Open-top Rolls-Royce Dawn confirmed for 2016

Open-top Rolls-Royce Dawn confirmed for 2016

The Rolls-Royce Dawn will go on sale in the first quarter of 2016 following a debut later this year. The name for the new convertible was confirmed today in Los Angeles at a global meeting of Rolls-Royce's 130-strong dealer network.

The Dawn name is one from Rolls' past, used first in 1949 before appearing on 28 drop-top Rolls models up to 1954. Among those was the Silver Dawn, the first factory-built Rolls, and the badge was also used on coachbuilt drop-top Rolls.

Confirming the new name to dealers, Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös 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.”

Test mules for the Dawn were most recently spotted cold-weather testing in the Arctic earlier this year.

The open-top baby Rolls shares a wheelbase with the Wraith on which it is based and the same two-door layout. Despite the heavy disguise, it is possible to make out Ghost styling cues, including the front-end design and gently sloping rear deck.

The test mule has a hard-top cover, but this is covering a soft-top that will appear on the production car, something that also appears on the Phantom Drophead Coupé.

The mechanical make-up is expected to be almost identical to that of the Wraith, with the two cars set to share the same 624bhp, twin-turbocharged 6.6-litre V12 engine. The new open-top model is likely to offer a less focused drive than the Wraith, which is billed as the most dynamic Rolls-Royce model available.

The new model had provisionally been known as Wraith Drophead Coupé, which would have seen it follow the naming convention of the larger Phantom family. However, Rolls instead chose to give the model its own name. 'Corniche' was another possible option that had been under consideration.