Luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce has a new car: the Dawn. While the Dawn may look like the Wraith, which was unveiled in 2013, it is almost entirely new. Over 80% of the body panels were made specifically for this car, only the fifth new model since 2003.
Designers at Rolls-Royce have worked to make the Dawn as differentiated as possible, changing the grille and the front bumper subtly to give the car a different profile, while keeping the signature look.
The Dawn goes on sale in 2016, with customers starting to receive orders in April, according to Rolls-Royce. The price is not yet confirmed, but the Wraith starts at £230,000 ($US350,000) and previous “drophead” Rolls models have traditionally cost more than their hardtop counterparts.
Here’s what it looks like.
The new Rolls-Royce 'Dawn' takes it name from the 1955 'Silver Dawn,' a coach-built luxury car that had a roof. However, the Dawn is most closely related to the 2013 'Wraith.'
Every detail of the interior and exterior has been meticulously designed to justify both the price tag -- which will likely sit at over £250,000 -- and the Rolls-Royce 'Spirit of Ecstasy' mascot.
In keeping with previous models, the Dawn has 'suicide doors' that open backwards enabling the occupants to alight easily. These kinds of doors also make it easier for a chauffeur or valet to open them.
The Dawn seats four people with either the roof up or down. A heavier use of wood panelling has been made over previous models, which sets the Dawn apart and gives the interior a clean finish. Whether the orange was a good choice remains to be seen, however.
The dashboard of the car is, again, made from wood while the instruments have been supplied by BMW, the parent company of Rolls-Royce. The centre console features iDrive technology, complete with finger-swipe technology that can interpret Arabic and Mandarin, a nod to the Dawn's major clientele.
The roof mechanism is known as the 'Silent Ballet' and can stow or raise the soft-top in 22 seconds, while the car is driving at speeds of up to 32 mph. When raised, the interior is as quiet as the hard-top Wraith.
Eric Shepard, the company's North America president, told Business Insider reporter Benjamin Zhang that the Dawn is the most beautiful Rolls Royce he's ever seen.
The car is comprised of over 80% new body panels, showing the car is not just the Wraith with the top shaved off.
Every Rolls-Royce is still hand-made in England. Of course, when customers are paying over £250,000 for a car, attention to detail matters.
Just as with every Rolls before it, the Dawn comes with its own hand-made clock, a feature that marks out the car as exceptional.
While a Rolls is never about speed, a giant V12 engine produces over 560 horsepower which propels the car to a (limited) top speed of 155 mph. With the roof down this could ruin your hairdo, however.
According to Rolls-Royce, the average age of an owner has dropped to 40 years old, mainly due to the new models -- such as the Wraith -- appealing to those who drive themselves. No longer is Rolls-Royce the brand of cigar smoking tycoons.
For many owners, the Dawn won't be their first Rolls-Royce and the company is marketing the car as one for trips to hotter climates.
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