A few weeks ago, Rolls-Royce revealed the second generation Ghost. The original unveiling was expected for February 2020; however, the COVID-19 pandemic meant it was postponed. This new generation Ghost is a state-of-art Rolls-Royce that will be heating up the competition with the latest Bentley Flying Spur.
After Bentley stopped manufacturing the Mulsanne, the Flying Spur became the flagship sedan that was expected to compete with the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Mercedes-Benz Maybach S-Class. But how does the Flying Spur compare to the Ghost? They both have British DNA and bespoke tailoring inside the cabins, but which comes out on top?
Bentley’s Flying Spur is based on the Porsche Panamera modular platform – it is a reskinned Panamera. That is not particularly negative, because future technologies from Porsche can be implemented rapidly to the Flying Spur; however, it does reduce the exclusivity of the car. Not ideal if you are keen to own something bespoke.
Despite the shared modular platform, the Flying Spur is designed with both comfort and dynamic driving in mind. When you take to the driver’s seat of the Flying Spur, you won’t look odd. The Panamera’s suspension and drive train geometry offer a sportive driving character wrapped in luxury and comfort. It offers two engine options – W12 and V8 – mated with a twin-clutch 8-speed automatic. It is impossible to ignore the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system; Flying Spur is a proper driver’s car. The W12 engine is slowly being phased out, and this feels like the right choice. It was inherited from the VW Phaeton and was probably designed in the late 1990s. The V8 is lighter and more responsive, coming from the Porsche Panamera.
In terms of luxury, Bentley are renowned for offering some of the best interiors and attention to detail! Every part of the interior is a piece of artwork; you will be surrounded by more luxury than you can imagine. Sadly, the driving assistance systems are not as sophisticated as those boasted by the Ghost. I was expecting to see the same level of driving assistances as those in the Audi A8; however, the Flying Spur is a few years behind that. Overall, the Flying Spur is a great luxury sedan, and you will feel the Bentley DNA and experience exquisite luxury.
Moving to the new Ghost, let me start from the bottom end. The modular platform of the Rolls-Royce is unique solely to Rolls-Royce models. Whilst the Ghost does not share a platform with the BMW 7-Series; however, there is still some technology sharing with the BMW Group. With the volume of the Rolls-Royce, they can’t survive without benefitting from BMW’s know-how. Sadly, the Ghost did not receive a brand new engine, which is not too surprising given that it is not easy to redesign a V12, especially when it will be only used by three low-volume Rolls-Royce. The V12 engine is therefore based on the BMW V12.
The good news is that the Ghost is an ultimate luxury car that does not blind. The sound insulation is state-of-art engineering. It was reportedly too good and resulted in passengers experiencing motion sickness. To avoid this, Rolls-Royce has increased the amount of interior sound.
Unlike the Flying Spur, driving the Ghost by yourself still looks a bit awkward; you look like a professional driver in need of a client. In future, a possible Black series could make it more of a driver’s car. The best part of the new Ghost is the driving assistance system. BMW equipped the new Ghost with state-of-art technologies. Now, the Ghost can scan the road surface and adjust its suspension via 48-volt electric actuators, and offers perfectly refined comfort. Long journeys will certainly not be an issue with the new Ghost.
The interior quality is more sophisticated than the previous generation and is on par with the Phantom; however, I still think the Bentley is better by a slight margin (albeit a hard to notice margin!).
Finally, the new Ghost has an all-wheel-drive system adapted from BMW, which is amazing! The BMW xDrive is one of the best all-wheel-drive systems available. Rolls-Royce didn’t stop here and implemented rear-wheel drive steering to improve the driving experience. Overall, the new Ghost is more driver-focused than before, and I am sure it offers a competitive driving experience to Bentley Flying Spur.
The final verdict is yours—the differences between the Bentley and the Rolls-Royce are such a close margin that, ultimately, it comes down to personal taste.
Photo Credit // Rolls Royce & Bentley Motors