Black Badge Dawn

Drophead Dawn is latest convert to the dark side

There’s a new generation of customers who appreciate the craftsmanship, heritage and style of Rolls-Royce cars but hanker after something with a little more edge. For these demanding folk, Goodwood has created the Black Badge models. Dawn now joins Wraith and Ghost for the Black Badge treatment. As with its stablemates, the result is a Rolls-Royce that’s both darker in style and more potent in substance.

Overview

Rolls-Royce Dawn  Black Badge

Your first sight of the new Black Badge Dawn will inevitably focus on the Spirit of Ecstasy. The lady described by its creator Charles Sykes as a ‘graceful little goddess’ who has ‘alighted on the prow of a Rolls-Royce motor car’ has turned into something of a vamp, with a glossy black chrome finish in place of the usual silver. She sets the tone for the rest of the Dawn Black Badge, which made its debut at the 2017 Festival of Speed in an intense shade of black with black canvas roof. Inside, Rolls-Royce has created a new noir form of carbon-fibre finish for the veneered surfaces, which is woven with ultra-thin 0.014mm threads of aircraft-grade aluminium. Polished metal controls such as the air vents are finished in black using a highly enduring technique known as physical vapour deposition.

As with every Rolls-Royce, personal choice is central to the appeal of Dawn Black Badge, and you can specify yours in a wide spectrum of colours, both inside and out. The model displayed at launch showed the stand-out quality of a bright contrast colour against a background of black leather upholstery. The show car highlights included a single strip of orange that encircled the cabin at hip-height, evocative of the final moments of sunset before the world sinks into night.

Rolls-Royce anticipates that the Dawn Black Badge will be chosen by owners who relish the thought of an open-topped drive during the hours of darkness. An ideal role for a Rolls-Royce drophead with ‘something of the night’ about it.

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Technology

Rolls-Royce Dawn  Black Badge

Rolls-Royce has given Dawn Black Badge a more responsive, urgent character by revising the transmission and throttle strategy. The steering ratio has been quickened, and larger diameter disc brakes are fitted. The engineering team has also tweaked the suspension settings for flatter cornering characteristics without compromising the supple ride that is a Goodwood trait. As a result you can still waft at low speed with perfect control, but choose to step on it and Dawn Black Badge will respond in a most un-stately fashion.

Further substance beneath the style is provided by a 6.6-litre twin turbo V12 that develops 593bhp, some 30bhp more than that of the standard Dawn. There’s also an extra 20Nm of torque, bringing the peak torque figure up to 840Nm. Dawn Black Badge has an entirely new exhaust system with the intriguing addition of a ‘low’ button, which when pressed amplifies the menacing bass of the Rolls-Royce V12. Mere supercars bark, howl or yap; a Rolls-Royce Black Badge growls.