Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have recently announced the end of an era as the production of its Dawn convertible comes to a close.
As we bid farewell to this beloved model, let’s take a moment to reflect on its place in the pantheon of great Rolls-Royce motor cars.
Contemporary Glamour and Romance
After the success of the Phantom VII, Phantom Coupé, and Phantom Drophead Coupé, Rolls-Royce saw a need to create a new kind of super-luxury convertible that would appeal to a younger, self-confident, and sociable client base.
Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, challenged his designers to create an entirely new kind of convertible that captured the glamour and romance of super-luxury motoring while offering a contemporary expression of open-top touring to a new generation.
The result was the Rolls-Royce Dawn, inspired by the seductively elegant Silver Dawn drophead coupé made between 1950 and 1954. The nameplate, with its connotations of new beginnings and fresh opportunities, was unanimously approved as the perfect candidate for a 21st Century reincarnation.
Exquisite Elegance Paired with Luxurious Comfort
Dawn’s design embodies the spirit of ‘la dolce vita,’ expressed through timeless form language, contemporary craft, and an effortless yet potent dynamic character. Its pure, simple form was inspired by fifties and sixties fashion that evoked glamour by removing superfluous lines and textures.
Dawn’s supple, flowing coachwork wraps around its occupants, akin to raising a collar on an overcoat, affording those inside a cossetting, private, and chic cabin experience.
Despite its sleek design, Dawn is a full four-seater with comfortable, individual seating for all occupants, breaking the long-established automotive design convention of convertibles being designed in a 2+2 configuration with limited rear-seat space.
Dawn’s roof mechanism, dubbed the ‘Silent Ballet,’ was meticulously engineered to create the world’s quietest convertible. The marque’s engineers spent months optimising the convertible experience, ensuring that neither airflow nor disruptive noise enters the cabin.
A modified mannequin, provisioned with a wig of long, flowing hair, was used to record how the hair was displaced by the moving air. The resulting data enabled engineers to make Dawn the world leader in aerodynamic comfort with the roof open.
Black Badge Dawn
In 2017, Rolls-Royce added a Black Badge variant of Dawn to its model family. The Black Badge Dawn derived its character from a series of engineering and design treatments, adding a bass-baritone quality to the engine note and boosting torque to 840Nm. The result was a noire expression of the brand, appealing to the rebel spirit that attracts so many.
A Lasting Legacy
Dawn’s legacy goes beyond its desirability. It brought the spirit of ‘la dolce vita’ to Rolls-Royce’s contemporary brand promise through an exquisite marriage of seductive design, contemporary materials, and a social, open-air driving experience. In doing so, Dawn has compelled an entirely new generation to the marque.
As we say goodbye to the Rolls-Royce Dawn, we can look back at its lasting legacy, embodying the essence of glamour, luxury, and elegance. The Dawn will forever hold a unique place in the pantheon of great Rolls-Royce motor cars.