2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn Review

Dec 24th

The Rolls-Royce Dawn is most at home cruising the glittering boulevards of Palm Springs or Palm Beach, the Siriusly Sinatra channel permanently playing, and the driver wearing $2600 Gucci crocodile loafers while contemplating how to cajole public financing for his new NFL stadium. Unlike, say, the similarly pricey Lambor­ghini Aventador, the Dawn can be driven and used every day. It clears curbs, there’s some room in the trunk, there is a trunk, and it’s easy to get in and out of. It also doesn’t invite a race at every stoplight, though it may invite people of all races to spontaneously come up to the window and quote ­Bernie Sanders. Alas, first-world problems.

The Dawn earns its copious allocation of asphalt by adding mechanical substance and harmony to exquisite design and detail. It’s not a basket of latter-day tricks; it’s not compatible with Apple CarPlay, and there’s no onboard Wi-Fi. At $402,300 as tested, including a $2750 destination charge and a $2100 gas-guzzler tax, the Dawn is slightly old school, like its future owners.

At a glance, the Dawn is a decapitated Wraith coupe, but Rolls says 80 percent of the body panels are unique to the new car. Top up, it has a spec­tacu­lar raked profile, and a gorgeous sailing-sloop silhouette when the six-layer cloth top is down. With its recessed grille, it looks fantastic from the front whether you choose to keep the Flying Lady ornament deployed or, as is allowed by a function in the center-console screen, hidden away below a trapdoor. From the rear, well, the car is not quite as distinctively stately.

It rides on the same 122.5-inch wheelbase as the Wraith and is only slightly longer overall. The pair shares basic suspension, drivetrain, and structural elements, with the core engineering derived from a previous-generation BMW 7-series. From a performance standpoint, the difference is that the hardtop Wraith is about 400 pounds lighter and pushes its mass around with 624 horsepower from its BMW-built twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12. The 5776-pound Dawn’s similar V-12 is tuned to just 563 horsepower. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Car and Driver

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