There is apparently a migration of sorts among the set that would buy something like the 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn, the newly arrived drophead variant of the raffish Wraith. When our theoretical Dawn buyer finds the Cote d'Azûr or some such place a bit chilly, perhaps it's off to South Africa. Late March is the tail end of summer, and it's an exceedingly pleasant way to get into the Dawn state of mind.


Most automakers consider sportiness the ultimate attribute. Like its stablemates, the Rolls-Royce Dawn's draw is its timelessness and unabashed luxury. Here that's paired with the inherent hedonism of a convertible, not to mention the cachet that comes with spending $340,000 or more (most likely more) on a car. That figure makes the Dawn more expensive than the Ghost or Wraith, but less than the Phantom range.


Credit goes to BMW's bi-turbo, 6.6-liter V12563 horsepower & 575 lb-ft ready to oblige at just 1,500 rpm. The raw numbers don't do justice to how quickly a 5,644-pound convertible will muster an unreasonable speed. which does a superb job emulating the classic British motoring ideal of having so much torque that gear selection is immaterial. The Dawn has eight such indifferent gears, courtesy of ZF's all-conquering 8HP90 automatic.