We've heard of endurance testing before, but we've never heard of engineers entering their latest steed in one of the most gruelling races on the planet. So CAR Online reader Alex Hild's shots of the new baby Rolls-Royce Ghost at the Tour de France raised a wry smile in CAR HQ.
Alex caught the 2010 Rolls Ghost on Mont Ventoux in the south of France, two days before the race arrived. You can see a short video clip Alex scored at the foot of this page.
'I was extremely surprised to see the Rolls on top of a mountain in southern France but I was also surprised at the lack of interest everybody had for the Ghost,' Alex told us. 'I was the only one running after it and taking pictures, however the people there were probably more interested in biking than cars. The driver spotted me taking pictures and his facial expression wasn't exactly joyful!'
It looks rammed on that mountain pass. Hardly a subtle test location!
Indeed not. At least Rolls' engineers had taken some precautions to disguise the new Ghost (although not as a pushbike).
'The Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood was hidden, and the Rolls Royce badge on the back and the side was covered in black tape,' says Alex. 'It also had German plates, obviously, but I was surprised at the silence of the 6.6-litre turbocharged V12 as it sped away from me in the video.'
Rolls-Royce recently announced that the Ghost wasn't quite so baby after all. The new limo stretches to 5399mm long and will cost £165,000 'plus taxes and delivery charges'. That means a fulsome £190,000 in the UK, when first deliveries in Europe kick off in late 2009
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