Car Reviews, Coupe, Sports

Rolls Royce Dawn 2017 Review

25 Mar , 2017  

So, what happens when you have everything, but need a speedboat on land? You buy a Rolls Royce Dawn, naturally.

Starting at £264,000, it currently sits at the entry point for RR ownership, with the Wraith a mere £7,000 more. Our Dawn came in at a £268,130 with options.

Mind you, a Riva Iseo speedboat costs roughly £230k, so it’s not bad for an equivalent road going companion.





Rolls claim the Dawn to be the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built. They wanted a car that looked as good with the roof up, as when the roof was down. Building two cars in one.

Oh, and it’s not a Wraith Drophead either, 80% of the body panels on the Dawn are bespoke.

Side on when the roof is up Dawn looks low and poised, ready to pounce on the tarmac ahead. The back of that huge fabric top wraps around the rear occupants making it feel very intimate with the small rear window.



But the real party trick is when the top comes off, Dawn goes from a hunkered down slingshot into an open air theatre. This all happens in 22 seconds at a speed of up to 34 MPH in complete silence. There really isn’t a noise to be had as the roof mechanism concertinas into the boot space.

And that’s how the Dawn looks most impressive, with her glorious book matched veneer on show to the world.





Our Dawn had a lovely white leather interior, matched with a dark blue leather dashboard and hints of tangerine orange.

At first you question the choice, but a drophead Rolls needs to garner attention, this combination does it like no other.

The open pore Paldao wood looked gorgeous, coming from Southeast Asia they can grow to 10 feet high, with a single log able to produce 2,000 to 20,000 board feet. Set against the Arctic White leather our Dawn looked incredible.






With it being a Rolls Royce you expect it to glide effortlessly over its terrain. New tyres were developed for the Dawn, along with fresh suspension configurations, new air springs and active roll bars.

It’s also 24mm wider at the rear than a Ghost, helping to give Dawn that low, hunkered down appearance. In fact she’s the most rigid 4 door convertible on the market today.

Obviously the Rolls shimmy’s over cracked and pockmarked sections of road with ease. Occasionally you will hear a muted thud if you hit something particularly bad, but overall whether the roof is up or down you travel in near silence.







The only time that tranquillity is broken is under a heavy right foot, then within a second or so the revs rise, and the 6.6 litre V12 up front lets out a muted roar before dumping a huge great sticky glob of power to the road below you.

But everything stays well restrained, even though you have 563 BHP and 780 Nm of torque at your disposal, she will manage to put that power down without drama under pretty much any circumstance, rain or shine. 0-62 takes a mere 4.9 seconds, that’s 0.3 slower than the Wraith.

Handling is on the floaty side, as you would expect. Body roll is kept to a minimum, but there’s no sensation of the steering wheel being connected to anything. It’s pencil thin rim turns effortlessly at any speed; you can even sail the Dawn with one finger if you wish.





Rolls Royce Dawn Interior

Rolls say that the car term 2+2 doesn’t equal 4, and they are correct. Many 2+2’s are fitted with back seats for people with fold up legs, they are just ridiculous.

Not so in the Dawn. You can easily seat 4 adults in sumptuous levels of comfort, this truly is a 2+2.

As you would expect everything is of the highest quality, all the touch points are swathed in either leather, wood or metal that’s cold to the touch like the solid outer door handles.

Yes, there are parts we would change. Around the central air vents is a little creaky and plastic in nature, and once again there needs to be a slow close mechanism on the central armrest.

It may be nitpicking, but at this price everything should be faultless.

Boot space is far more restricted than in a Wraith, due to that drop top. Whilst the dimensions may be cramped height wise it’s easily deep enough to swallow a suitcase and two overnight bags for a weekend away.







Rolls-Royce have been lacking a baby convertible for a good few years now, the Phantom Drophead Coupe was the only option before the Dawn came along.

The Phantom is in its twilight years though, and the design language of Rolls has moved on to become more sculpted compared to its 2007 debut.




Priced from £264.000 it’s a lot of car, and status for the money. Sitting in it people come up to you and say “Very nice car Sir”. Heads turn everywhere you go, people let you out no matter if they are in a hurry or not.

When you have the roof down the Dawn becomes poser central…especially in December time, but even then she commands respect. People admire her and you, it’s not an obnoxious topless Lamborghini, you have more class than that.

Normally I’m not a fan of convertibles, but with the roof up you wouldn’t even know. It’s warm and quiet, exactly like the Wraith, but when the chance arises you can convert it into the land going speedboat it’s meant to be.

Two cars in one. It’s worth every penny.










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Owner / Editor of Carwitter - French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter