Rolls-Royce started out by building the best cars in the world, then spent much of its existence being outpaced and outclassed by Mercedes-Benz. Today, however, the British company can once again make a legitimate claim to that lofty title. If you want to travel in absolute comfort and luxury, your Lordship, nothing beats a Rolls-Royce.
Charles Rolls and Henry Royce started building cars in 1904, but it was the Silver Ghost of 1906 that placed Rolls-Royce at the top of the automotive pecking order. The car was subjected to rigorous trials to prove its reliability and quality, including driving back-and-forth between London and Glasgow 27 times.
After the 1950s, Rolls-Royce began to rely on wood-n-leather tradition rather than exemplary engineering, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class became the default answer to the ‘best car in the world’ question. However, after BMW took over in 1998, the Phantom VII that followed in 2003 arguably reclaimed the title. It heralded a glorious rebirth for Rolls-Royce, and the start of the ‘Goodwood era’.
This latest chapter in the marque’s history has introduced mould-breaking new ‘motor cars’, including the Ghost Black Badge and electric Spectre (see reviews below). Looking ahead, no car company seems better suited to a smooth and silent EV future than Rolls-Royce. The wealthiest 0.1 per cent can recline and rest easy.