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Autos: Rolls-Royce Dawn

Luxury Living Tampa Bay

The 2016 model year heralds the launch of something new and greatly anticipated: Dawn is arriving, thanks to Rolls-Royce. At first glance you might think this is simply a Wraith sans the roof, but you would be mistaken. The factory claims that only 30 percent of Dawn’s components are shared with Wraith, and that this new convertible is that state of the art in open air motoring. From the rear hinged doors to the deck lid and trunk, the movement of each panel is done electronically and silently, with a level of grace not found from any other manufacturer.

With one touch, the roof quietly begins its delicate disappearing act until it is stowed under the classic teakwood deck. Speaking of the fancy woodwork, English craftspeople spend countless hours to achieve the proper bookmatched grain. Acres of hand sewn leather compliment the polished aluminum controls ensure that every surface is worthy enough to chauffeur the Spirit of Ecstasy.

Nestled just behind the famous flying lady is the latest iteration of their big twelve cylinder. This twin-turbo powerplant has direct injection to deliver 563 horsepower and 575 foot-pounds of torque. Thanks to that impressive level of power, 60 mph arrives in less than 5 seconds. You might be expecting a less than stellar fuel economy rating, but Rolls-Royce say that Dawn is capable of 19.9 mpg.

No details have been overlooked; even the soft top has French seams for a smooth exterior. The name foretells the beginning of a new era at Rolls-Royce; and if Dawn is the measure of a modern luxury convertible, we are excited for what’s coming next.

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