Today was the annual Father’s Day Concourse On Rodeo Drive, where the city blocks off Rodeo drive to display some of the most unique and outrageous cars ever produced. We also took this opportunity to check in with our friends at O’Gara Coach who own Beverly Hills Roll-Royce to get a VIP tasting selection of what Rolls-Royce has to offer. We strolled over to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and found ourselves eyeing three classy cars for our sampling: The Ghost Black Badge, the Dawn and the Wraith.
The Wraith has a striking and flowing design that is classy, modern, and elegant all at once. Interior wise, it’s all the top luxury one can imagine. The drive is very smooth and silky, it’s a very etheral experience. The car almost floats on the road and hides it’s weight in a very clever way. It’s like riding and elephant across a frozen lake and the whole time you’re shocked that it doesn’t step right through the ice. As a driver the experience is soothing, as a passenger, it’s sublime. The Wraith has a tremendous amount of room in the back and ride quality means you can discuss aggressive corporate mergers or gossip over tea and not have a care about the outside world. Compared to the Dawn and the Ghost Black Bad, the Wraith feels the slowest, but deliberately. If you’re in a Wraith, everyone is waiting for you, so you can take your leisure as you float from point A to point B.
Being the drop-top brother of the Wraith, the Dawn feels similar to the Wraith, but looks wise it wins the beauty contest. The one we drove was a beautiful azure blue example, and from the stance of the car alone we can say it’s a modern classic. Driving around in the Dawn it feels very similar to the Wraith in that you get an ethereal sensation, but the Dawn somehow feels quicker than the Wraith. As a passenger it’s just as comfortable, but unlike the Wraith, where when you’re riding in the back of it you don’t think of driving, in the Dawn with the top down, you want to be seen in the driver’s seat. It’s a great luxury yacht on the road and you want to e the captain of that yatch.
The Ghost Black Badge
The Ghost Black Badge is the top of the range of the Ghost line. We have to stress the Black Badge, because from what we were told from our Rolls-Royce hosts, the Black Badge drastically changes the driving feel of the car compared to a “regular” Ghost (if there is such a thing). But we’ll take their word for it. And we must say that word carries a lot of weight. The Ghost Black Badge from the driving perspective is a it of a sleeper hit, its got grunt and you can really feel the power. It’s like being inside the head of a giant rhinoceros and hitting the gas is poking that rhino in the rear causing it to go full charge. It’s smooth like the Wraith and the Dawn but it’s got much more torque which makes shifting the full weight of the car a bit of an experience. The scary part is how quickly it stops, it’s as if the brakes can reverse gravity itself because mentally there is no way a car that big ad heavy should be able to stop that quickly. In a word it’s bonkers. In two words it’s pretty bonkers. In three, it’s ridiculously, ridiculously bonkers. As a passenger the Ghost Black Badge is very cozy, accommodating and the Black Badge we drove had the optional $14,000 starlight roof option, which we must say is worth every cent and on the cool factor alone.
The hardest part is when you’re dealing with this level of excellent, you actively have to nit-pick and actively look for things to be “not as good” in comparison to everything else. It’s like judging the Miss Universe pageant, each contestant is a winner in their own right, so you have to pick on obscure things in comparison to the field of competition to make that final choice.
That being said, if we could drive one home today, we’d pick the Ghost Black Badge. We were surprised by just how much we liked how that car felt. It felt smooth and commanding, and the extra torque is to thank for that. Despite being the top of the “entry level” range, the Black Badge had all the details in it that made us love it unanimously. From the two-tone interior to the feel of the power delivery and the starlight roof (which we are not going to get over anytime soon), the Black Badge felt the most complete of an experience short of a Phantom that Rolls-Royce has to offer. The Phantom is still the top boss, but if you want to save a few sheckles and while still having the greatest luxury car the world has to offer, the Black Badge Ghost should fit the bill rather nicely like a luxuriously tailored suit.
What each car is best for out of the group:
Wraith – The best car to be chauffeured in.
Dawn – The best car to be seen in.
Ghost Black Badge – The best driver’s car of the group.