The Dawn Is Breaking New Ground

Rolls-Royce Dawn

AN AFTERNOON roll in a Rolls-Royce Dawn serves as a great pick me up for the day.

Sweet on the eye for a big-built lass, the near 3-ton, shapely, four-seater flaunts sumptuous sexiness in your face. And she’ll let you take her top down, too, quietly.

Those who say the Dawn is just a Wraith with a soft top haven’t got the full measure of the new Rolls-Royce. It’s been reworked to ensure that whether it’s protecting you from the elements or hurtling down the road, you’ll still enjoy that smooth ride. Sans the pillars to keep its shape, a lot more engineering has to be worked into the structure to ensure that its sense of “waftability” is kept intact.

Reputations are important, as always, and in this era of social media and instant communications, everything gets around really quickly. As does the Dawn.

Rolls-Royce Dawn
The Dawn is breaking ground.

When pushed for a spell, the silver Dawn with the Consort Red interior we are urging along, proved to be a silver streak. Into the curves, it welcomed a bit of a challenge, and into the bends a slight correction was all that was needed. No ruffled feathers on the Spirit Of Ecstasy.

German research and development from parent company BMW at work.

Less of that waftability seemed evident, as the Dawn purposefully rolls on westward along the highway. But, let’s face it, this is not a car you’re in a hurry to get anywhere in.

You want to luxuriate in the contours of the seats that cuddle and coddle you ever so sensuously. You enjoy the moment, appreciative of the many details — the fine stitching, the wood grain, the silence of the cabin when the fabric top is up, or how the music fills the space if the sound of silence unnerves you (like Disturbed’s version of the Simon & Garfunkel hit).

Rolls-Royce Dawn
The detail and finish of the Dawn interiors are of the highest quality.

That BMW sense of use of space is also evident in the layout of the car. Familiar features like the controller and the layout of the dashboard echo the sensibilities of the Munich brand, but Rolls-Royce has to up the game, to keep with the additional zeros in its price tag. That plush leather in any hue you desire, wood trims, glass buttons to switch channels with, a continuous rotary knob to control the air-conditioner, a special Dawn clock and a screen to display vital information and a clear view of the surrounding area are all what you’d expect of a car with a base price shy of $1.5 million.

Old favourites like the famous organ stop vent controls and impeccable finishing are still major draws. And those doors that swing open at the front make it the most elegant way to get in and out of a vehicle. Even for the backseat passengers. And power closing is really, the only way to go to stay in character.

Rolls-Royce Dawn
Dawn of a new era for Rolls-Royce.

The quiet ease with which the hood orchestrates its opening and closing — even on the move — is refined engineering at work. The hood comes in nine colours, so you could match almost any colour you opt for. As a fully customisable car, the Rolls-Royce can be made to reflect the owner. It will just cost you for that privilege.

With so many whizz-bang features to play with, it’s still amazing that the Rolls-Royce driver is still happy to have no gears to play with. But with the Dawn there is the option of hitting the LOW button on the transmission stalk to hold those gears a little longer.

Not ideally located, and almost there because there seemed to be some vague need for it, the 6.6-litre V12 is able to deliver what you need. And pretty quickly, too — with 780Nm of torque on hand at 1,500rpm.

Granted, the Dawn will move. It will get you there, and back. But it’s the manner of doing so that sets it apart.


Styling: 8/10

Interior: 8.5/10

Ride: 8/10

Handling: 6.5/10

Power: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

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Engine: V12, 48valves

Capacity: 6.6L

Max Power: 420kW@5,250rpm

Max Torque: 780Nm@1,500rpm

Transmission: 8-speed

Efficiency: 14.1L/100km

CO2: 330g/km

0-100kmh: 5.1 seconds

Top Speed: 250kmh (limited)

Retail price: *$1,468,888

Please reconfirm price with dealer.

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