The Rolls Royce Dawn is the latest car to be added to the long line of Rolls Royce convertibles. The Dawn is based on the first generation Rolls Royce Ghost which in turn was based on the BMW L6 platform shared with the BMW 7-Series. When it first came out, journalists joked that the Dawn was nothing more than a convertible 7-Series, but it was so much more than that which is why it remained in production for ten years virtually unchanged. Its production ended this year (2023) with Rolls Royce announcing the new Spectre EV and with the latest Ghost coming out last year. That makes the future of Rolls Royce convertibles uncertain as there is a chance we won't get another V12 drop-head Rolls. And right away we can say that it would be a shame. The Dawn Black Badge horsepower comes from a 6.6 liter, twin-turbocharged V12 and I think we can all agree that an electric motor would be a downgrade compared to that. But whatever the case, the new Dawn won't be cheap as the last Dawn Black Badge price was over $400,000 and even the standard one was over $350,000. But more on that later. For now, let's take this Dawn Black Badge review down memory lane. And if you are looking for a Dawn, check out what's listed here at Exotic Car Trader as you can almost always find a few examples.
The Rolls Royce Dawn came out soon after the first Ghost entered production. And just like the Ghost, the Dawn was aimed at younger buyers with its lower price more modern styling, and a more technologically advanced interior. Interestingly, Rolls Royce had already made a Phantom convertible called Drophead Coupe which had almost the same dimensions as the Dawn. And the two would continue to be produced side by side for a few years. It's hard to tell how much the Dawn ate up the Drophead's customer share, but it's safe to assume it's a lot. So, just how many Rolls Royce Dawns were produced? There is no official information but it's safe to assume that anywhere between 2,500 and 3,500 were sold worldwide during its ten-year production run as there are about 500 of them in the UK right now. And if you are wondering where was the Dawn made, the answer is Goodwood just like Rolls Royce cars after BMW bought the brand. But where does the Black Badge enter the picture? The Black Badge is a special trim level first available on the Ghost and later on all models based on the Ghost including the Dawn. The Black Badge trim is a direct product of the platform's success and is aimed even more at younger buyers with more power and a more driver-focused suspension setup. Now, let's move this Dawn Black Badge review forward and see what makes this trim level so special.
The standard Rolls Royce Dawn is not a slow car by any means, although it's not exactly sporty either. All of the Bentley models are faster than the Dawn, including the Flying Spur sedan. Considering just how important performance stats are to younger drivers, it's not surprising that Rolls Royce decided to poke the Dawn with a stick. That resulted in the Dawn Black Badge's 0-60 time of just 4.5 seconds which is almost half a second faster than the standard Dawn and very close to a Continental GT V8. Of course, the Dawn will never be as fast as a Continental in the real world and its weight is the main reason for that. The Dawn Black Badge's weight is rated at over 2.5 tons or 5,640 pounds which is more than what most full-size SUVs weigh and just about the same as the latest Ford F250. So, once we consider the weight, the Dawn Black Badge's horsepower and torque ratings might even seem low at 600 and 620 lb-ft. While that's a considerable increase over the 560 horsepower of a standard Dawn, even at 600hp Rolls Royce is still sacrificing power for smoothness which keeps that huge V12 under stress. Another sign that Rolls Royce isn't competing with Bentley is the fact that the Dawn Black Badge top speed is limited to 155 mph. But even so, the Dawn Black Badge has enough power to impress anyone.
The Dawn Black Badge's interior isn't different from a normal Dawn in any way although the Black Badge in most cases is ordered with different color combinations. Since the Black Badge gets black trim on the outside, customers like to take that trend into the interior so you will find that most Black Badge Dawns have black leather colored highlights or colored leather with dark trim such as piano black wood and carbon fiber. Still, there are no rules as to what a Dawn Black Badge interior will look like because, at the end of the day, it was entirely up to the customer with no factory limitations or differences compared to the standard Dawn. Still, there is nothing wrong with the standard Dawn's interior as it looks generations ahead of the Drophead Coupes interior. The Dawn Black Badge gets the latest BMW infotainment which is likely the best one in the world, plus you get the famous Rolls Royce starry headliner despite this being a soft top convertible. The Dawn Black Badge design then really doesn't have any drawbacks over the Wraith or even the Ghost, and it has a lot of advantages over the Drophead.
The Dawn Black Badge exterior differs from the standard Dawn much more than the interior does. But even so, the changes are minimal. The Dawn Black Badge design incorporates black accents in every place where chrome used to be. That includes the front grille, window trim, tail light trim, the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, and the RR badge right behind the front wheels. Another major difference is the wheels which now have a much more aggressive design and a polished finish with a black barrel. And that's about where the differences stop. And while those changes might not sound like changes at all, they are more than enough to make it easy to distinguish the Black Badge from a standard Dawn. At the same time, it makes the Dawn look much sportier and much more aggressive without the help of vulgar modifications like huge intakes, wings, and other race car-inspired mods.
The Rolls Royce Dawn technology is based on the old BMW 7-Series built on the L6 platform and it has remained that way until the Dawn went out of production. But don't go thinking that's a bad thing. The platform itself is nothing more than the floor plus the engine bay and trunk construction. Everything other than that is designed and made entirely by Rolls Royce. And after all, it's not like the 7-Series is a bad car. The Dawn also kept using the 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V12 until the end of production instead of upgrading to the new 6.75-liter V12. The 6.6 unit comes straight from the BMW M760i and again, there is nothing wrong with that, especially not with 600 horsepower on tap. Besides that, the Dawn also uses BMW's iDrive infotainment system, although it's entirely personalized for Rolls Royce.
The standard Rolls Royce Dawn started at around $350,000 in the US which could go up some $20,000 depending on optional equipment. So, how much is a Dawn Black Badge worth? The answer is just under $430,000. That's a $70,000+ trim level which is about the same as what the new M3 is starting at in the US. On a positive note, the Dawn Black Badge trim levels didn't really exist and there were very few optional equipment that it didn't come standard with. On the used market, you can find the 2016-2023 Dawn for around $200,000 to $300,000 depending on the condition and mileage with the Black Badge being about 20% more expensive on average. And if you are looking for a Dawn Black Badge for sale, we always have a few of them listed here at Exotic Car Trader.
In the end, the Dawn Black Badge is the ultimate Rolls Royce convertible of our century. Or at least until the new Spectre convertible comes out which will likely replace it. And if that happens it will make the Dawn Black Badge even more special as it will be the last V12 Rolls Royce with a soft top. If you are looking to secure your Dawn Black Badge before the prices skyrocket, you can always find a few examples at Exotic Car Trader. Exotic Car Trader can also help you with every step of the purchasing process, as well as helping you sell your current car. And that ends this Rolls Royce Dawn Black Badge review. A review about a car that will become one of the most sought-after future classics.
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