When we received a recent media release from Rolls Royce, we were pretty damn excited. After opening the document however, I realised I had just opened a lot more than a typical media release. As Alex Davies describes it "a 4800 word opus that doesn't mention the car until the fourth paragraph." This was a big deal for Rolls Royce, but I guess it isn't very often they bring out new models, let alone a model this exciting.
First looks: Is it a drop top Wraith? Well no, the Dawn has a completely new body and design, but I must say it is strikingly similar to other models. Regardless - I dont care. I think the design is superb; all class. That is one thing the British do exceptionally well; Rolls, Bentley Aston, they all design classic, classy and understated motor vehicles.
The Dawn is absolutely no exception. Featuring a striking front end and high shoulder line, the convertible gives small design impressions of a Hot Rod. Along the high shoulder line runs a thin, understated red pinstripe which emphasises the low lying and sleek body of the Dawn. From the front, it looks masculine and ready to go. In side-view, the short front overhang, contrasting with the rear's long overhang gives the vehicle an elongated and sleek look.
As one would expect, under the hood sits a 6.6 litre, twin-turbocharged V12 engine which produces an ample 563 horse power, and takes the car from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds. Not bad for a car that weighs 2.5 tonne right? Although being a classic brand, the transmission of the Dawn is far from traditional. Rolls Royce have used a "satellite aided transmission" which anticipates the drives next move based on their GPS location and driving style. For example, as a driver lifts their foot off the accelerator to turn into a corner, the system will recognise the data for the location and drop the gears accordingly, to allow the driver to exploit the full brunt of horsepower when exiting the corner.
Inside the car, it's everything you would expect; luxury craftsmanship with technology to match. Instead of using a standard touch screen operating system, the Dawn incorporates the "Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller", a touch pad which allows users to access all media and navigation functions. The pad allows passengers to write characters, scrolls through function menus, and access voice-controlled commands.