There’s a picture on the wall over our desks that reproduces a painting of a famous sailboat, the Reliance. It’s a long, long vessel that tilts through the water as sails even taller and wider than the boat’s body send it racing across the water. It’s a fine image, and it symbolizes to us many things that Rolls-Royce is: Elegant. Aesthetic. Sound. Fast.
In a rather curious contest of sorts, Motor Trend recently published a piece to stir the water between Rolls-Royce and Bentley. There’s a rather lengthy introduction about the history between the two companies, and who built whom, and who owns them both nowadays. Putting aside the strange inclusion of a famous statue of co-founder Sir Frederick Henry Royce—who opens their post with an inanimate object, anyway?—the writer had a breezy tone that amused as he or she noted the differences between the 2014 Rolls-Royce Ghost and 2014 Bentley Flying Spur.
There were the usual points we’ve grown accustomed to—balking at both cars’ respective prices, balking at the cost of options, balking at the prospect of driving instead of being driven—and also the familiar timbre of amazement over details in the Ghost. Specifically, how it takes two weeks to paint a single Rolls-Royce, how plush the lamb’s wool meadow—carpet just isn’t a big enough word—is under your feet. All that.
Besides supplying power more readily than the Bentley, favoring rear wheel drive instead of front wheel drive like the Bentley, allowing fewer decibels of sound than the Bentley and even insulating the driver from 35 percent less G-forces than the Bentley—seriously, how do you prevent G-forces?—Motor Trend’s team came up with a creative, albeit unscientific way, of comparing looks on the street for each car.
Outfitting each car with a series of cameras, they sent them to Santa Monica, California, then let the cameras roll to record who on the street was sneaking peeks. While the Bentley is no Mitsubishi in terms of visual appeal, it was no match for the Rolls-Royce on this day. The Ghost drew twice as many eyes as it made its way down the street, and more than five times as many double-takes as it drove away. And the kicker? A few people whipped out their phones to snap photos of the Rolls, but no one did so for the Bentley.
Motor Trend put up a nearly-24 minute video of their comparison between the two vehicles, which we highly recommend. If your interest is piqued, feel free to come by our location to get acquainted with the Ghost for yourself.