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Rolls-Royce signals new Dawn

New day: The Rolls-Royce Dawn is based on the Wraith two-door coupe and will almost certainly carry a premium over its hardtop twin.

Wraith-based Rolls-Royce drophead resurrects decades-old Dawn nameplate

13 May 2015

ROLLS-ROYCE has confirmed the Dawn moniker for its ultra-luxurious Wraith drophead, disappointing purists that were hoping for a return of the iconic Corniche nameplate.

The BMW-owned British marque revealed the finished product to its 130-strong global dealer network at a the Rolls-Royce World Dealer Conference in California this week, but it is yet to reveal any images of its latest model.

Rolls-Royce has confirmed the model for Australia, and buyers can place an order for the Dawn from today, but pricing, specification and delivery times are still under wraps.

Based on the Wraith coupe that went on sale in Australia in mid-2013, it is likely that the Dawn will carry a premium over its hardtop twin that retails for $645,000, driveaway. It is doubtful pricing will be anywhere near the other convertible in the Rolls line-up – the $1,075,000 (driveaway) Phantom Drophead Coupe.

Powertrain details are also a secret for now, but expect the Dawn to use the same 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 from the Wraith that produces 465kW/800Nm and drives the rear wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Dawn name is not new to Rolls, and was first used in 1949 for 28 examples of an ultra exclusive limited edition drophead models between 1950 and 1954.

Rolls said in a release that the Silver Dawn was the first Rolls-Royce-badged model to feature a factory-built body, while other versions that carried the Dawn moniker were coach-built for customers to ensure uniqueness.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief executive officer Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes talked up the new convertible at its dealer unveiling this week.

“Our new Rolls-Royce Dawn promises a striking, seductive encounter like no other Rolls-Royce to date,” he said.

“Dawn is a beautiful new open-top motor car with a name that suggests the fresh opportunities that every new day holds – an awakening, an opening up of one’s senses and a burst of sunshine. It will be the most social of super-luxury motor cars for those beautiful people who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world’s social hotspots.”

The superlatives continued in the Rolls-Royce media release.

“The new Rolls-Royce Dawn is beguilingly visceral. It excites both men and women – they want it, they need it and they want to immerse themselves in it.

It is languid and beautiful, fresh and fragrant and awakens the passion of your life,” the release read.

Rolls-Royce announced in February this year that it would produce an “everywhere vehicle”, confirming the long-rumoured SUV that will be built on an all-new aluminium architecture conceived in-house by Rolls, rather than a donor platform from parent company BMW.

Volkswagen Group-owned rival Bentley has a high-end high-riding wagon on the way, with its Bentayga set to debut later this year either at the Frankfurt motor show, or the Dubai motor show.

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