Since 1904, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has created instantly recognisable automobiles that have made the marque an enduring icon all over the world. ‘The car has a style and character made for out-foxing the paparazzi. It will doubtless appeal to those who can see themselves dancing in fountains at dawn’, says Gilles Taylor, Rolls-Royce’s Director of Design.
For more than a century, Rolls-Royce has been pushing the boundaries in the pursuit of perfection, from the early pioneering experiments of founder Sir Henry Royce to the visionary EX models which imagine what a Rolls-Royce could be in 2040 and beyond. Rolls-Royce’s recent Dawn model is no exception to the brand’s commitment to luxury driving. A centre of innovation, the headquarters and manufacturing facility at Goodwood in West Sussex, England, is where the company carries out all of its research and development. When it first opened the doors in 2003, it had 200 people working to produce just one Rolls-Royce each day. More than a decade later, the team has grown to 1,400 people. With worldwide demand for its luxurious, hand-built motor cars growing, Rolls-Royce now produces up to 20 each day.
Dawn is a blend of Rolls-Royce’s unmistakable road presence with pure 21st century style. ‘Our design vision was to bring an elegance of silhouette to the soft-top, and natural purity of line to the body that would be both sexy and captivating,’ says Taylor. ‘Key to this vision – and true to all Rolls-Royce design studies – is a sense of three-dimensional harmony where no element, whether formal or graphic, should feel out of place or unnecessarily forced’. Viewed from the side, the low profile and window shape add to Dawn’s powerful stance. The proportion of glazing to bodywork is particularly striking, providing a modern sense of style and confidence to the car with the roof up.
The rear design of Dawn is clean, with a simple, pure proportion. The rear window size assures driver visibility and provides rear passengers with an appropriate sense of privacy. The quality of refinement of the soft-top itself was of paramount importance to Taylor. Dawn is designed to be the quietest drophead in the world. And its interior features openpore Canadel door panelling that envelops the interior space. A range of contemporary veneer wood grains create a striking, modern edge. Taylor finds designing convertible motor cars particularly intriguing: ‘You must never forget how the occupants will look and feel, with the hood down. Some designs never quite seem to carry their passengers in the style they deserve. Dawn has been designed to make every occupant look and feel like a star’.