Republishing my review of the Rolls-Royce Dawn from 2016 – originally featured in Motoring Middle East
Troubles getting you down, feeling miserable, full of angst? If you can afford it (and don’t ask me how) I have the perfect antidote for you.
Birds flying high, you know how I feel. Sun in the sky, you know how I feel. Breeze drifting on by, you know how I feel. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s the new Rolls-Royce Dawn, yeah. And I’m feeling good.
Gliding along on a cloud of comfort, you know how I feel. Ensconced in decadent lashings of luxury, you know how I feel. Imperiously staring down that bonnet at little Ellies pert bottom, you know how I feel. It’s the new Dawn, and I’m feeling good.
What’ll it do mister?
Don’t be so crass!
Yes, okay, there’s a power station of a 6.6 V12 motor discreetly thrumming away under that expansive bonnet head. It’s churning out 571bhp and 575lb ft of torque. And that there, is way more than adequate.
Number nerds may ponder that it’s less mighty than a 630bhp Wraith. Racer types may marvel that it’ll launch from standstill and surge to the century, arriving four-tenths of a second before a fully ragged out Nissan 370Z, and with much less drama.
But supreme propulsion is not the point of this serene and sublime road yacht.
Price? Did you ask me the price?
Don’t be so vulgar.
Simply put, if you have to ask, The Flying Lady is not for you.
Here at the heady heights of automotive supremacy, roof down to embrace the ultimate in decadence on the move – thanks to soothing icy cold streams of air venting from the shiny sweaty spheres of salvation on this searing day – money is an irrelevance.
Because if you are fortunate enough to supplant your bottom on this deep cushiony throne of heavenly comfort, you already have too much of it to care.
Unless you’re fakester hack like me of course!
So then what is a Dawn?
Ah… as Rolls-Royce itself explains – ‘in its tentative, inchoate, anticipatory state, dawn is the world coming to light from the ethereal dark of the night.
‘The early day chill of dawn provides an erotic tingle on the skin, awakening the senses and passion as the day begins…’
What? Oh. You meant what EXACTLY is a Dawn?
Well come a little closer, no closer than that. I have to tell you in stealthy secrecy, it’s unseemingly to explain this openly.
Dawn is the convertible version of the Wraith, which is the coupe version of the Ghost, which is based on the previous BMW 7 Series; which has absolutely nothing to do with the ride we’re experiencing right now.
Oh! Oops! They heard me!
They doth protest! ‘80% of the body panels on this – the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built,’ they say ‘are new’.
Indeed the grille itself is recessed as if to suck in not more air, but the future itself, bringing it to your present for you to peruse at your leisure.
A new front bumper, presents a more cutting, jutting profile.
And then there’s those sexy hips, Royce’s words, not mine, contoured around the rear wheel arches – it’s a bit bootylicious back there, innit?
21-inch rims isolate you from the road and the suspension ensures you won’t be troubled by the temerity of the tarmac to be not pristine and perfectly smooth, and free from blemishes and bumps.
You float along on a magic carpet ride as if not on, but hovering above the surface, sometimes bouncing delicately on the turbulence but never harshly transmitting the truth beneath your feet.
Occasionally the body heaves to and fro as it executes direction changes under the command of the enormous thin-rimmed finger-tip light steering. It’s faithful and true, impressive even for what may be perceived ungainly.
But a tip from me to you, don’t go chasing any Lotuses in this. It’s undignified and you’ll just be embarrassed!
Instead just waft along snuggled deep within the creamy caress of an interior that 12 much-indulged Swiss cows gave their free-roaming life to create.
Run your finger along the book-matched, herringbone-style open-pore Canadel wood that is everywhere, including the rear deck, for a truly tactile sensory delight.
Real wood yo!
In this Tango-Orange, sorry, that would be ‘Mandarin-orange’ in Royce-speak, four can fully fit and bask in the extravagant glory of instantly being celebrities aboard a superstar ride.
In 20 seconds the thick canvas roof can completely shut out the harshness of the outside world, but even now with the roof down, it’s quiet enough to meditate and contemplate – either on what to do with my billions, or why I’m so poor I can’t afford the perfect pinstripe on this thing.
Yet the majesty of this thing, triumphs over the misery of my demeanour.
And that is the true wonder of this exquisite creation from ‘The World’s Best Car Manufacturer’ (Trademark!). How comprehensively it utterly annihilates and dismisses all worldly concerns and troubles, and elevates you to godlike transcendence.
Right here, right now, I feel Regal, I feel important, I feel privileged, I feel gracious, I feel rich, I feel special and most importantly of all, as Nina Simone sang, I feel good.
Price: AED1.6m ($436k)
Engine: 6.6-litre V12, 571bhp @5250rpm, 575lb ft @1500rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 4.9secs, 250kph, 14.3L/100km
Transmission: 8-speed auto, Rear-wheel drive