rolls - Royce ghost series two
From $545,000 plus on-road and dealer costs.
6.6-litre V12 twin turbo, 420kW/780Nm, eight-speed automatic, 14L/100km, RWD.
What colour would sir like? Rolls-Royce can tailor the Ghost to individual tastes, including an endless colour palette and myriad interior options.
Our test car stood out with its bright Salamance Blue and satin silver two-tone paint job with contrasting cream leather and black stained ash interior.
Why would I buy it?
Because it's one of the most opulent, beautifully-crafted limousines on the planet, complete with rear-opening suicide doors that make a statement whenever you pull up to the red carpet.
The feeling of serenity it provides on the road; there are very few cars that manage to cacoon its occupants from the outside world in the same way a Rolls-Royce can.
The extravagant list of options, which amounted to more than $200,000 on our test car, including some features that are standard equipment on family sedans these days such as active cruise control, lane departure warning and head-up display.
Does it cost too much?
Depends on whether you consider paying $50,000 for a watch or a pair of speakers is over the top or not. In any case, it's more expensive than the current crop of top-end German alternatives (although the Mercedes-Maybach S600 is likely to arrive at around the same price later this year) but significantly less than the flagship Rolls-Royce Phantom.
How's the stereo system?
As you'd expect from a half-million-dollar car, it's pretty impressive with 18 individually-tuned speakers offering excellent sound clarity and staging while a highly sensitive microphone automatically monitors ambient noise to subtly adjust the volume and tone. It's also pretty up-to-the-minute with a 20.5Gb hard drive, a wi-fi hotspot, voice-controlled navigation and Bluetooth connectivity.
What about service stations?
When a car doesn't have a fuel economy gauge within its trip meter you sense the cost of filling it up doesn't even register with its owners. But, for those that do count every penny, the Ghost comes with a wicked thirst, consuming an average of 14L/100km and over 20L/100km in city traffic.
Would you buy one?
Personally, I'd spend my first half-a-million dollars of disposable income on something faster and brasher. But if I had a slot in the garage for something ultra-luxurious then I'd happily live with a Ghost in my house.
What else should I consider?
The Ghost lives in rarified air, slotting between the mainstream limousines and the absolute pinnacle with only a few equally peerless rivals, such as the Bentley Flying Spur and upcoming Mercedes-Mayb