A new Rolls-Royce motor car is a rare occasion, and the British firm has added a second convertible to its modest range in the shape of the Dawn. Similar in size and target audience to the Wraith coupe, the Dawn nonetheless is regarded by Rolls-Royce as a brand-new car with aspirations to bring new and younger buyers in to the brand.
Rolls-Royce sells comparatively few cars compared to mainstream marques and also to a very select audience, so its product range is equally specific and niche-targeted. Following the rebirth of the brand with the Phantom, the Ghost and subsequent Wraith models expanded the brand into smaller car and also more affordable territory, whilst still sitting firmly in the super-luxury segment.
Now Rolls-Royce has introduced the Dawn into the 'sub-Phantom' range of products, sitting alongside the Ghost II saloon and Wraith coupe as cars designed for buyers looking for something smaller than the Phantom. The Dawn is now the second convertible model in the range, with the Phantom Drophead being the other option.
The exterior of the Dawn is 80% new compared to the Wraith, with which it shares some of its core structure, and aside from the key change of a folding roof it has a more steeply raked windscreen, slimmer side windows and stronger curves over the rear haunches. Overall the Dawn has been created with more contemporary design cues than many of its stablemates.
The Dawn comes with a folding fabric roof instead of a metal construction, as Rolls-Royce claims it is as quiet as the comparable Wraith thanks to a six-layer design. It also allows the car to be designed without the need to accommodate a bulky roof, and means the Dawn is a full four-seater rather than a 2+2.
Our verdict on the Rolls-Royce Dawn 6.6 V12
The fact that the biggest rival to the Dawn is the bigger Phantom Drophead perfectly illustrates its sumptuous performance. Highly attractive inside and out, engineered to perform beautifully in a variety of circumstances and providing the all-important sense of occasion, the Dawn is a beautiful car that could only have come from the most-respected marque in the business.