Sure, new cars are introduced everyday, but does anyone really care that a new electric subcompact goes on sale? Not really. But when Rolls-Royce launches a new vehicle, it’s extraordinary. Called Dawn, the new drophead is a four-seater going after the young, affluent, “social” buyer, and even the CEO of Rolls, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, calls the Dawn “the sexiest Rolls Royce ever made.”
The new convertible will be made in Sussex, England, at the Goodwood facility, and was influenced by the rare 1952 Silver Dawn drophead. No question the vehicle is stunning, with amazing woodwork that graces the softtop deck, hand-stitched leather, Midnight Sapphire exterior color, and hand-painted stripes on the sides. Rolls says it’s not a Wraith convertible, because it features 80 percent new body panels, but the doors are carryover. The front end is pulled forward just over two inches, and the grille has been inset almost two inches.
The softtop opens and closes in 22 seconds, and can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph. To ensure that the Dawn maintains Rolls’ reputation for luxury and quietness, the vehicle was tested in an anechoic chamber, usually reserved for high-end audio speakers. Rolls claims the new Dawn is the quietest vehicle available today, although no dB numbers were given.
Under the bonnet is a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 that makes 563 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. The engine is matched to a ZF eight-speed automatic. In addition, buyers can choose from either 20- or 21-inch wheels with run-flat tires, which deletes the spare in the trunk and lightens up this 5,600-lb automobile.
Other features include a rotary controller for media and nav functions, a touchpad with zoom and pinch features, pop-up rollbars, full LED lights inside and out, heat detection system for people and creatures who wander into the road, a heads-up display, Bespoke Audio system with 16 speakers, and, of course, the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has experienced five consecutive years of sales growth since 2009, and the new Dawn is sure to help keep that momentum. For more information on the Dawn, click here.
2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn preliminary specifications
Base price est.: £250,000 ($380,000)
Body style/layout: 4-door droptop, front engine/rear-wheel drive
Type: 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12
Displacement, cc: 6592
Block/head material: aluminum/aluminum
Compression ratio: 10:1
Horsepower: 563 hp @ 5250 rpm
Torque: 575 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Required fuel: Premium regular
Fuel economy, EPA est.: 13/29/20 city/highway/combined
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Suspension, front/rear: Independent, air springs, active roll bars
Wheels: 20-inch alloy
Brakes: 4-wheel disc
Wheelbase: 122.5 in.
Length: 208 in.
Height: 59.1 in.
Width: 16.7 in.
Curb weight: 5,644 lbs
Cargo volume: 10.4 cu. ft .
Photography courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars