Ride quality is further refined on the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Ghost Rider IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN: On the exterior of the Series II, the changes have been reserved for the front end, where there are new LED headlights with daytime running lights and chrome inserts in the air dam below. PHOTO: ROLLS-ROYCE

IT may sound somewhat strange to say this but the Rolls-Royce Ghost has become more comfortable. Rolls-Royce is renowned for its "waftability" and it is expected that each car bearing the Spirit of Ecstasy flying lady atop its imposing grille will present ride comfort in its most developed form.


So it is surprising to hear that the recently updated Ghost has managed to elevate the quality of its famed magic carpet ride. On the exterior of the Series II, the changes have been reserved for the front end, where there are new LED headlights with daytime running lights and chrome inserts in the air dam below.


The long bonnet which used to be flat now gets a "wake channel" with a chrome strip. The re-shaped bumpers are a bit more subtle and the front fenders are slightly widened for a bolder look.


Inside, there are tiny tweaks to the dashboard, with the addition of the Ghost name below the clock and the rotary controller's new touchpad for tracing out characters. The new background colour for the 10.25-inch centre display is equally subtle, thus making the new seat design the most significant change for the Ghost. In the Series II, Rolls-Royce has given the Ghost less lounge-like and more body hugging seats. The seat squabs, which used to be flatter and wider with more cushioning, are now firmer. Front passengers now get extendable lower thigh support.

 

But the biggest improvement is experienced when ensconced in these new seats, especially the ones at the back. New mapping for the air suspension and new rear hydraulic axle bearings have refined the damping for a more cushioned ride. If there was any harshness or thumping going over bumps previously, it has been further reduced, with the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II seemingly gliding over them.


Most impressive, however, is the improved body control when changing lanes or making a U-turn - the Series II executes both these manoeuvres more smoothly. From the rear of the car, there is noticeably less body roll.


Also different from behind the wheel are the steering and throttle response. The steering with its thicker rim has more feel while the accelerator is more sensitive and capable of finer inputs.


Where the Ghost would "lurch" forward from stationary previously, the gas pedal can now be better modulated to achieve a smoother take-off.

Together with the recalibrated eight-speed automatic transmission, the air suspension compensates for braking and tilting by adjusting the dampers instantly to maximise passenger comfort.


So while some may dismiss the Ghost as being a glorified 7 Series because it shares the same basic platform as the full-size BMW sedan, there is actually little basis for comparison. This Rolls-Royce is clearly in a different class.