The Rolls-Royce line represents the pinnacle of luxury car design. For years, there was nowhere higher to reach for very well-heeled buyers.
That changed with the coming of the Black Badge program. Immediately distinguishable in its unrelenting, brooding obsidian declaration of superiority, any Black edition of a Rolls-Royce takes what was the finest and refines it further.
The latest to receive the Badge treatment is the convertible Dawn. Debuting at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week, he minds behind its engineering wanted the latest Badge to be the “most glamorous, uncompromising expression of open-top luxury is given a new and darker sensual dimension through its suite of Black Badge engineering and design treatments.” Note: The use of sensual for a Rolls-Royce is almost scandalous. They usually aspire to float above such baser sensations.
The car isn’t just black. It’s Rolls-Royce black. Multiple layers of paint and lacquer were hand-polished to a level Rolls-Royce promises is the most ever applied for a solid paint color. The roof, which opens in a “Silent Ballet” (…Rolls-Royce’s term…) comes in black canvas. Finally, the rear deck uses only black leather.
In the Dawn’s construction, aircraft grade aluminum forged to 0.014 meters in diameter, weave together before bonding in carbon fibre. Surfaces are then finished with six coats of lacquer before curing 72 hours and hand-polished to a mirror finish.
Beyond its uncompromising ebony finish, The Dawn Black also improves on the standard Dawn’s performance. The Dawn’s 6.6 liter, twin-turbo V12 engine now generates an additional 30 horsepower over the standard 563 horsepower. But, call the Dawn Black or any Rolls-Royce a performance car and someone with a British accent will appear at your door and slap you across the face with a satin glove.
On display now with its slumming sister cars now at Goodwood in the shadow of the Rolls-Royce HQ, the Dawn Black will haunt the market in late 2018.