Rolls-Royce Dawn Black Badge. Holy moly! This thing is absolutely ridiculous. Ridiculous! Ridiculous and effortless all at the same time. This is a statement car and this is the kind of car that if you ever have the opportunity to get behind the wheel, you’ve never fully understand it until you get behind it. When you get behind it, something just happens.
You sit a little lower, you cruise a little more. You tend to just soak it all up. It’s the strangest thing. Like I can jump in any other car, you drive it, you’re moving along at a rate of knots. But you get inside a Rolls-Royce, and the Black Badge Dawn especially, you’ve got the roof down now. The roof’s down. You go, okay, whoa! You tend to just take it easy. You soak it all in. You start living a little more, if you will. It’s this amazing little switch that happens and the Spirit of Ecstasy, as it embodies, is exactly that. It is effortless, it is precision, it is excellent in every way, shape and form purely for the fact that there is detail. Detail upon detail upon detail, and even more detail upon that.
You look at just the speaker housing. If you sit down there and you view that, there has been hours and hours of painstaking time, lost sleep. Someone, some team, a group of people absolutely obsessing over perfection. Taking it to that limitless point on producing one tiny little element in this car. You palm across the dash, you think, “Wow, this is new. This is different”. This is not a traditional wood grain Rolls-Royce dash that you’ve seen in the past. No, not by any means. There’s a new fibre or a new material called technical fibre.
Technical fibre is an aluminium carbon fibre weave created by Rolls-Royce specifically for Black Badge. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s just exactly what the word expresses. It is a technical fibre. If you’re taking it for yourself and you want to bespoke this car, it’s limitless. You can have this stitching changed here, that white over there. You can have yellow, you can have red, you can have blue. You can have every type of leather combination that could ever be dreamed up.
But this particular one, it’s amazing. It has a three-tone interior. It’s got the things that just work well. You’re in this environment. It’s like you’re sitting in the most spectacular work of art you’ve ever come across, but it’s functional all at the same time. And aesthetically very, very pleasing.
I’m sitting in the car now. Picture this. Sitting in the car now with the roof on. Once the roof goes on in the convertible Dawn, it’s as if you’re in any other of the collection, whether you’re in a Wraith. You know, it’s not a chopped-down Wraith. It’s a completely new footprint from the ground up. But from when the roof’s on, you wouldn’t have any clue that you’re in a convertible right now. You’ve got the hood itself with the French stitching and the six different layers of acoustic treatments and layering to block out or deaden the noise from the outside. It’s that perfect, silky smooth, magic carpet ride. Quiet as anything, just absolutely wow!
And if you’re wanting to experience that side of things, you can do that. You can close the world away and be in any of the other hardtop cars in the Rolls range. But you’re in a Dawn. You’re on the Gold Coast. What’s the best thing to do? It’s to flip that hood down. It takes 21 seconds. It’s the quietest and the quickest on the market. You can’t hear a thing. You can be driving up to 55 kilometres an hour and convert the hood. So you’re rolling into a set of lights, you come in, you start the hood. Boom, boom, boom. Away it goes. The light hasn’t even changed yet and the hood’s already open and you’re enjoying this beautiful, crisp winter sun here on the Gold Coast that’s just spectacular.
And I personally was not a fan of convertibles until I got behind the wheel. Do yourself a favour, get behind the wheel of a Dawn, cruise around the Gold Coast. Check out the coastline, go into the hinterland. And that’s what it’s been designed for. You’re in Queensland, you’re in Australia. Like, why the hell not? It’s epic. It’s epic and that’s all I can say about that. It embodies something, something different, than you would normally never experience. It beats any other convertible in the market, this is the top. There is no better.
Cruising with your wife on a Sunday? This is her time to shine. If she wants to drive, well, then that’s her prerogative. If you’ve got your Sunday’s finest, or it’s a summer night and you’re cruising for a night out, the convertible side of things, I believe, is the best way to roll in this tropical environment we have here on the Gold Coast. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
The power. Okay, for the first time ever Rolls-Royce has fitted a sports exhaust. And that doesn’t sound like a combination you should hear – sports exhaust and Rolls-Royce. But it’s this little button up on the top right-hand side, just next to your steering wheel which is your forward and reverse. It’s low. So you hit that button and this note then kicks in through the exhaust system. And it’s like this deep baritone little gurgle. It doesn’t have that crackle and pop like you hear some of those ostentatious sort of exhausts on other cars. But this has just that subtle rumble of I’m here and I’m moving quickly. And for a two-and-a-half-tonne car, 4.9 seconds from zero to a hundred, or full available torque from one and a half grand in the rev limiter, it’s bonkers!
It pushes you back in your seat, but in a way that’s as if you’re getting sucked along the road with this effortless ease. But you just get to pace so unbelievably quickly that you’re not even putting your foot down. You ease onto the pedal and just suddenly you’re at pace. From the way that the suicide doors open up, to the way that you house your key in the special little compartment. It sits up pretty. It’s absolutely amazing.
That was the biggest defining point for me personally; the drive-ability of this car. I had it moving at pace through the hinterland environment, from twists and turns, it just danced around. The amount of feedback that you can get through this sizable car that feels, once you’re in it, like it’s almost a part of you. Like you’ve got the sensors, like there’s the front, there’s the back, there’s the side. I know where I am. You’ve got all this technology to support this. It’s as if you’re being chauffeured through the environment, but you’re the one who’s in the centre and in control.
The one thing that I want to make clearer than everything is if you ever have thought about Rolls-Royce and you are a potential customer of Rolls-Royce, there’s a reason why you buy a Rolls-Royce. It is a celebration. This is where the Australian market has got it a little bit wrong. You buy this car because you have made it to a certain point of your life, or you are on the way to be there, to let everybody know around you that it can be done. You are uplifting them by putting this flag in the sand, representing for yourself, for your family, that it is possible. You have put your mind to it. You’ve worked hard, you’ve climbed the mountain, and this is a reward. This is a reward for you to enjoy on a daily basis.
You, your wife, and if your wife wants to pick it, she comes in, she bespokes it. She comes into the dealership and she puts her own personal flavour into every single element of the car to make it your own. This is that Black Badge experience that is a little bit more progressive, a little bit more bold, a little bit more aggressive in all those finer things in life that let a partnership go on, purchase a car, make it their own and live something that only some … well I mean, most people, they want to dream of this, but they don’t entertain the idea enough because they don’t believe it’s possible.
So if you’re there, it’s your responsibility to show people that it is possible and drive it on a daily basis. Because if you drive it daily, you’re just going to get it. Rolls-Royce Black Badge Dawn. I love it. It’s emotive, it’s effortless and it’s raw. Roaring away. They want you to keep coming back for more. I love it.
Black Badge Engineering Highlights:
Added tweaks for dynamism, catered specifically to each Black Badge model
- +22kW / 20Nm for Dawn BB (420kW / 820Nm on non-BB Dawn, 442kW / 840Nm on Dawn BB)
Dawn Black Badge Features:
- Diamond Black / Belladonna Purple exterior (Bespoke collection)
- Arctic White/Black/Purple Silk interior (Bespoke collection)
- 6.6 litre V12, twin-turbo – 442kW, 840Nm
- 0 – 100km/h in 4.9 seconds
- 8-speed Satellite-aided transmission (engine and drivetrain read data from GPS to determine best gear for route ahead)
- All-new Sports exhaust system engaged by pressing “LOW” button
- Not shouty, no pops and crackles, just an audible baritone bellow from exhaust systems
- Four-corner air suspension system that can be raised and lowered (lowered for entry or raised to get over sharp slopes)
- Only convertible with coach doors
- Colour-matched umbrellas, Teflon coated for water resistance and with in-built air channels in door pockets to dry umbrellas as the car moves
- Silent-operating fabric roof, 22-seconds from closed to open top super luxury drophead
- Six layer soft-top roof, French seam stitching, as quiet as Wraith with roof up
- Black Cashmere Headlining
- Bespoke Audio System (18-channel, 1300W) / TV Tuner
- Driver Assistance Package (eg. 360-deg camera, Adaptive Cruise Control, Night Vision)
- Heated and Massage front seats
Engineering tweaks for Dawn BB specifically
- Sportier steering feel
- Sharper throttle response
- Gears held longer between shifts
- Suspension and ride refined for more dynamism without sacrificing Rolls-Royce’s famed “magic carpet ride”
Photos & Video: Carbuzzzn
Car supplied by Rolls Royce Queensland