At a global online press conference, the first in the history of the company, Rolls-Royce introduced to the world its most striking and seductive installation on wheels till date. The new Rolls-Royce Dawn. And this is a drophead that looks as beautiful with its roof up as with it down.
The Rolls-Royce Dawn is the new definition of open-top, super-luxury motoring, offering an uncompromised experience inside out. It takes inspiration from the Silver Dawn, whilst delivering a cool, contemporary interpretation of what a super-luxury four-seater convertible motor car should be in 2015 – rare, refined and social. It is youthful, laid back casual, yet soaked in elegance. And has a new language that will appeal to the patrons of luxury who have achieved success early in life.
Much like the 1952 Silver Dawn drophead, the new Rolls-Royce Dawn stands apart from its stable mates, featuring 80% unique body panels. Much attention has been paid to ensure that it delivers on its promise of high-value luxury and comfort, with specially developed tires for that ‘magic carpet’ ride expected of every Rolls-Royce. Specific engineering and manufacturing attention has been paid to the creation of the Dawn’s roof, which ensures the silence of a Wraith when up and operates in almost complete silence in just over 20 seconds at a cruising speed of up to 50 kmph. It is a perfectly smooth surface, combined with an innovative tailored ‘French Seam’ that ensures air flow over the car with the roof up creates no noticeable wind noise. Inside, it is the sound of silence – a first in convertible motoring.
It is safe to say that the new Rolls-Royce Dawn is the quietest open-top car ever made. The canopy wraps around the rear seats and down over the window tops, optically lowering the roofline of the car to contribute to its low-slung appearance. And the small size of the rear glass heightens the sense of a private sanctuary when motoring with the roof up.
The Dawn has been created to accommodate four adults who want to travel together in style, with no compromise on comfort or luxury whatsoever. Social networking takes a new meaning on the go, and the character of the vehicle is intended to attract people who relish both freedom and sophistication. It has the classic Rolls-Royce appearance and presence, with a dash of vibrance and a new level of finesse, sophistication and refinement in a drop-head coupé.
The Dawn maintains timeless Rolls-Royce design principles – 2:1 wheel height to body height, a long bonnet, short front overhang, a long rear overhang, an elegant tapering rear graphic and a high shoulder line. All of this, in a contemporary design. It has a powerful and striking front end and a bold sweeping shoulder line flowing over the swell of the rear wheels. When viewed from the side, the high shoulder line, massive C-pillar and horizontally narrow side window aperture give it a low-slung ‘hot rod’ look. The soft top shape is completely harmonious, and new 21” polished and 21’’ and 20” painted wheels ensure that the Dawn remains a contemporary expression of Rolls-Royce luxury.
Roof down, the seductiveness of the Rolls-Royce Dawn is even more apparent, giving an impression of effortless swiftness. The stainless steel waist line finisher wraps around the cabin and works in harmony with the stainless steel door handles, polished wheels, visible exhausts and front and rear bumper jewelry, to create a priceless look and feel.
The deck itself is a work of modern craftsmanship. Clothed in open-pore Canadel panelling that traces the horse-shoe shape of the rear cabin, it demonstrates great advancement made in wood crafting technology and techniques. The wood on the deck, chosen by the customer to suit their individual taste, flows down the ‘Waterfall’ between the rear seats, and around the cabin clothing the interior door panels.
The unique coach doors are impressive and complement the long front wings and relaxed waft line, creating a long body profile and a cosseted cabin. They also add significantly to the overall strength and stiffness of the body as they allow the construction of an uninterrupted A-pillar. Evocative of the classic sports car profile, they add considerably to the easy entry and egress of rear passengers. As the company claims, “The rear passengers do not merely ‘get out’ of a Rolls-Royce Dawn, but rather stand and disembark as if from a Riva motor launch onto a glamorous private jetty in Monaco or on Lake Como.” Point taken.
The four separate bucket seats are set in the midst of a sartorial slingshot of wood and leather. The form is reminiscent of a barchetta, pulled back, poised and ready to launch the occupants of the car to the horizon, even whilst stationary. The instrument dials have also undergone subtle enhancements with individually applied polished metal chaplets around the dials evoking the precision of hand-made, luxury wrist watches, whilst the matt chrome centres ‘float’ in the middle of each instrument. In addition, a new clock design featuring the new motor car’s name has been introduced.
The Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Audio system has been specially calibrated and compensates for the dual personality of the Dawn. Whether the roof is open or closed, it ensures acoustic balance and performance. Sixteen individually-tuned speakers, with both theatre and studio settings, deliver a ‘larger than live’ sensation. Two bass speakers located in the boot complement seven tweeters placed throughout the cabin. The system utilizes a highly sensitive microphone to constantly monitor ambient exterior noise, subtly adjusting volume and tone settings accordingly to ensure consistent sound. The technology complements this, with frequency and phase correction for individual speakers eliminating potential loud and dead spots caused by outside influences.
The chassis makes the Rolls-Royce Dawn the most rigid four-seater convertible ever, with a newly designed suspension that guarantees ultimate cruising comfort. Fewer aerodynamic lifts in front and rear and a lower centre of gravity, in combination with newly designed air springs and active roll bars, deliver surprisingly agile handling capabilities for this super-luxury boulevardier.
The Dawn’s exceptional driving experience is powered by the twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 powertrain, delivering a power output of 563bhp or 420kW @5250 rpm and a torque rating of 780Nm or 575 lb ft @1500 rpm. It is enhanced by dynamic accelerator pedal mapping which delivers up to 30% increased response at medium throttle. The Dawn maintains Rolls-Royce’s typical steering characteristics providing superb driver feedback and ensuring that the car is effortless and precise to drive. It provides a great sense of safety, even at high speeds with the top down. Advanced engineering makes is lighter and more fuel efficient than the majority of convertibles in the market. Dawn also comes with 20″ runflat tires, which can cover a distance of 160 km with deflated tires at speeds up to 80km/h. Optional 21” wheels are also available, mounted on 10-spoke rims.
Then there is the Rotary Controller, an intuitive one-touch solution that allows the user effortless access to media and navigation functions. Input can be finger-drawn onto its surface or the chrome dial can be turned around to scroll through function menus. ‘Pull and Pinch’ feature is also available to help users pinpoint chosen areas on the screen or make them larger. A one-touch call button is located on the steering wheel with voice command capability. So all you need to do is press the button and say: “Navigate to St. Tropez”, and the 10.25” high-definition screen would display the route with accuracy and precision. Simple.
The Automatic Cruise Control system in the Dawn monitors conditions and react to changes in traffic patterns. The Satellite Aided Transmission comes as standard and utilizes GPS data to allow the car to see beyond what the driver sees, anticipating their next move based on location and driving style. It uses this information to select the most appropriate gear from the Dawn’s 8-speed ZF gearbox to ensure the driver is able to exploit the power from the Rolls-Royce 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12, ensuring an effortless and seamless drive experience.
The Dawn also gets adaptive LED lighting technology with electronically controlled reflectors moving in the direction of travel in response to wheel turn. In addition, automatic dipping of full-beam headlights has been replaced with a revolutionary new glare-free technology, which means driving in constant full-beam visibility. A day-time running bar gives the car a distinctive signature whilst augmenting safety at the same time. Night-time driving safety is boosted by the head-up display and heat detection system that detects both human and animal heat signatures, and issues an audible warning to the driver of possible danger.
Technical specifications of the Rolls-Royce Dawn:
Length: 5285 mm/ 17.34 ft
Width: 1947 mm/ 6.39 ft
Height (unladen): 1502 mm/ 4.93 ft
Wheelbase: 3112 mm/ 10.21 ft
Turning circle: 12.7 m/ 41.7 ft
Boot Volume (DIN): 244 ltr – 295 ltr/ 8.6 ft3 – 10.4 ft3
Unladen Weight (DIN): 2560 kg/ 5644 lb
Engine/ Cylinders/ Valves: V/ 12/ 48
Fuel management: Direct injection
Power output @engine speed: 563 bhp/ 420 kW/ 570PS@5250 rpm
Max torque @engine speed: 780 Nm/ 575 lb ft@1500 rpm
Fuel Type: 10:1/ Premium unleaded
Top speed: 250 kmh/ 155mph (governed)
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 4.9sec²
Urban: 21.4 ltr /100 km/ 13.2 mpg (Imp.)
Extra urban: 9.8 ltr/ 100 km/ 28.8 mpg (Imp.)
Combined consumption/ range: 14.2 ltr/ 100 km/ 19.9 mpg (Imp.)
CO2 emissions: 330 g/km
The Rolls-Royce Dawn will debut in flesh & blood a week from now at the Frankfurt Motor Show. And that is where more details of the price would be disclosed, which is expected to be in the starting range of $300,000 to 325,000 and upwards. Watch the Rolls Royce Dawn commercial here: