Rolls Royce Dawn (Auto)

The Ultimate Cruising Machine

By Shin Takei


Autumn is the best time of the year for driving a convertible. The strong sunshine of summer is gone and a different scent permeates

the clean and crisp air.  For some of us the leaves turn color and beautiful fall scenery makes it that much appealing. What better convertible to cruise around in than a Rolls Royce Dawn?  All new this year, the Dawn is based on the same architecture as the Wraith but if you look closely many of the panels are not the same and the front is a totally new look with different bumpers and a lower grill. The car looks sleek with the top up or down and has beautiful proportions that make it a definitive Rolls Royce. The rear quarters are wider and the overall height is twice the height of the wheels. With the top up and wide C-pillars, the Dawn looks like a custom car. Powered by a 6.6 liter twin turbo V8 that produces 563 hp @5250 rpm with 605 lb-ft torque @ 1600 rpm, the Dawn is no slouch for a 5200 lb vehicle. The 8- speed ZF transmission is like the Wraith and its shift points are calculated by GPS connection anticipating the roads and curves coming ahead. All this translates to a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. The engineers have designed a rigid structure to make sure the Dawn was free from any typical convertible shake.


But that’s not all what the Dawn is about. Unlike the sportier Wraith, the Dawn is an automotive statement that you cruise and glide around in. Open the carriage doors and a sumptuous interior adorned with the best leather and book matched wood veneers available assembled by craftsmen who have been

working at the factory several generations tickle your senses. Overall quality is impeccable throughout and the attention to detail is exemplary.  The back seat is deep, roomy and comfy and is a true four passenger convertible instead of a cramped 2+2. The rear deck reminiscent of a barchetta is bespoke to the choice of the owner as the rest of the car. Particular attention has been paid to the convertible top which maintains the same silence as the fixed roof Wraith up to 35 mph. The mechanism of the top is so smooth the engineers have coined it Silent Ballet and lowers in just 22 seconds. The French-weave top contributes to the silence as it aids in aerodynamic efficiency. The Spirit of Ecstasy rotary controller is your access to the 10.3 inch screen and multi-function navigation system which is a vast improvement over previous systems.


So how does it drive? Gliding is a more appropriate word when describing the ride of the Dawn. Make no mistake, this is a German

Rolls-Royce Dawn. Western Cape, South Africa.
Photo: James Lipman

engineered automobile built to the standards of British tradition and craftsmanship. It may be smooth as butter but it has a very stable ride and it doesn’t float or waddle so you’re not tossed around in the cabin. It’s a serene ride so you can hear the fallen leaves rustling on the pavement as you glide by smoothly and quietly. At freeway speeds, the Dawn is rock solid and there are no dramas. The 16 speaker Bespoke Audio has been engineered to give the best sound experience with the top up or down. At home in Beverly Hills, Monte Carlo, San Trope, Lake Cuomo or anywhere else, the Dawn is an automobile you want to show off and be seen in. It commands a presence like no other.


You don’t need the Starlight Headliner, an option on closed roof models because you can look above and see the real thing. As Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars quoted: Like Eleanor Thornton, thought by many to be the inspiration behind the Spirit of Ecstasy, the Rolls-Royce Dawn will itself prove to be the muse that leads its owner to believe that at the start of the day, anything is possible.”

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