Earlier this year at the New York Auto Show, Rolls-Royce North America president Eric Shepherd told Business Insider that car maker’s new Dawn convertible is the most beautiful Rolls he’s ever seen.
Although we certainly trust. Shepherd’s judgment of beauty, we wanted to see the car for ourselves before we made our call.
This week, we finally got a glimpse of the eagerly anticipated soft top — and were impressed.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes unveiled the Dawn on Tuesday in a ceremony at the company’s home in Goodwood, England.
“Our new Rolls-Royce Dawn promises a striking, seductive encounter like no other Rolls-Royce to date, and begins a new age of open-top, super-luxury motoring,” Mueller-Oetvoes said in a statement.
“Dawn is a beautiful new motor car that offers the most uncompromised open-top motoring experience in the world,” he added.
“Quite simply, it is the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built.”
Aesthetically, the Dawn isn’t pop-culture sexy.
It doesn’t have Ferrari’s cutting-edge Italian style, nor does it have Bentley’s athletic confidence. It certainly doesn’t have Jaguar’s sensual curves.
What makes the Rolls so beautiful and intriguing is a stately elegance that only a car carrying the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament can pull off.
Within the brand’s lineup, the Dawn will serve as the convertible (or “drophead” in Rolls-Royce lingo) to accompany to the company’s dynamic Wraith hardtop.
Although, the two models share many mechanical components, the company is quick to point out that 80% of the Dawn’s sheet metal is unique to the car.
What isn’t new is the Dawn’s modern streamlined take on Rolls-Royce’s signature grill — that’s lifted straight from the Wraith coupe and the Ghost sedan upon which it’s based.
What also isn’t unique to the Dawn is its 6.6-litre, 563-horsepower, twin-turbocharged-V12 engine, shared with the Ghost sedan. (The Wraith has a more powerful 624-horsepower version of the same engine.)
We certainly aren’t complaining. Business Insider spent a few hundred miles behind the wheel of the Ghost and the Wraith and were completely blown away by the BMW-sourced engine’s potent power delivery.
Like its siblings, the Dawn will be equipped with Rolls-Royce/BMW Satellite Aided Transmission, which uses GPS technology to determine how the should behave based on the road ahead.
According to Rolls, the engine/transmission duo helps propel the Dawn’s 5,644 lbs. to 62 mph in a brisk 4.9 seconds — and all the way to top speed of 155 mph.
Inside the cabin, the Dawn has all the luxury accouterments one would expect to find in a Rolls-Royce. Fine wood accents and rich leather cover virtually every surface of the Dawn. At the heart of the interior is an infotainment setup based on parent-company BMW’s latest iDrive system.
The Dawn’s defining feature is its soft convertible top. According to Rolls-Royce, the Dawn’s roof can be deployed in just 22 seconds, while the car is in motion up to 31 mph. With the top up, the company claims the Dawn’s occupants will experience the quietest convertible in the world.
Thus far, Rolls-Royce has yet to announce official pricing for the Dawn. But don’t expect all of this beauty, performance, and technology to come cheap. The Dawn should be priced in the same neighbourhood as its hardtop sibling, the Wraith, which starts at around $US295,000.
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