There are two types of pleasure in a great car. One is the joy of driving it. The other is the joy it gives your passengers.
The mere mention of the name Rolls-Royce evokes its own special delight, and when you happen to be aged 10 or under, it’s both an evocation of bliss and a signal that you’ve probably peaked a little too early in life.
Business Insider Australia recently had the chance to take a beautiful and striking Salamanca Blue Rolls-Royce Ghost II four-door saloon away for the weekend. It’s Christmas in car form for children both real and those trapped in adults’ bodies, with so many buttons you need a lifetime to figure out what they all do.
There are buttons for the seat massager, others to retract the panoramic sunroof, individual controls for heating and air-conditioning for each leather seat, buttons to automatically close the rear seat doors and even one inside the front door which makes an umbrella pop out if the weather is inclement when you arrive at your destination.
The car’s base price is a modest $545,000, but this version – all Rollers are bespoke, after all – glides onto roads at just under $748,000.
The two rear seats are like a plush private cinema with TVs, tables, and in between, a fridge, complete with two RR-etched champagne flutes. But of course. There’s a cigar box inside the armrest, but with my children in the back, I didn’t point it out.
While I was enjoying the iron-fist-in-velvet-glove power of the twin-turbocharged, 6.6-litre V12 engine, which launches the 2940kg car to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds (take that all you young hoons in your WRXs, thinking you can burn off the old guy in the Rolls), while speedbumps in Mosman or Toorak are barely noticeable thanks to the blissfully smooth adaptive air suspension.
This is the car you drive to shut out all the turbulence in the world.
My children, aged 10 and 8, when not testing out the 18-speaker sound system with Avicii’s The Nights (My father told me), had the headphones on watching the back-of-the-seat screens, leaving me to enjoy my own music without the usual family fights about what to play.
And until you’ve driven a Rolls-Royce with the windows down and your elbow out, with one hand on the wheel and anarcho-punk band Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping up loud, you’ve never really lived…
Here’s what my kids thought of the “Royce”, as my son dubbed it.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost II is available from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Sydney.
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