What Is It?

The 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II is, believe it or not, an entry-level model: an entry, that is, into the rarefied world of true luxury-car ownership. As its title suggests, this is the second wave of R-R's smallest (in relative terms) sedan. It eschews names like Mark 1 or Mark 2 in favor of using just the word "Series" and a roman numeral.

The Ghost is based on the BMW 7 Series. BMW owns Rolls-Royce, so now its cars have decent suspensions and climate-control systems that work properly. In this case, the vehicle is equipped with a lusty twin-turbo V12, displacing 6.6 liters as it rumbles to the tune of 563 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. It doesn't just accelerate; it surges.

Series II differs from Series I in subtle ways: the line of a headlight here, the curve of a bumper there. Running down the center of the hood (or "bonnet") is a "wake channel," said to evoke the vapor trail of a jet.

How Much?

Rolls-Royce would probably rather not deal with such vulgar details as cash and merely let their people talk with your people, but the outgoing model starts at a measly $267,300.

When Can You Get It?

Order one today, select various personalized items such as leather, wood trim and how deep you'd like your feet to sink into the carpet, and your handsome 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II will trundle over in a few months' time.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

It has the coolest transmission feature: a kind of "shift-by-satellite" function. The navigation system knows when there's a bend and/or incline or even traffic coming up, so it instructs the automatic transmission to select the optimum ratio at exactly the right time.

Rolls-Royce also describes its optional Bespoke Audio System as "the most exhaustively engineered and finest audio system in automotive history." Who wouldn't want to listen to Taylor Swift through that?

Other Cars to Consider

2014 Aston Martin Rapide S -- An upscale sedan that will tempt you to redeploy Jeeves to the croquet lawn and do the driving yourself. Might as well, as the rear quarters are not that generous.

2014 Bentley Flying Spur -- Power, grace and the kind of interior that most people would be happy to live in.

2014 Bentley Mulsanne -- Don't question why Bentley would offer two sybaritic sedans, just enjoy the fact that automotive artisanship is alive and well and living in Crewe, England.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 -- Due on sale in the United States this spring, the S600 takes the fabulous current S-Class and adds, well, more class.

Used Rolls-Royce Phantom -- Surely this is the ultimate goal to which one aspires. Imposing and imperious.

Used Maybach 57 -- A discontinued marque and therefore a piece of history.

author photo

Colin Ryan has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

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