By: Denis Droppa
Johannesburg - Just in time for the summer holidays, one of the world’s most desirable convertibles has arrived to compete for the attention of South Africa’s mega-wealthy.
The Rolls-Royce Dawn was last week unveiled to journalists and prospective customers at the Sandton dealership of Daytona, the sole authorised dealership for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in South Africa.
With the luxury carmaker calling it the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built, the company’s new four-seater super-luxury convertible is the topless cousin of the Wraith coupé that was introduced in 2013, although 80% of its body panels are different. Inspired by the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn drophead of the 1950s, the new Dawn has a soft top that electrically folds up or down in just over 20 seconds at driving speeds up to 50km/h.
With the top up the Dawn is claimed to be the quietest convertible car on the road today, although the 16-speaker Bespoke Audio system is more than capable of disturbing that calm.
“ROMANTIC” SOFT TOP
The company opted for a soft instead of a hard roof because, in its words: “There is nothing more romantic than driving a convertible in the rain at night and hearing the drops pattering on the roof.”
Rear-opening coach doors simplify the ease of entry and egress of rear passengers. “The rear passengers do not merely ‘get out’ of a Rolls-Royce Dawn, but rather stand and disembark as if from a Riva motor launch onto a glamorous private jetty in Monaco or on Lake Como,” croons the Rolls-Royce press release.
Whisking the Dawn along is a twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 with 420kW and 780Nm, with an eight-speed auto transmission.
The olde-worlde leather-and-wood elegance is complemented by a high-tech infotainment system, automatic cruise control, and Satellite Aided Transmission, a technology that made its debut on Wraith and uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees and preselects the most appropriate gear for upcoming corners.
Commenting on the arrival of the open-top, super-luxury car to South Africa, the General Manager of Rolls Royce Motor Cars Sandton, Pedro Carneiro, said: “The Rolls-Royce Dawn has such a unique character – it is the perfect boulevardier. We are privileged to provide our customers with the most social, uncompromised open-top motoring experience in the world, and have no doubt that this beautiful addition to the Rolls-Royce portfolio will fit perfectly with our picturesque and sunny South African lifestyle.”
Folding the roof down exposes the intricately crafted wooden deck which traces the horse-shoe shape of the rear cabin.
Deliveries of the new Rolls-Royce Dawn commence in the second quarter of 2016.