Rolls-Royce’s ultra-refined Wraith-based convertible is set to arrive early next year, priced at £250k
16 September 2015

This is the Rolls-Royce Dawn, a soft-top convertible that sits alongside the Wraith coupé in the line-up.

Read our review of the Rolls-Royce Dawn here

The Dawn’s bodywork is 80% new compared with the Wraith on which it is based. Rolls says the cabin has room for four adults to sit in comfort. The only carryover exterior parts from the Wraith are the doors and the grille surround.

Rolls says it has worked hard to ensure that the Dawn is as smooth and quiet as other Rolls-Royce models despite the absence of a fixed roof, delivering on the firm’s famed ‘magic carpet’ ride. 

The firm says the Dawn is as quiet as the Wraith with the roof up, and as such is the quietest convertible on the market. The roof retracts in 21 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph.

The company’s design chief, Giles Taylor, set out to create a car that was as beautiful with the roof up as it was down, with the intention of producing “two cars in one”. The firm looked to the 1952 Silver Dawn Drophead, the last coachbuilt Rolls, for inspiration.

Rolls claims the Dawn is the most rigid-bodied four-seat convertible on the market, something in part achieved by a new suspension system with new air springs and revised anti-roll bars. Rolls is also talking up the agility of the Dawn thanks to this suspension system. The rear track is 24mm wider than that of the Ghost.

Powering the Dawn is the same twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 used by the Ghost. The engine produces 563bhp at 5250rpm and 575lb ft at 1500rpm and drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, which links with the sat-nav to automatically pre-select the next appropriate gear. The Dawn can get from 0-62mph in 4.9sec and reach a limited 155mph. Combined fuel economy is 19.9mpg and CO2 emissions are 330g/km.

The Dawn is 5285mm long, 1947mm wide, 1502mm high and has a wheelbase of 3112mm, dimensions broadly in line with those of the Wraith. It weighs 2560kg, some 200kg more than the Wraith. It is set to go on sale early next year, priced at about £250,000.

Q&A with Giles Taylor, Rolls-Royce Design Director

Is this a Rolls to drive or be driven in?

“To drive. It’s modern, has cool values and a real sexiness. It’s a seminal moment for us, putting a car to the world that celebrates La Dolce Vita.”

Has the Wraith attracted new customers?

“Yes. People are taking it seriously as a young person’s car. The average buyer age has come down to 45. People no longer see us as stiff and formal. I have no sense of restraint in trying to keep the brand as a certain something; I’m curating it to the buyers and responding to the market.”

Will this less formal look be reflected across the range?

“The Phantom has to have gravitas. But the greater flow of this design, the more relaxed look is something we’ll look to do more of. The new front end is a contemporary expression of a Rolls-Royce. We’re lowering the formality.”

Read more Frankfurt motor show news

Read our full review on the opulent coupé-shaped Rolls-Royce Wraith

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Our Verdict

Rolls-Royce Dawn

Rolls makes grand claims for its new four-seat soft-top. Rightly so?

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Comments
26

9 June 2015

Dawn!!!,that's a Girl's name that is!,almost Chinese,like called it Magic Wind,still, it'll sell,no matter what it's name is!

Peter Cavellini.

9 June 2015
Peter Cavellini wrote:

Dawn!!!,that's a Girl's name that is!,almost Chinese,like called it Magic Wind,still, it'll sell,no matter what it's name is!

Exactly my sentiments. I'm waiting for the Rolls Royce Sharon, (and a lottery win).

9 June 2015
Peter Cavellini wrote:

Dawn!!!,that's a Girl's name that is!,almost Chinese,like called it Magic Wind,still, it'll sell,no matter what it's name is!

Exactly my sentiments. I'm waiting for the Rolls Royce Sharon, (and a lottery win).

9 September 2015

#makemineaJava

9 June 2015

Happily it looks nothing like the artist's impression above, which is no more than a reproduction of the Phantom drophead and shares the latter's rather clumsy windscreen and front quarter-light detail. The real car has a simpler (if wholly conventional) window arrangement. As to the name, I agree that it's a bit naff. Shame they didn't give it the full "Silver Dawn" handle, which would have a stronger historical resonance and would avoid confusion with the female name, or called it "Corniche", which would be much more appropriate.

9 June 2015

I don't like the look of any of these new Rolls-Royces and won't be buying one so what the label on the back says is neither here nor there.

9 June 2015

or does it look like a bloated A5 cabriolet?

10 June 2015

...will call it Dawn (without 'the') so it will sound even more female. The name is simply too short. It won't of course appear on the bootlid or anywhere else on the car.

10 June 2015

Does this mean the Wraith's getting renamed the Buffy?

10 June 2015

Not quite sure what was wrong simply calling it Wraith Drophead Coupe. Still, it probably won't be subjected to being chavved or blinged up unlike its rival from Bentley.....

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