Takes to the road in Rolls-Royce’s brand new model

7 Days in Dubai - - DRIVEN - Si­mon@7days.ae

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.

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