Rolls Royce's new super-luxury, four-seat, drophead convertible Dawn is now in Australia. Like other Rolls Royce motor cars, we didn't expect it to be cheap, but at $749,000 — oof.
Australia is expected to be one of the most popular countries for Dawn sales, mainly because of our warm climate; we'll start seeing them (them? Maybe two or three) on Aussie roads from the second half of 2016 onwards. While the new car may look quite similar to other Rolls to the untrained eye, 80 per cent of its body panels are unique, and its roof is the second largest ever fitted to a convertible — and the largest is on the even larger Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead.
Rolls Royce apparently set out to make the Dawn the quietest convertible in the world, with the fully electronic roof closing in just under 20 seconds at speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour. The British marque even has a name for the powered mechanism — it's called the Silent Ballet. And, let's be honest, it looks every bit as good with the roof down as it does up.
The back seats actually look like the best place to be on the Dawn; not only do you have oodles of room and your own sumptuous collection of leather and wood, but the boot area under which the fabric canopy is stored looks just like a speedboat's rear deck. Like other Rolls, the Dawn is powered by the tested, reliable and entirely adequate combo of twin-turbocharged 6.6-litre V12 and eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Australia is the first country in the Asia Pacific region to be graced by the Dawn's presence, and there's apparently a "high level of interest" from "affluent yet younger customers". Expect to see a Dawn or two doing happy laps up and down your local main street some time soon. [Rolls Royce]