ZINVO's Favorite Cars: Rolls-Royce Dawn
For this week's edition of ZINVO's Favorite Cars series, we grabbed a couple of our top ZINVO Blade watches and tested out the Rolls-Royce Dawn.
Known for its long and rich history, Rolls-Royce released its first car, the 10HP, in 1904. Ever since then, the company has experienced tremendous growth serving many VIP customers worldwide. While the car division of Rolls-Royce has had its ups and downs, its aerospace division took off on its own path and remains as one of the few jet engine manufacturers today.
In 1998, BMW licensed the Rolls-Royce brand and the “Flying Lady” from the Volkswagen Group. It has been manufacturing Rolls-Royce cars since 2003, and their latest release, the Rolls-Royce Dawn, shows great promise for the brand's future. It may not be the fastest car around, but not everyone wants to go from 0-60 in less than three seconds. Customers of Rolls-Royce buy it for its history, craftsmanship, style, and elegance. However, it still does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds because of what’s under the hood.
The engine is a BMW-built 6.6L twin-turbo V12 that dishes out 563 horsepower at 575 lb/ft torque. It is equipped with a ZF 8 Speed Automatic Transmission, which BMW now uses in all of its cars. Highly customizable, you can even change the throttle response and shift speeds. The transmission is linked to a satellite-aided transmission technology. This technology began with the BMW F1 team and later brought over to Rolls-Royce. It works by collecting information from the GPS, available installed maps, and the driver’s driving style to shift gears before encountering a turn or a straightaway. Unfortunately, the top speed is capped at 155mph.
The Dawn is basically a convertible version of the Rolls-Royce Ghost, both of which share a common heritage: the core technology of the previous generation BMW 7 series. But the Dawn does not drive like a BMW. It feels like a genuine Rolls-Royce providing a very comfortable ride. Costing around $340K for its base price, it's said to be the “Sexiest Rolls-Royce Ever”.
From the outside, it has the classic Rolls-Royce look we have become accustomed to with icons like the Wraith and Ghost. However, one look at the hood and you'll notice something missing. But once you unlock the car, there she is—The Spirit of Ecstasy aka The Flying Lady, pops out to greet you. There is also a beautiful stainless steel rim that wraps around the passenger compartment accentuating the curves of the car.
It goes without saying that the Dawn was made completely by hand and the leather and wood are spectacular. The red leather of the Dawn seen here with the ZINVO Blade Rose Gold is particularly striking. The space for the back seats is very generous—it almost feels like a living room on wheels. To keep the interior space extra quiet, acoustic laminated glass is used. The Dawn also features a quad-zone climate control system and the chairs even have a massage setting.
While you relax and enjoy the smooth comfortable ride, the impressive 16 speaker system developed by Rolls Royce will fill your space entirely. Controlling this is convenient and easy with the infotainment system, which has been borrowed from BMW’s iDrive system. Finally, the six layer soft-top retracts in 22 seconds and can do so at speeds up to 30mph.
It’ll be interesting to see where BMW is taking the Rolls-Royce brand, but if the Dawn is a glimpse into the future, then it looks like it will be a bright one.