Today brought with it, a new dawn in the growing niche that is the Indian luxury automobile market as Rolls-Royce launched their new four-seater, super-luxury drophead – the Rolls-Royce Dawn!
The Dawn is an evolution of Rolls-Royce’s design language, with one clear objective: to make a car that looks as beautiful with its roof up, as with it down. And you can’t help but love its long flowing single continuous shape, which is minimalistic yet ultra-elegant. I guess it comes with the pedigree, when you have the kind of genes that this beauty does – you don’t need to shout for attention, your mere presence is enough to command it all!
Ever since the dawn of convertible cars and by extension performance cars – they were always envisioned & engineered to attack the road. Make no mistake, the Rolls-Royce Dawn absolutely has what it takes to do that but, as soon as you take charge of that steering wheel you shall very quickly experience what I’d like to call a refinement of your instincts.
With a charismatic machine such as this the magic is more on the inside than out. Rolls-Royce’s design ethos has always been to create a cabin that conveys all the hallmarks of the brand’s unparalleled craftsmanship combined with a philosophy of effortless, yet invigorating driving experience.
On closing the door you are met with a level of bespoke detail that is second to none!
You don’t drive this queen of the roads, you pilot, you Captain it.
Shortly after taking off in this business jet, you may want to call those awaiting you that you will be a little late. That you want to take a bit of time to savour the journey.
But believe me, you would almost never want to whip all of those 563 horses into a gallop at once. This is afterall the Queen’s carriage, one in which you proudly cruise, inspecting the guards of honour that are likely to be the milestones on your way to your beach home or the nearby mountain resort getaway to celebrate the joys of life with the wind in your face, and just incase the heavens grew jealous of your creature comforts – well, you can always draw the curtain and in just over 20 seconds even at speeds of up to 50km/h the smooth and noiseless mechanism of the Dawn’s roof called ‘Silent Ballet’ by Rolls-Royce will insulate you inside the quietest convertible car that money can buy.
The leather used for the Rolls-Royce Dawn, comes from a herd of select organically-fed free-ranging Bavarian Bulls (15 to 18 hides depending on the car model and level of customisation) that were raised at altitude so that mosquitoes don’t puncture holes in their hides, they are surrounded by wooden fences rather than barbed wire to avoid imperfections in their skin. Plus, the cool climate also ensures the least amount of hide imperfections, buttery supple surfaces & guarantees quality. This is the reason that the leather is chosen from bulls & not cows that may have stretch marks from pregnancy!
Each piece of these A grade hides are then checked by Rolls-Royce craftsmen for imperfections with the most precise tool available – the human eye. They then apply the colour layer using a process called drum pigmentation, creating a colour surface that is six times thinner than on other premium automotive leather, allowing the texture to be clearly seen. It also creates a soft, natural feel and a leather that does not crack or squeak.
The Rolls-Royce Dawn experience begins by walking into their showroom to choose, honestly choose is too plain a word as you will literally be painting your dreams into a living, breathing, sentient being. You will be commissioning your fantasies to the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Department who will then present you your vision in a bespoke concept, which will then be custom-made for you and be imported as-is from the UK straight to your door.
Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific Regional Sales Manager, Sven Ritter tells me that almost all of their cars are customised works of arts and it’s extremely rare for them to sell a stock Rolls-Royce. The only thing you can’t customise or change on the Rolls, as you may have guessed by now is their signature ornament which sits proudly on the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce to leave the Goodwood factory, the Spirit of Ecstasy.
I asked Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific GM, Michael Schneider on their choice of engines for the Dawn, specifically why the big 6.6 litre V12 and not a five or a four litre V8 or something lower as well as no apparent hybrid/green technologies and his answer was unequivocal in that, “We continuously talk to our customers about their likes and needs and cater accordingly and this is something they wanted, it’s something they come to expect from Rolls-Royce!”
To paraphrase, this isn’t a car built as per what the manufacturer feels is right for you but a car which the customer wants for himself.
It really sums up Rolls-Royce’s hallmark in as apt a manner as possible. That kind of customer satisfaction, delight & pride is the stuff of dreams, at Rolls-Royce though – it’s a standard affair.
Words & Photos by Vishal Jolapara