At the point of luxury where only a few are able to go resides some cars that offer their owners the most luxurious interiors, outstanding style on the outside and performance that often can only be matched by the super furious super cars. Three of these awesome cars are the Bentley Flying Spur, Mercedes-Benz S600 and Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II, which can be classified as super cars based on their sheer horsepower and awesome engine size, but are they really super cars worthy of being in a garage with a Lamborghini or Ferrari model?
With so much in common, comparing the three can be difficult. All have lavish interiors, smooth V12 engines and a very high list price, which is reserved for those who can handle such a blow to their bank accounts. On the other hand, all three offer seriously different performances. The Flying Spur shows up as a performance that offers nostalgia and a feeling of original charm while the S600 is full of amazing technology that almost allows the car to drive itself. The Ghost shows off as a status symbol that falls somewhere in between the first two, giving a difficult comparison platform to us to review.
Starting off with the S600, the Drive is easy and exceptional. With the tech that is aboard any driver will find themselves comfortably positioned in a car that allows them to enjoy the easy steering weighting, high level of suspension and amazing brakes to keep the car well positioned on the road. The Mercedes-Benz benefits from the use of adaptive cruise control, automatic lane guidance, night vision, an adaptive suspension that adjusts to the road ahead by use of cameras ( I told you this car might be able to drive itself), fully automatic parking, a navigation system with real-time traffic, heated door panels, center console, seats and steering wheel and all-LED lighting. The engine is a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 that gives up 523 horsepower and 612 lb.-ft. of torque. To add to this, the S600 weighs in at only 5,038 pounds. As a comparison, this car offers the least horsepower but the lightest weight and is the easiest to drive of the three even though it is the most involved driving machine with all the technology aboard.
Next up is the Rolls-Royce Ghost II which is also a very involved drive but there is an option to make it less so by not having the dynamic driving package in place. The steering is overall quicker than the S600 with the thicker-rimmed wheel, returned dampers and a rear suspension that has been improved to offer much better road holding ability. The old Ghost models suffered from some slack just off center which has disappeared for this model. Even though the Ghost weighs in at 5,500 pounds, it drives extremely well and offers some great agility on the road. This car comes in with a V12 engine that brings in 563 horsepower and 575 lb.-ft. of torque but adds a bit of a challenge to drive at higher speeds as the stability control is meant more for cruising at lower speeds than pushing the limits of the car. The Ghost does offer some cool technology using inputs from the navigation system to avoid unnecessary gear changes. Even though the Rolls-Royce Ghost II doesn’t offer the height of control at high speeds, it does offer exceptional refinement at controlled cruising which is what this car was built for.
When it comes to much more challenging driving on roads that offer steep grades and tight turns, the Bentley Flying Spur stole the show. Out of these three, this is the only one that offers all-wheel drive on the model making it more confident when navigating twists and turns at higher speeds. Also the benefactor of a 12-cylinder engine, the Flying Spur offers it in a 6.0-liter W-12 style that brings in 616 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. As the overall quickest car of the three, the Flying Spur reaches 60 mph in 4.3 seconds versus 4.5 for the S600 and 4.8 for the Ghost II. What makes more difference for those in the European market is the top speed which can reach 200 mph with the other two only able to top out at 155 mph.
Braking for all three was impressive as it seems design teams used brakes that were supposed to be shipped to cargo train manufacturers. With the 500 pound weight advantage the S600 had the shortest braking distance but the Flying Spur came up second with use of the carbon-ceramic rotors on board. The Ghost II did offer some interesting braking with the use of only a couple to do the job much like the highly responsive steering. Cross-winds did not bother any of these three cars which comes as no surprise at all.
On the inside the S600 was the clear winner with plenty of rear legroom and a massage feature. The Flying Spur is the same length but doesn’t offer the same rear seat room, feeling a bit cramped overall. The equipment aboard goes to the S600, but offers a cockpit that is hard to decipher while the Ghost II shows up with an easy and understandable control setup, finally, the Flying Spur shows that it is in need of some serious equipment upgrade to even come close to the other two. For fuel economy comparisons, the S600 averages 15 mpg, the Ghost II 12 mpg and the Flying Spur 11 mpg.
With all this information at hand, who is the winner? That depends on what you are looking for from these three. The Mercedes-Benz S600 is the smartest buy with all the technology aboard and the lowest starting price of $170,000. The Bentley Flying Spur is the car to buy for some sheer gutsy driving on pure adrenaline, but asks for a starting price of $221,125 plus $14,150 for the carbon-ceramic brakes and another $1,525 to have the calipers painted red. The Rolls-Royce Ghost II is the most showy and least apt to excite your driving style, but does offer the prestige and simple ability to show off anywhere you drive this awesome car.