Lid lifted on sleek new Rolls-Royce Dawn convertible

V12 power and coupe-like refinement for new Rolls-Royce Dawn soft-top, which has been revealed in Frankfurt

The hubbub surrounding Rolls-Royce’s future SUV is huge, but before we see a new chapter in the brand’s history, there’ll be a new Dawn for Rolls – and this is it.

The Rolls-Royce Dawn is a luxurious new four-seater convertible, and Auto Express caught up with design director Giles Taylor to take a closer look prior to its debut today at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Although it uses the same underpinnings as the Wraith coupe – the most driver-focused Rolls ever – Taylor is quick to point out that the Dawn isn’t simply a Wraith with no roof. “The first decision we made was to treat it as a car in its own right,” he told us. “That meant there were a few challenges.

Best luxury cars to buy now

“The key was to get the deck as low as possible to give a long, sleek elegance with the hood down. Once this was right, the design flowed naturally.”

Focus on the details and it’s clear to see what Taylor is talking about. Although its proportions are similar to the Wraith’s, the rising line over the rear wheelarch – highlighted by that orange pinstripe – contrasts to the Wraith’s falling shoulder, which brings Taylor to his next key point.

“You want to be seen in a car like this, but we’ve kept the rear deck quite high as we like the sense of privacy that comes with it,” he said. “It circles rear occupants with a cocooning feel so you’re held within the car, but you can still see enough of the interior.”

The cabin is mostly shared with the Wraith, and quality is exceptional – as you’d expect of a car that’ll cost £250,000 or so. But the Dawn isn’t just a styling exercise. Lots of engineering effort has gone into making it incredibly refined. In fact, Rolls believes this will be the quietest cloth-roof car on sale, so you’ll only get a hint of noise from the Ghost-sourced 6.6-litre turbo V12, as the Dawn is more of a boulevard cruiser than the Wraith.

While the car’s underpinned by modern tech, the name reaches deep into the brand’s history. “It was never going to be called the Corniche as we didn’t want the baggage that went with that,” said Taylor. It’s another new step for Rolls, then, and like the original 28 Dawn convertibles of the fifties, it’ll certainly be exclusive when it arrives next year.

Rolls-Royce coachbuilding return is on the cards

Rolls-Royce could be about to offer a coachbuilding option through its Bespoke service. So far Bespoke has concentrated on exclusive designs and finishes on the firm’s models, and producing cars like the one-off Phantom Serenity concept exhibited at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

“It’s something we’d like to do,” Rolls-Royce design director Giles Taylor told Auto Express. “If a customer comes in and asks us to put some new metal on our spaceframe chassis, perhaps it’s something we should look at.”

Now read our round-up of all the latest news from the Frankfurt Motor Show 2015.


Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet special edition revealed

Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet special edition revealed

New Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet looks 100 years into the past to evoke spirit of historic roasters; just 50 examples will be produced
21 Aug 2020
New Land Rover Defender: full specs and details
Land Rover Defender - studio front
Land Rover Defender 4x4

New Land Rover Defender: full specs and details

The new Land Rover Defender brings advanced tech, proper off-roading ability and starting price of £40k
25 Mar 2020
New Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo adds sporty flair
Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo - front tracking
Skoda Kamiq SUV

New Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo adds sporty flair

Racy new Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo SUV to be priced from £23,305, with first deliveries to start in Spring
29 Jan 2020

Most Popular

'MG's sales must rank as the success story of the year, possibly the decade'
MG 2020

'MG's sales must rank as the success story of the year, possibly the decade'

Mike Rutherford says plenty of big car brands could learn from MG's focus on cheap cars
17 Jan 2021
Brawny new Ford Ranger MS-RT launched
Ford Ranger MS-RT - front
Ford Ranger

Brawny new Ford Ranger MS-RT launched

Ford’s long-standing aftermarket partner, MS-RT, has launched a tweaked version of the Ranger with an aggressive body kit
18 Jan 2021
New 2022 Smart electric SUV to rival Peugeot e-2008
Smart SUV - front (watermarked)

New 2022 Smart electric SUV to rival Peugeot e-2008

The new Smart SUV will use an electric platform developed by Geely and our exclusive images preview how it could look
18 Jan 2021