The ‘one new model a year’ expansion of Rolls-Royce continues.
The world’s most recognisable name in luxury motoring now comprises, depending on your generosity, as many as seven models.
The Phantom accounts for four of those and Rolls happily accepts that: saloon, long-wheelbase saloon, coupé and convertible.
But then there’s the smaller, cheaper Ghost, although such things are relative. The Ghost’s derivatives are perceived by Rolls to be individual models rather than variants.
There’s the Wraith coupé, a car that Rolls can’t quite bring itself to call sporting yet it is as dynamic as you’d want a Rolls to be, and now there’s this.
It’s called the Dawn and Rolls says it “is not a Wraith drophead”.
It would be perfectly natural to think of it as a convertible version of the Wraith. The two share the same platform and all but the same mechanicals.
But Rolls, we suppose, is intending you to think of the Dawn as a model in its own right, because it wants the Dawn to have a character of its own right.
Not for the Dawn the dynamism of the Wraith; instead, this car is meant to be “the most social” of luxury dropheads – it has four seats, not 2+2 seats – for those “who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world’s most exclusive social hotspots”.
Just in case you think Rolls-Royce hasn’t quite finished beating eggs into this particular pudding, it says the Dawn is, no less, “the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built”.
Whatever, it’s certainly the soft-roofed Dawn that’ll be built in the biggest numbers.
The Silver Dawn of the early 1950s was the first Rolls for which the factory built its own body, but convertible versions remained coachbuilt – and only 28 were made between 1950 and 1954. That was unequivocally a convertible version of another car.
Whether this Dawn owes its character to another Rolls or not is what we’re here to discover.