The $695,000 indigo blue Rolls-Royce Ghost - number four off the production line - landed in Australia to woo clients before being air freighted back to the UK.
Even before it landed the buzz surrounding the newest Rolls has secured firm orders. So far, of the 40 cars expected in Australia, more than 30 have been sold, even though deliveries do not start until next June.
Rolls-Royce distributor, Trivett Classic, expects the Ghost to be one of the most popular Rolls-Royces available. The factory is aiming to build between 2000 and 2500, more than doubling output at its UK factory in Goodwood.
General manager, Bevin Clayton, says there has been a strong level of interest in the smallest and cheapest Rolls, even though it boasts a 6.6-litre 12-cylinder engine capable of 250km/h and a zero to 100km/h sprint of 4.9 seconds. "It has certainly appeal to a wide number of Melbourne buyers, which has further strengthened the high demand we are experiencing in Australia despite the current economic climate," he says.
Clayton says there are signs of a recovery in top-end luxury car sales, with Trivett selling three Phantoms in recent months. He describes the Ghost as ‘business suit’ Rolls-Royce, where the larger Phantom is the ‘dinner suit’ Rolls. Many Ghost customers are new to the brand, he says.
"It is luring people out of other high-end European cars," he says. One customer is trading his $500,000 AMG Mercedes-Benz S-Class to go British.
Ghost No4 may have been fresh off the production line but it boasts some exquisite features, from a silver satin bonnet, to 20-inch alloys, dual chrome exhausts, lambswool floormats, front and rear ventilated massage seats and picnic tables.
As befits a Rolls, the Ghost uses the finest wood and leather materials. Housed in the front doors are integrated teflon-coated umbrellas, while it borrows the Phantom's rear coach doors that open to a generous 83 degrees.
For a limousine ride, the car rides on a high-tech air suspension that can detect even the smallest change in road surfaces. For example, it will detect the movement of a single rear seat passenger from one side of the vehicle to the other and adjust the ride.