When I drove a Rolls-Royce Ghost some 18 months ago it was difficult to find fault with the design, inside or out.
Rolls-Royce obviously didn’t agree with me because now we have the Ghost Series II, although to be fair you would have to look hard to spot the difference.
But differences there are, raising the level of this elitist car even higher.
The most obvious external difference is the slightly larger grille and the new, more dynamic looking headlights framed by unbroken daytime running lights.
The Ghost’s bumpers have also been re-sculptured and chrome inserts have been added to the front air intakes which now channel more air to the front brakes to aid cooling.
The iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figure which sits on the bonnet and is the world renowned signature of Rolls-Royce now leans further forward while the bonnet centre line or “wake channel” is designed to create the image of a jet’s vapour trail flowing from the statue’s arms.
Step inside the car and again you have to look close to spot the changes.
Redesigned seats, however, are more comfortable than the previous generation and the front ones come with electronically adjustable thigh supports. Unusually they are angled slightly towards each other to create a more intimate setting.
But while the latest Ghost has undergone cosmetic modifications there are no changes to what you get with every Rolls-Royce – top notch quality and high spec personal features.
Open the doors and you are met with an interior put together by the finest automotive craftsmen in England.
Seats upholstered in the finest leather - in the case of my test car in the contrasting colours of seashell and navy blue – complimented by a dashboard, centre console features and door cappings in highly-polished mahogany.
In the rear the same mahogany was used for the two folding picnic tables – with perfect matching grain –which sat just below each seat’s television screen.
And for the businessman on the move – often with a chauffeur of course – the rear seats are electronically multi adjustable as well as heated.
Like all four-door Rollers the rear doors are – in contrast to most modern cars – hinged at the back and open very wide. This makes them difficult to reach to close, but this being a Rolls-Royce you merely touch a button and the doors close automatically for you.
Other nostalgic features the car has retained to reflect its heritage include the organ stop controls on the dashboard to adjust the air flow and an umbrella secreted into the edge of each of the front doors.
And like Roll-Royce models of the past the large steering wheel on the Ghost Series II is still incredibly thin, and takes a little getting used to.
But despite the laudable links with its heritage the new Ghost is packed with hi-tech wizardry. Wi-fi is standard for on-board video conferencing and file sharing and if you want to use the sat nav you simply say “navigate to Piccadilly in London” or wherever else you want to go.
With 6.5-litres under the bonnet – linked to a column-change eight-speed gearbox – the new Ghost glides along almost in silence isolating you from the motoring world outside.
And as the gearbox is linked to the sat nav system it knows exactly where it is and so ensures it’s in the right gear ahead of time for the bend or junction you are approaching.
Taking bends quickly in this car is interesting as the steering is precise enough to ensure the nose goes just where you point it but the sheer weight of the car can take you much wider than you intended if you are not careful.
But despite all its grandeur the thing that surprises most people is just how quick it is when pressed. Despite weighing almost 2.5 tonnes it will still accelerate from standstill to 62 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds, faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio.
Now where’s my lottery form for next week? I think I’ve just found a car I would like to order.
Model: Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Price: £240,630 model tested (basic price £180,720)
Mechanical: 12 cyl, 6592cc, 562bhp petrol engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Max speed: 155mph
Combined mpg: 20.2
CO2 emissions: 327 g/km
Warranty: Four years/100,000 miles