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Rolls Royce Ghost Buyers Guide

Rolls Royce. The very words bring the essence of beauty and British refinement to the mind of any man, woman, or child. When we think brands with history, for some reason Ferrari and Lamborghini come to mind, but Rolls Royce has been around since 1907, creating some of the best cars to ever drive the roads all by hand. Now after more than a century the brand is used in just about every rap song, yet very few are seen far and in between. They have a hefty price tag on them right out of the gate, but given a depreciation curve that favors in the hand of the buyer, Rolls Royces are some of the most impeccable driving machines on the roads today.

Perhaps one of the most coveted of all the models in the brand is the Ghost. A stablemate to the Rolls-Royce name and a basis for which two other models: were designed after, the two door version: The Wraith and the convertible version: The Dawn. The Ghost is the luxurious four door sedan that you would see rolling up to Hollywood premiers, much more eye catching than any regular town car or limousine.

The Ghost happens to one of the “smaller” Rolls Royces in the fleet, the Dropped and Phantom brethren over take the Ghost by almost a foot and a half in length. The Ghost was designed to be smaller and more practical while also adding a sportier and sleeker edge to a brand known before for only length and luxury. The Wraith and Dawn followed in the footsteps of the Ghost, keeping in mind sleek curves and performance while never forgetting it’s past elegance.

The most predominant factor of the Ghost would be the aggressive front. With a heavily slated grill the face of the Ghost is more sporty than that of it’s past brethren. To the sides sit rectangular day-time running LED headlights that pave the way for the impeccable driving the Ghost delivers. A striking factor on the front of the Ghost would have to be the two toned hood option. Being introduced on the Phantom and bringing back memories of vintage luxury Rolls Royces past, the two toned, steel painted finish, nature of the vehicle adds definition and class. One of the highlights of the Rolls Royce Ghost is also found at the front, The Spirit of Ecstasy. Sitting perched above the iconic RR Rolls Royce emblem, the woman clothed in robes running from her arms to back with wind pushing it back to resemble wings, simply an angel. She stands at just three inches tall and is connected to a spring loaded mechanism that retracts and ejects her from the radiator shell at the push of a button. Standard she comes in polished stainless steel, but more expensive options have seen her illuminated in frosted crystal or stainless steel with 24 carat gold plating. Just one of those things that continue to keep the luxurious life of Rolls Royce alive and well.

Along the sides you get a sense for just how large the Ghost is. Even being the smaller model Rolls Royce, it still comes in at 17.71 feet, thats the size of some small boats. But the overall presence is something to be reckoned with. The broad shoulders of the Ghost tuck into the wheel wells that house the 19 inch alloy wheels. With no drastic lines or indentations on the length of the car, the body of the Ghost flows seamlessly from front to back. The most jaw dropping and head turning features of the ghost would have to be when the doors open. And while the interior is striking and the $600 umbrellas are and added bonus, that’s not what we are referring to. The Ghost’s front two doors open as any vehicle would, but the rear suicide doors are the highlight of the car. Allowing a full view of the interior of the Ghost, the doors give full range of motion and in some cases, those same rear doors can be automatically closed from inside the back seats at the push of a button. Just one more feature that truly defines the essence of the Rolls Royce brand.

The back side of the Rolls Royce Ghost is opposite its front, while the nose sits high, the back swoops down low.  And shocking enough, while the Ghost is large, the trunk space is not anything to mention favorably. Sitting on either side are the distinguished and geometrical taillights. The dual exhaust pipes sit singled apart on the very edges of the body at the very bottom of the Ghost, never radiating much noise, but help keeping airflow throughout the large body.

Not too many differences were made to the models that came after the Ghost either. The Wraith maintains the front and back design of high nose, low back and minimal trunk space. The Wraith even carries on the dual toned option hood but further brings the dual toned all the way from hood, through the top door trims and down onto the trunk. Though it is the two door version of the Ghost, the suicide doors were not forgotten, simply moved to the front and only doors of the car, giving it jaw dropping presence when entering or exiting the luxurious vehicle.

The Dawn also keeps the iconic front face and tail of the Ghost, with the variations coming from the top. The Dawn is the convertible version of the Wraith in a sense. Also only equipped with two suicide doors, the Dawn has a more elegant feel than it’s variations and a lot of that has to do with the soft top convertible that pulls back into the trunk to reveal the gorgeous wood trimmed interior that has stopped many in their tracks.

While the body of the Ghost and it’s younger models are striking, no doubt about that, their presence is unmatched out on the roads. Sleek design and elegant silver trimming all over, the features of the Ghost are more striking the closer you look. It is the successful showing of the British desire to combine power and perfection into a single vehicle.

Driving Experience

Rolls Royces have been known for their impeccable drive. Many have quoted “cloud-like” or “doesn’t even feel like I am driving”. Luxury and power takes over the heavy weight of the Ghost. With a  6.6 liter V12 twin turbo engine that helps the Ghost achieve 563 horse power and 575 pounds of torque, but don’t forget the substantial weight the Ghost carries, being a total of 5,445 pounds. The Ghost hosts a 8 speed automatic transmission with Overdrive capability and a rear wheel drive drivetrain. The impressive engine gives the Ghost the ability to get from 0-60mph in less than 5 seconds, but the vehicle is electronically limited to the top speed of 155mph, so if you have a need for speed, leave the Ghost in the garage. This power and weight is never a good combination when it comes to fuel economy, this is no exception. The Ghost averages 13 mpg for city and 20 mpg for highway, certainly not a Prius by any means.

The way the Ghost is able to drive the way it does is thanks to the comfort suspension with an independent front double wishbone and rear multi-link suspension with anti roll bars in both the front and rear of the vehicle. Smooth sailing is an understatement when it comes to the Rolls Royce drive. With the V12 engine, you can’t but to expect a quick pick up and that’s exactly what the Ghost delivers, just without the loud roar that most other exotic cars are known for. Driving along the roads pot holes seem to disappear, outside humming is silenced, and the outside seems more of a moving picture rather an a reality awaiting when you exit the Ghost. The Ghost was designed to be the modern technological car of its time, so the suspension was made adaptive, the steering is speed sensitive and knowledgable of the power it’s exerting, and to add to that, ride height can be adjusted through the shocks by the driver. The driver has more control with the Ghost than with any other car before, making it desirable more than just by it’s looks.

Sitting behind the strong wheel, the dashboard is plain yet beautiful, void of any LED display aside from warning lights, the gauges are old-fashioned and simple with white faces and black numbers. With Power Reserve percentage, Speedometer, Fuel, and Oil Gauge the dash behind the steering wheel is effective and simplistic. A simple push to START button sits on the right side of the wheel, as well as the shift lever that keeps the historic nature of having to pull or push up and down to get to your desired mode of driving. Over to the center console, you get a sense for how elegant the Ghost is. Laid out in some of the finest wood finishes, the whole dash is encapsulated in elegance.

Most dashboards will split between the wood and leather upholstery that matches the interior of the car. In the center of the dash behind a veneered panel you find the LCD display screen that holds navigation, radio and audio options, as well as options for interior controls for the Ghost such as lighting. The LCD is controlled by a circular spinning toggle and few buttons located at the center console between another veneered finish panel which hides the front cup holders, retracted by the push of a button. Above lie the controls for the A/C and to add more elegance to the Rolls Royce, all sections of the car have their own temperature controlled zones and if you’re lucky enough to get to ride in the Ghost, you’ll enjoy the option of possible massaging seats to really relax you further. Leather and wood trimming will be the high points for the interior design of the Rolls Royce Ghost, Dawn, and Wraith. With options of black piano wood to the lightest birch wood, the possibilities are endless. The leather seats bod options too, embroidered stitching in extenuating colors and the RR proudly displayed on the headrests.

Down to the last detail the Rolls Royce Ghost has features unlike any other. To offer you comfort and relaxation all around they have gone above and beyond to design a suspension and handling system that really does make the road seem to disappear beneath you. With the road fading away, what’s around you becomes all the more apparent and Rolls Royce has designed the interiors of the Ghost to reflect the luxury the brand name carries.

Rolls Royce Ghost Common Problems

Even though the Rolls Royce brand has been around for over a century, there are still problems to be seen in the Rolls Royce Ghost models, but nothing that can’t be solved.

  • Engine: Turbocharger (Recall ID: 11V522000)

Effecting certain 2010 model years that were equipped with turbocharged engines. The circuit board for the electric auxiliary water pump can overheat and end up smoldering the pump or the engine compartment, leading to a vehicle fire.

  • Engine: Turbocharger (Recall ID: 12V16600)

Effecting certain 2011 model years that were equipped with turbocharged engines. The circuit board for the electric auxiliary water pump can overheat and end up smoldering the pump or the engine compartment, leading to a vehicle fire.

  • Equipment:Labels (Recall ID: 12V368000)

Effecting certain 2012 model years, the vehicles were equipped with 20 inch tires, but the tire information label states the vehicles were equipped with the stock 19 inch tires. Which can lead to improper tire inflation which can lead to a crash.

  • Hydraulic Air Suspension

A problem that typically effects almost any and every car that it’s in, The Ghost is no exception to the bugs and breaking that the hydraulic air suspension is bound to have. If you were to go through the Rolls Royce dealer to fix the problem, the price could be anywhere from $2,500-$3,000 per side to fix the hydraulics. However, the Ghost is just one big BMW so the same part could be used from a 7 series BMW and that would run you somewhere around $900.

  • Heat Radiation

Though it is not a massive problem, it is a slight uncomfortable, the Ghost produces a large amount of heat from the undercarriage of the car, making standing beside it while on nearly impossible without burning your shins/ankles.

  • Electronic Malfunctions

Just like how your phone constantly decides to go off or on, pull up random screens, or just all together fail, the Ghost is known to do this too. The shorts in the electronic system are known for causing sporadic lights, improper readings, dashboard malfunctions, and many other factors that could be nothing, but also potentially cause problems down the road.

  • Silence

Once again, not a real problem, but something to be cautious of: the Rolls Royce Ghost is quite silent and being a push to start, it is hard to tell when the car is fully off: especially since the radio will continue to play even after the vehicle is supposedly turned off.

(There have been no recalls to the Wraith or Dawn, newer models/well constructed.)

 

Rolls Royce Ghost Cost of Maintenance/Ownership

All Rolls Royce models come with a 4 year/unlimited mile warranty that goes far beyond what most basic warranty plans cover. Rolls Royce also takes steps to further it’s warranty work to completely cover the following costs:

  1. Basic maintenance services: oil change, fluid inspection/flushes, filter replacements, and spark plug replacement.
  2. The cost of labour is covered.
  3. Roadside assistance.
  4. Digital road map updates.
  5. Software updates for the vehicle

However, all warranty work must be carried out by a Rolls Royce Service Authorized Workshop or by Rolls Royce Approved Technicians.

However, to be able to get all of the good, you must avoid the bad.

Any aftermarket tuning could void the service agreement and leave you paying for all the costs out of pocket.

Though out of warranty, most people seem to fear about the ridiculous cost of fixing and maintaining a car like this, The Ghost is actually just one big, more expensive version of a BMW 7 series, and those parts are shockingly cheap. Any electrical malfunctions or breaks can be fixed with substitute BMW parts, along with simpler pieces of the car. You can get a full set of front brake pads for just $600, which isn’t much when put into perspective of owning a $300,000 car. Tires would run you around on average $700 for all four, once again, not bad considering the initial pricing of the car itself.

Your car will only run as well as you keep up with it, it’s true for Kias to Rolls Royces. The trick is to be proactive in ensuring that you are keeping up with your service schedule even after warranty. Always proactively make sure to check for leaks or any shorts in the electrical system, that way problems can be avoided before they become catastrophic.

Rolls Royce Ghost Model Year Changes:

2010-2013 Series I

Originally    introduced as the 200EX concept Rolls Royce Ghost at the Geneva Motor Show in 2009, the concept turned into a reality in 2010.  Designed by Andreas Thurner, the Ghost was built to be a sportier version of the Phantom and was made to compete along side the Mercedes-Benz S Class and Bentley Continental Flying Spur. The Ghost was built on a heavily modified platform of the BMW 7 Series, keeping parts 20% similar. In 2011, the Extended Wheel Base option was introduced, to give even more room to the back cabin. In 2012 more Bespoke options began to get introduced to the public: the two toned hood, wood veneers, more exterior paint options, updated speaker systems, natural grain leather upholstery, and more.

2014-Now Series II

The Series II Rolls Royce Ghost was introduced at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. On the outside, the upgrades from Series I include redone headlights, no more split daytime running headlights. Chrome inserts were added to the front air intakes which were enlarged to feed more cooling air to the brakes. A new design of the alloy wheels and color options were also offered. On the interior, the most notable change would be the ranged back seats and redesigned front seats, allowing for more open cabin space. More veneer wood options became available along with the faces of the instrument dials now taking on metal polished faces to make the driver see the elegance as a luxury watch. While no updates were made to the engine of the Ghost at this time, the power is still there, but luxury needed to be added first.

2016 Black Badge Edition

The first Ghost to get an engine update, the Black Badge makes 603 horsepower and 620 pounds of torque. The rest of the car takes on the black badge name: the Spirit of Ecstasy is in a high-gloss black vamp and the RR badges become inverted, a black badge with the RR’s being silver. The starlight headliner comes standard with this option, tinted in black. 21 inch Carbon Alloy wheels, a set black body color with the interior of Cobalto blue, with lining of carbon fiber.

The Wraith

Introduced at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the Wraith is a handmade two door coupe based on the Rolls Royce Ghost sedan. With a sleeker exterior, it is only right that the Wraith holds a sportier edge than the Ghost. Though the engine is still the same 6.6 V-12 twin turbo engine, the power that comes from the Wraith is higher with 624 horsepower and 590 pounds of torque. The body style was changed from four doors to two suicide doors, but not much else was done. The interior closely mirrors the Series II Ghost, and the packages are fairly similar as well.

The Dawn

Introduced for the first time at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Dawn is a handmade two door convertible based on the Rolls Royce Ghost sedan. Keeping more of the Ghost’s body style, the Dawn has the same two suicide doors as the Wraith. The front resembles that of the Series II Ghost in design with the front grill, extended bumper, and broader shaped hood. The Dawn now comes standard with 21 inch wheels as opposed to the 19 inch wheels Rolls Royces are used to. Keeping the theme of engine similarity, the Dawn still has the same 6.6 liter V-12 engine, but makes the same power as the Ghost: 563 horsepower and 575 pounds of torque. The main difference is the elegance the Dawn adds by being a soft top convertible that lowers to show off the magnificent interior and hard wood panelling of the trunk space.

Rolls Royce Ghost Options

If there is one thing that the Rolls Royce Ghost has more than any other British designed car is options. There are hundreds upon thousands of ways to design and decorate your Rolls Royce Ghost, Wraith, or Dawn.

There are technological packages upgradable to the Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn. The Driver’s Assistance Systems One package will add $4,800 to the MSRP and includes the head-up display, high beam assistance, and lane departure warning. The level up from that is the Driver’s Assistance Systems Three will add a staggering $10,000 to the MSRP and includes the heads up display, high beam assistance, lane departure warning, night vision camera, and active cruise control with stop and go technology.

The more intriguing and mouth watering options come from within though. But don’t think for a second that those options don’t come without hefty price tags on them.

Perhaps the most coveted Rolls Royce option: the Starlight Headliner is a $12,000 option.

Upgrading to 20 inch wheels: $5,000

Sunroof option: $7,000

Lambswool floormats: $1,000

And other more intense options fall into the Bespoke category, which goes into taking all aspects of the car from paint to interior to clock face, to seatbelt color are options that go as far as your imagination and your wallet can take you.

Best Year Rolls Royce Ghost To Buy

The best years to purchase the Rolls Royce Ghost are by far the Series I versions of the Ghost. 2010-2013, now don’t let it fear you that most models are out of warranty at this point as we early discussed these cares are just big BMW’s. The aesthetic design of the Ghost is still very much in tact for a Series I and any desired packages can always be installed after market for cheaper than before. The Wraith and Dawn are too new of models to apply to our methods at Exotic Car Hacks, but given a few more years, they will fit just as well as the Ghost. The Series I Ghost’s, on the other hand, are perfectly settled on the depreciation curve we teach you at Exotic Car Hacks. The Series I is actually the newest edition to our founders inventory and he is looking at owning it for a year or more and flipping it after putting on a good amount of miles onto it, and still gonna be able to get out of it with no money lost.

Conclusion

Everything you ever heard about Rolls Royce’s: their elegance, their size, their luxurious feel of drive, and even their larger than life price tags are all true. The Ghost is a clear indication of how far the brand has come and how far it is willing to go to always be keeping up with the times of technology and refinement advancements. With depreciation on the side of the buyer and the suicide doors of a big baller, this is one of the luxury cars you can get into for a fraction of the cost, enjoy for some time, and then exit safely all while living the life of luxury.

Rachael
 

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