When it comes to the automotive marketplace, no other brand has been able to hold a candle to Rolls Royce. Oh sure, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche are all iconic marques, but they are nothing compared to the respect garnered by the Silver Lady. Why? Because while the rest have expanded their lineups and broadened their appeal with SUVs, V10-powered Audi creations with regular doors, and “entry level” Ferraris, Rolls Royce has never compromised on anything. And that’s reflected in the price: costing a whopping $380,000 US, the Rolls Royce Phantom nearly doubles the cost of the entry-level exotica, and is over eight times the price of the cheapest Porsche. That panache has reflected upon the brand’s identity and made it one of the world’s most exclusive brands.
But, that might be changing. With BMW at the helm for a few years now, Rolls Royce has seen some pretty dramatic changes, and it looks like those changes are now extending into a completely new model line to join the Phantom sedan, coupe, and drophead. Ressurecting one of Rolls’ most famous nameplates, the Ghost is the production version of the 200EX show car. Intended to provide would-be buyers with a smaller, slightly more affordable alternative the boat-like dimensions of the Phantom sedan, the Ghost shouldn’t disappoint in the power department: it’s powered by a huge 6.6 litre V12 producing 563 buttery-smooth horsepower.
However, inside there is some cause for concern: while the Phantom’s classically-styled interior did a fantastic job of convincing fans that BMW was not about to ruin their favourite luxury car, the Ghost’s interior looks distinctly BMW-esque. Sure, the same expansive wood dash is there, but its contours look frighteningly 7-series-ish. In fact, even Rolls Royce’s own website features a close-up photo of a very familiar looking electronic parking brake switch, while the central control device appears to be little more than a reskinned i-drive controller. Likewise, the stereo controls look like crystalline versions of the standard BMW controls. We've thrown a photo of the new 7-series interior into the gallery; just for comparison's sake.
So, will this new Roller be the first to sully the British brand’s good name? Only time will tell.