Takes to the road in Rolls-Royce’s brand new model
the Wraith blended with a bit of the Ghost. Of course, given the quality of those two cars, that’s like saying a painting is a bit of Van Gogh mixed with a bit of Monet. The Dawn was unveiled last year and is only the fourth model that Rolls-Royce produces, along with the aforementioned two and the Phantom. It is a two-door, four-seater ultraluxury cabriolet designed for those that want to cruise with the wind in their hair. You know, posers. That’s not to say it lacks power, it certainly doesn’t with a twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 engine under the bonnet, producing 563bhp and 780Nm of torque. The power is there in an instant, just like the Wraith, and the Dawn is quite capable of flying along the road.
However, to drive the Dawn fast is missing the point, for two reasons. Firstly, you want to give passers-by as much time as possible to admire it and secondly, driving the Dawn is not an experience to be rushed, it is one to savour, just like the Ghost.
Stepping through the coach doors of the Dawn, just as with all Rolls-Royces, is not like getting into any other make of car. It is like entering a time machine, except one that takes you both forward and back in time, mixing more than 100 years of heritage with state-ofthe-art technology. For example the clock is analogue, there’s an umbrella hidden in the door frame and the panelling is wood, yet there is also a heads-up display on the windscreen, automatic cruise control and 16 speakers.
Of course, the highlight is the fabric roof, the Dawn’s raison d’etre, which can be opened or closed in 22 seconds at speeds of up to 50kph.
Even driving the Dawn during the UAE summer, I had the roof down at every opportunity, arm posed carefully on the side to avoid blisters from the bodywork.
And that sums up the Dawn and its target market. It’s a car that you won’t buy to drive but to be seen to be driving.