Similar opulence for a fraction of the price.
The 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost just debuted, and to no one's surprise, it's as opulent as ever. A 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 heart delivers 563 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque to a new all-wheel-drive system, moving the Ghost smoothly along with barely a whisper. Inside, you will find open-pore wood, a Starlight headliner, an illuminated dashboard, and enough leather to fill a Kardashian's closet.
The price for all of this excess? $332,500 to start. We shouldn't have to point out the Ghost is out of reach for the 99 percenters out there, but if you want to experience a similar level of luxury for a fraction of the price, there are used options you can consider. Here are eight used cars that all provide excessive luxury for a fraction of the price of a new Ghost.
Yes, a used Rolls-Royce Ghost is an obvious choice for this list, but it's worth pointing out just how much you could save on this car by purchasing a pre-owned example. The outgoing Ghost is not a significant step down in terms of luxury or performance with a twin-turbo V12 under but you can now buy one for around $80,000. Even a certified pre-owned example starts in the low $100,000 range, meaning you can save hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to a new one.
The used Flying Spur is Bentley's closest rival to the Ghost, and you can now get a used one for an outstanding value. Prices begin around $70,000 and can go up to double that or more for a CPO model. The Flying Spur is more of a driver's sedan than the Ghost, so it's best enjoyed from the front seat rather than the back. Engine choice include a twin-turbo V8 or W12, the later of which produces over 600 hp.
The Mercedes-Benz name may not carry the same level of prestige as Rolls-Royce, but you will never feel "less-than" while driving an AMG S65. This flagship Mercedes sedan packs a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 producing 621 hp, which is far more than the Ghost. It may have a slightly less hand-built feel inside, but the S65 is still decadently appointed and packed with clever technology. Used AMG S65 models cost around $100,000 to $150,000.
The new Ghost is no longer based on the BMW 7 Series platform, but even the V12-powered M760i costs a fraction of the price of a new Rolls-Royce. You can get the M760i, packing a 600-hp 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12, starting at just $60,000. Though it lacks the bespoke nature of the Ghost, the 7 Series performs similarly for much less.
From 2002 to 2012, Mercedes-Benz sold a small lineup of cars that competed with Rolls-Royce under the Maybach brand. Both the Type 57 and the Type 62 rode on a modified version of the S-Class platform, but feature greatly extended wheelbases for additional comfort. These cars were astonishingly expensive when new, but now cost between $40,000 and $130,000. They may not be as up-to-date as the new Ghost, but they do feature optional reclining lounge seats in the rear.
Did you know that for a significant period, you could order an Audi A8 with the W12 engine from Bentley? The A8 W12 catered to a different market than the S8, offering a softer, more floaty ride. Audi's version of the W12 was bored out to 6.3 liters and produced 500 hp. It featured reclining seats in the rear, with a center console and tray tables. You can now find a used one for around $60,000 to $70,000.
Critics of the most recent generation Lincoln Continental lamented the lack of rear coach doors, like the '60s model used. Lincoln took this criticism to heart and produced a small volume of Continental Coach Door Editions, priced at a whopping $115,470. Only 80 examples for 2019 and 150 for 2020 were built, and finding one is not easy. We found a single example for sale priced at $121,950. It may have half the cylinders as the Ghost and only 400 hp, but the Continental Coach Door Edition is far rarer.
For our oddball pick, we recommend Japan's one and only answer to Rolls-Royce, the Toyota Century. Never offered outside of Japan, this ultra-luxury sedan has been built since 1967. The first-generation model offered several V8 engines but the second-generation used a V12. Any Century more than 25-years-old is eligible to be imported into the US, and prices are surprisingly cheap at around $8,000 to $15,000. In just a few more years, the second-generation V12 models will be available and should bring more attention than a run-of-the-mill Rolls-Royce from a dealership.