A Rolls-Royce with the most pleasing name ever (when compared to Phantom, Ghost, Wraith), the 2016 Dawn Drophead Coupe has officially been revealed to the world and true to its name, the new model will help the brand appeal to a wider that compromise of young achievers or the royal blood that want something sophisticated yet young and that is exactly where the Dawn steps in with its ultra-expensive boots making heads turn as it goes. Based on the Wraith coupe, Rolls-Royce regards the Dawn as the sexiest car ever to be built by the company and we couldn’t agree more.
The 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn gets 80% new exterior body panels differentiating it from the Wraith by an extensive margin while only the doors being carried over. This is also the reason why the company chose to give it an all-new name instead of just calling it the Wraith Drophead. Attention has been paid to make the convertible look beautiful with the roof down as much as it looks with the roof up and the same has been an integral part of the design process. Keeping that in mind, the Dawn comes with all the automaker’s philosophies including the long front hood, 2:1 wheel height to body height ratio and a tapered shoulder line with the belt line arching towards the back of the cabin. The folks at Rolls even call it a hot rod due to the low-slung look.
Differentiating itself from the Wraith, the 2016 Dawn gets the front grille recessed by 45 mm, whereas the front bumper has been pulled by 53 mm. Compared to the Ghost, the wheelbase is 180 mm shorter on the convertible. Customers get the option of choosing 21-inch alloy wheels, while the 20-inch rims are offered as standard. Speaking about the roof itself, the automaker says it gets as silent as a Wraith once the roof is up, which is commendable as there are 6 layers of fabric and insulation separating the cabin from the outside world. The drophead takes 22 seconds to open or retract and can be done while driving at speeds up to 50 kmph.
Interior comfort can never be compromised on a Rolls and same is the case with this new drophead coupe. Done up in Mandarin orange, the cabin is a proper four-seater with individual bucket seats and gets dedicated legroom for all passengers. The craftsmanship is immaculate and you can breathe through the finest man hours that were invested in building the model. You find the instrument dials updated with individually applied polished metal chaplets, reminiscent of hand-made luxury wrist watches and there is a new clock featuring ‘Dawn’ moniker inside.
The now trademark coach doors continue to feature on the 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn that offer ingress to the overload of specially finished wood and leather upholstery throughout the cabin, all of which is customizable of course. You also can’t help but admire the open-pore wood finished deck behind which the soft top is stowed away neatly. As loaded as the Dawn is on craftsmanship, Rolls does not leave out modern tech with the very cool Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller providing access to all settings and is displayed on a 10.25-inch high definition screen.
When driving at night, the owners get a heads up display system and heat detection system that not only detects humans, but also animal heat signatures. Rolls-Royce has also incorporated the Safety Aided Transmission on the 2016 Dawn coming from the Wraith. For your acoustic needs, the drophead coupe comes with 16 individually-tuned speakers that deliver a ‘larger than live’ sensation and comprises of 2 bass speakers in the boot, complimented by 7 tweeters scattered perfectly through the cabin.
Coming to that beast lurking under the hood, the 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn keeps the V12 heritage alive being powered by a 6.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that pumps out 563 BHP of power and 780 Nm of torque and comes paired to an 8-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission. The automaker has improved the acceleration by 30% on medium throttle thanks to the dynamic accelerator pedal mapping; however, don’t think it will corner like a sports car if you push it too hard. Having said that, it does the 0-100 kmph run in 4.9 seconds and that is certainly commendable for a 2560 kg car. The top speed is limited to 250 kmph.
As beautiful and rare as they get, the 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn will be making its public debut next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show and production for the model has already commenced at the company’s Goodwoood plant in the UK. If your pockets are heavier than a small country’s GDP, then the Dawn definitely makes the ideal car for you to drive around when the skies are clear and will leave a lasting impact on anyone who catches a glimpse of it. However, if you plan to get one this year, you can’t since the order books are already full. Time to pull in those favours, we’d suggest!