Rolls-Royce Dawn, the long awaited uber-luxury convertible from the British car maker has been finally launched in India, price at ₹ 6.25 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The Rolls-Royce Dawn is the stylish 2+2 seater soft top convertible that shares its underpinnings with the Wraith coupe, but is claimed to be an entirely different car with its own unique styling and features. It is the fourth Rolls-Royce model to enter the Indian car market after the Phantom, Ghost, and Wraith.
Luxurious, exclusive, exquisite; take your pick of adjectives for the lovely Dawn and any one of them will suffice. Basically a Wraith coupe under the skin, the Dawn’s sheet-metal curves and swoops, making it—according to Rolls—the “sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built.” Inside there is room for four adult passengers; occupants will be dazzled by the gorgeous leather and acres of real wood trim. Under the hood is a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V-12 that makes 563 hp, so the Dawn is as fleet as it is sexy.
The Rolls-Royce Dawn is most at home cruising the glittering boulevards of Palm Springs or Palm Beach, the Siriusly Sinatra channel permanently playing, and the driver wearing $2600 Gucci crocodile loafers while contemplating how to cajole public financing for his new NFL stadium. Unlike, say, the similarly pricey Lamborghini Aventador, the Dawn can be driven and used every day. It clears curbs, there’s some room in the trunk, there is a trunk, and it’s easy to get in and out of. It also doesn’t invite a race at every stoplight, though it may invite people of all races to spontaneously come up to the window and quote Bernie Sanders. Alas, first-world problems.
The Dawn earns its copious allocation of asphalt by adding mechanical substance and harmony to exquisite design and detail. It’s not a basket of latter-day tricks; it’s not compatible with Apple CarPlay, and there’s no onboard Wi-Fi. At $402,300 as tested, including a $2750 destination charge and a $2100 gas-guzzler tax, the Dawn is slightly old school, like its future owners.
At a glance, the Dawn is a decapitated Wraith coupe, but Rolls says 80 percent of the body panels are unique to the new car. Top up, it has a spectacular raked profile, and a gorgeous sailing-sloop silhouette when the six-layer cloth top is down. With its recessed grille, it looks fantastic from the front whether you choose to keep the Flying Lady ornament deployed or, as is allowed by a function in the center-console screen, hidden away below a trapdoor. From the rear, well, the car is not quite as distinctively stately.
It rides on the same 122.5-inch wheelbase as the Wraith and is only slightly longer overall. The pair shares basic suspension, drivetrain, and structural elements, with the core engineering derived from a previous-generation BMW 7-series. From a performance standpoint, the difference is that the hardtop Wraith is about 400 pounds lighter and pushes its mass around with 624 horsepower from its BMW-built twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12. The 5776-pound Dawn’s similar V-12 is tuned to just 563 horsepower.