Rolls Royce Ghost Series II

5

V12 twin turbo

563 HP

Automatic

4

For those who desire sybaritic luxury and a spirited driving experience in the same ultra-pricey motorcar, the Ghost Series II is your answer. Under the hood topped by the Spirit of Ecstasy is a twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12 good for 563 hp paired to a satellite-aided gearbox, which uses GPS data to read the roadscape ahead of you, anticipate your driving needs, and shift the transmission accordingly. The interior boasts sumptuous leather seating and handsomely crafted wood veneers.

With the exception of the transmission, the rest of the mechanical package carries over, including the 563-hp, 6.6-liter twin-turbo V-12. The SII replaces the old ZF eight-speed automatic with essentially the same transmission, but now it’s wired into the navigation system so that it can predict when to shift, a setup that first appeared on a Rolls in the Wraith. Shifts in the Ghost were already a nonevent, so it’s hard to tell whether this is legitimate technology or an apparition. What’s indisputable is that the SII Ghost still drives like a Rolls-Royce, wafting along like a hundred-dollar bill caught in a strong updraft.

Other myths punctuate the Rolls-Royce narrative: 60 craftsmen in Goodwood spend some 450 hours laboring over each custom, hand-finished automobile. Rolls-Royce says that in excess of 85 percent of the 4000 cars it will sell this year are bespoke, which means that if a buyer has a grove of trees on his estate, for example, he may choose to have some of that wood included in the interior trim. Or, in the case of Hong Kong billionaire Stephen Hung, he can just elect to have his wife’s car painted entirely pink.