have a duplicate of what is called, the Spirit of Ecstasy rotary controller. with it they can manage the connected systems, entertainment, and the navigation. The controller incorporates a touch sensitive surface on the top of the rotary knob allowing the user to input characters by touch. business can be conducted in the back seat seamlessly using the connected capabilities of the Ghost.
After some fiddling with the settings, using the 'Spirit of Ecstasy' controller, was very good sound reproduction was obtained. Its particular, the sound system accurately reproduced the quite low frequency organ notes of the Pie Jesus from voices of Ascension's Delos recording of Durufle's Requiem. Something that may home audio systems have difficulty with.
Once driving the extended wheelbase Ghost - and having had an opportunity to lower and then raise again the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, to the delight of the occupants of a car stopped next to the Ghost at a traffic signal, its time to let the chauffeur take over. However the impressions from the back seat? serene, satisfying, special, sublime - a very rewarding experience. Better when that experience is shared with a good conversationalist - for the rear seats are ever so slightly inward to facilitate conversation.
The Ghost certainly represents the rarefied heights of personal transportation. The notion of when is a car not a car can be extended to when is a car company that is a brand, representing the ideal of a conveyance beyond mere transportation.