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.