You might think new product launches from the most world’s most prestigious car manufacturer would happen less often but only two years after the birth of the Wraith, the Goodwood-based company are today announcing their “sexiest ever” car ahead of the Frankfurt motor show next month.
Rolls-Royce continue to “strive to perfection” – motto of co-founder Sir Henry Royce – and from detail shots of the new model, its easy to see that the company haven’t compromised on any aspect of this new 2+2 model. ‘Dawn’ is a name that has only previously been applied to 28 very special drophead bodies built between 1950 and 1954. Far from being simply a convertible Wraith, 80% of the new car’s body panels are unique to the model, whereas engine and drive train do derive from that already very successful model. As you might expect from the marque, rear seat accommodation is not compromised and your passengers can expect to travel in as much opulent luxury as the lucky person taking the wheel.
The design and engineering highlight of the Dawn is its roof – to be a true Rolls-Royce, Dawn had to deliver the hushed driving experience associated with all Rolls-Royces. At the same time, for reasons of aesthetics, romance and brand appropriateness, the only choice was a fabric roof. What they have created is almost completely silent in operation, from fully open to closed in just over 20 seconds and at a cruising speed of up to 50kph. And forget the wind noise you normally associated with a fabric roof – a tailored ‘French Seam’ ensures that the air flow over the car with the roof up means there simply isn’t any. Its as much art as it is technology and engineering.
And whilst cocooned in this luxurious setting should you choose a musical accompaniment on your travels, the Dawn features a sixteen-speaker sound system by Bespoke Audio, capable of self-adjustment to match the ambient noise, designed and fitted with considerable attention to acoustic detail.
Talking of technology, the Dawn adopts the GPS-assisted transmission system launched on the Wraith – a system that looks ahead to optimise gear selection from the 8-speed ZF gearbox. And the car shares the same silky-smooth 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12 from that model, ensuring the Dawn is their most powerful drop-head built to date.
Headlights are, of course, LED and rather than adopted automatic dipping of main beam on the approach of another car, the beams are instead deflected and thus the driver enjoys the benefit of a brightly-lit scene ahead at all times.
The satellite navigation system can be voice-activated so today lets “navigate to Monaco” and the optimum route will appear on the 10.25″ high definition display. Automatic cruise control will ensure the drive won’t be too taxing, along with radar and camera proximity detection systems to ensure you arrive totally unruffled.
So, once again Rolls-Royce cars have delivered a combination of superb craftsmanship and modern technology in the new Dawn – far more than transportation from A to B, their latest creation underlines their continuing ability to deliver style and grace our roads.
Photos: © Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; words: Chris Valentine