The Rolls-Royce Dawn gives an unqualified upscale experience.
In our test, we felt the respect this car engendered while driving it through Boston on a beautiful Fall day through New England.
The Dawn is more than 17 feet long and six feet wide, and its weight is claimed to be just less than 5,700 pounds. That’s big in a city where the streets were designed when most people rode horses.
But, the Dawn is such a spectacular sight that everyone around it simply moved out of the way.
In a town where people would just as soon lose a front bumper rather than let you merge, its drivers remarkably relaxed for the Dawn.
On the open road, getting out of the way is a moot point, because most cars can’t keep up.
Power comes from a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12. Stats are 563 horsepower, 575 lb-ft of torque, and a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds. That’s a lot of power, but this is a lot of car.
As such, the Dawn isn’t the most responsive vehicle you’ll ever drive, but once it understands you mean business, you’ll see the Dawn’s hood come up as power surges and it lets loose.
But that’s not really what the Dawn is all about. It’s not a sports car; instead, the Dawn is a luxury car that pretty much defines the words.
People don’t save up to buy a Dawn; they usually add one to their existing collection of luxury cars. According to the folks from Rolls-Royce, that collection typically numbers around seven and likely includes a Land Rover for days when the terrain is more rugged.
The Dawn is your Sunday afternoon pleasure cruise. It’s your drive up the coast with nothing to do and no destination in mind. It’s your meandering journey through the countryside. It is effortless and relaxing, and it floats down the road.
Thinking of hiring a driver? That’s a good plan, because the best seats in the Dawn are the ones where you don’t need to hold the wheel and can simply sink back into the leather and enjoy the ride.
This is a true four-seater convertible with a back seat that fits two adults comfortably. It is elegant, with open-pore wood and chrome accents tastefully applied throughout the cabin. The story is similar up front, save for a few oddly chosen black plastic accents that seem completely out of place in the face of such luxury.
The suicide doors, which Rolls-Royce calls carriage doors, make it easy to get in and out of the Dawn, but they are heavy. They can also be difficult to reach for short arms, so there are buttons you can press to close them. The only odd bit about the buttons is that you must hold them down until the doors are fully closed.
You’re probably choosing to drive your Dawn convertible on days when the sun is shining, but should the weather unexpectedly turn, then there are built-in umbrellas in the passenger and driver’s side door jambs. Push a button, and your umbrella pops right out.
You can also quickly close the roof in 22 seconds at speeds up to 32 mph. As with the doors, this requires holding the button until the process is complete.
Much like this isn’t a performance vehicle, it’s also not a particularly tech-centric vehicle. You won’t find Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and there’s only one USB port tucked into the notably small center console. You get a 10.25-inch high-definition screen that is not a touchscreen. It’s controlled with a dial on the center console that features the silhouette of the Spirit of Ecstasy. That’s the name of the Rolls-Royce hood ornament, so you can thank us later when you know that tidbit the next time you’re chatting with a stranger over a bourbon.
Starting price of the Rolls-Royce Dawn is $335,000 for the base model, but most orders come in higher.
Cash in hand gets your custom Dawn stocked with most anything you want. You’ll also have to be patient, as orders are currently taking around six months to fill.
Order your Rolls-Royce Dawn today, and you’ll have it just in time to celebrate spring.