You've never seen a Rolls-Royce quite like this before.
The Rolls-RoyceDawn looks like a drop-top edition of the Wraith we drove recently, but company CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes says there's more to it than that. In fact, the company describes it as the world's only true modern four-seat super luxury convertible. Who are we to argue, especially after experiencing the incredible opulence of the Wraith?
The Dawn takes its name from the Silver Dawn, a series of 28 custom convertibles Rolls-Royce built between 1950 and 1954. The new interpretation of the Dawn concept features a body that is 80 percent unique compared to the Wraith coupe.
"Dawn" is also meant to evoke the feeling of a fresh morning, according to Mueller-Oetvoes. "The early-day chill of dawn provides an erotic tingle on the skin, awakening the senses and passions as the day begins," he said.
The Dawn is a car built for being seen on the Cote d'Azur, Mueller-Oetvoes promises. "It will be the most social of super-luxury drophead motor cars for those who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world’s most exclusive social hotspots. Quite simply, it is the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built."
To ensure that feeling, Rolls-Royce was careful to build the car with a traditional soft convertible roof rather than a folding hard top, preserving the appearance and cabin sound of Rolls-Royce convertibles of yore. The engineering team's goal was to make the Dawn quiet inside, with the top up or down, and to make the roof's operation correspondingly silent. The roof stows away completely in just under 22 seconds even while driving at speeds as high as 30 mph.
The rear-hinged, front opening "coach" doors and slingshot cabin forms are meant to evoke a Riva motor launch, ferrying passengers ashore to Monaco from their yachts. With the wide-opening doors and the top down, passengers can simply stand in the car and step out to the curb.
The 16-speaker Bespoke Audio system is optimized for open-top enjoyment, with speakers located so they eliminate any potential loud or dead spots in the cockpit that are caused by outside influences. But we suspect that the stereo won't drown out the shouts of the paparazzi stalking this car's occupants.
For the rest of us, there are always Rolls-Royce-built go-carts.