Sun Sets on Rolls-Royce Dawn Convertible

Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show and put on sale the following year, the Dawn was hand-built at the automaker’s Goodwood, U.K., assembly plant.

Wards Staff

May 8, 2023

2 Min Read
Rolls-Royce Dawn (2)
Rolls-Royce ends Dawn production but hasn't announced successor convertible.Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce ends production of the Dawn convertible, the best-selling drophead in the history of the super-luxury marque.

Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show and put on sale the following year, the Dawn was hand-built at the automaker’s Goodwood, U.K., assembly plant. It was initially priced at $325,000, but owners had a choice of options potentially adding thousands of dollars to the final cost. The Dawn’s MSRP in 2021, its final model year, was $359,250.

The Dawn distinguished itself from most convertibles by departing from the 2+2 configuration providing fullsize seating in the front and smaller rear seats for occasional passengers or children and instead offering individual seating for all four occupants.

The Dawn shared a platform with the Wraith 2-door coupe, a re-engineered BMW 7-Series architecture. But it was not a repurposed Wraith, Rolls-Royce says; it boasted 18 unique body panels, an exclusive suspension and all-new tires.

The Dawn was powered by a twin-turbo 6.6L V-12 making 563 hp and 605 lb.-ft. (820 Nm) of torque. A Black Badge variant added in 2017 delivered an additional 30 hp with 620 lb.-ft. (840 Nm). The Black Badge also received an all-new exhaust system adding “a bass baritone quality to the engine note,” Rolls-Royce says.

The Dawn’s top speed was 150 mph (240 km/h) and the 5,644-lb. (2,560-kg) car traveled 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.9 seconds.

Cashmere was among the materials used in the convertible’s fabric roof, which folded in 22 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h). To optimize the Dawn’s open-roof aerodynamic comfort, Rolls-Royce engineers employed a mannequin with a wig of long, flowing hair that was “chauffeured for hundreds of hours” while sensors and cameras recorded how the hair was displaced by the moving air.

Rolls-Royce has no immediate plans for a new convertible. The BMW-owned automaker reportedly is developing an electric vehicle, the Spectre, while retaining the combustion-powered Ghost, Phantom and Cullinan.

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