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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Bangkok

29,900,000-59,000,000 baht/unit

Address:999, Rama 3 Rd., Bang Khlo, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120 Thailand

Tel:+6626706060

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 08:30-19:00

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Official description

Purchasing any Rolls-Royce is an exceptional experience. Combining visionary engineering and advanced technology with the finest materials and hand-craftsmanship, our cars indulge and delight with their unique blend of opulence, refinement, dynamism and quality.

Rating

Editorial Reviews

Majestic Dawn

Despite the price premium it commands over the Wraith, there's still good reason to go for its open-top sibling

Rolls-Royce is one of those luxury brands that tends to play a very predictable game with cars, probably because it doesn't want to ruin its exclusivity among its super-rich clientele.

But that's not to imply that the German-owned British marque is a conservative car player. Last year, Rolls-Royce already hinted that it is developing a go-anywhere vehicle in the guise of the ever-popular SUV.

Informally known as Project Cullinan, the yet-to-be-named model is expected to be priced even higher than the Bentley Bentayga. And thanks to know-how from its owner BMW, the Rolls off-roader will get 4x4 drivetrain and some carbon fibre materials for its body to offset the inherent weight problems found in monstrous SUVs.

But before such a model expansion can happen, Rolls-Royce had to fit a missing piece to its jigsaw puzzle late last year. It can't really be considered a surprise to what that model was: an open-top version of the Ghost-based family of cars.

Just like in the larger Phantom model line-up, where there's a saloon, long wheelbase version of it, coupe and convertible, the Ghost range is now complete with four models, if with different names.

No, the convertible version of the Wraith coupe isn't known as Drophead. It's called Dawn to reflect back to a rare model during the 1950s. And even if the Dawn looks basically like a Wraith with a chopped roof, Rolls-Royce doesn't want you to think of it in that manner.

Company executives keenly point out that some 80% of the Dawn's exterior panels aren't shared with the Wraith. They even stress that the Flying Lady buttress on the Dawn's different-styled grille protrudes higher from the driver's vision than in the Wraith.

And, of course, there's that canvas-top that clearly separates the Dawn from the Wraith in appearance. Because Rolls-Royce's personalisation programme is literally infinite, Dawn buyers can do their best to make their cars looks utterly bespoke.

The same goes for the interior that is largely like that found in the Wraith. There are four proper, highly comfortable seats for adults of practically all sizes. There's absolutely no shortage of foot, leg and head room -- even when the soft-top isn't tucked away. And if you opt to electrically peel the roof away under sunshine, you get the best of both worlds. Probably the only thing the Dawn can't match the Wraith when driven roof up is cabin ambience.

The hard-top version of the duo can light up the cabin ceiling like a star-studded nocturnal skyline. That would certainly be a challenge for Dawn engineers to come up with something like that.

Yet, interior ambience in the Dawn is mostly unrivalled even when you think of a Bentley Continental GTC, not exactly a direct rival but possibly a cheaper option (including the Mercedes-Benz S-class Cabriolet, as featured in the sidebar) you can find in the luxury car market.

Like in the Wraith, the Dawn has exquisite detailing inside in the Rolls-Royce fashion. But if you want us to be picky, the plastic air-con vents don't really suit a 35 million baht car. It appears a caste system still exists in Rolls-Royce family of cars because you can find genuine metal finish in the Phantom Drophead.

Ergonomics isn't free from fault, either. Some devices are utterly obscured by the steering wheel, while switches to operate the massage and cool/warm air ventilation for the front seats are in totally different places. You have to be a current Rolls-Royce owner to maybe forgive these shortcomings.

Thanks to Rolls-Royce's affiliation with BMW, the streamlined functions to operate other aspects of the cabin and vehicle settings compensate in livability terms.

The linkage extends to the Dawn's drivetrain including that 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 and eight-speed automatic transmission driving just the rear wheels. It's the same system found in the Wraith, as well, just that the Dawn's outputs have been detuned to 570hp and 780Nm, down from the coupe's 630hp and 800Nm.

Despite those discrepancies, the Dawn still performs effortlessly like in how all Rolls-Royce cars should. With maximum torque already available from 1,500rpm, the Dawn simply wafts around without feeling breathless at all.

Turn up the wick a little more and the Dawn continues to lurch away as if its 2.5-tonne weight has hardly any implication in performance terms (which it actually has in theory).

And thanks to satellite-aided transmission -- which can read road conditions ahead and choose the appropriate gear -- the Dawn's engine always appear to be in the right powerband. Yes, there's no need for manual gear-shifting, Sport mode or whatsoever enhancement. Just stick the steering-mounted gearlever into D and enjoy.

We don't want to say to this again, as we once did with the Wraith. But you can't help stop thinking why Rolls-Royce's all-electric drivetrain project hasn't been accepted by potential buyers. No, it's not about saving trees or gas bills. Attributes of EVs like instantaneous punch and peerless refinement can both be found in the Dawn's current drivetrain (and in all other Rollers). Of course, range anxiety could have been the major drawback.

Despite the Dawn's generally cumbersome proportions, if not as monstrous as in the Phantom Drophead, it's an easy shebang to haul around. That thin-rimmed steering wheel is such a joy to hold onto because it not only feels nostalgic but the technical settings are just about right: intuitive to turn and feels connected to the road.

Then there's that magical carpet ride quality which requires no kind of selection in the chassis set-up. The damping of suspension is well-conceived for a cruiser like the Dawn. The only small letdown is the secondary ride caused by the optional 21-inchers rimmed with run-flat tyres -- you can feel and hear them over sharp ruts and potholes.

In sunny and rainy conditions around the scenic roads of Capetown in South Africa, the Dawn proved to be a great two-in-one car. The car deals with wind well when driven roof down. But while external noise suppression when the top is up is generally good, the soft-top of our test car occasionally teethed with the front windscreen at high speeds.

But here's the key question for some potential buyers if they'd ever reign logic over emotion. Can the Dawn justify its circa-4 million baht price premium over the Wraith, which is more powerful and more dynamic to drive?

Sanity certainly says no. But that's the thing with Rolls-Royce, which is brand about majesty and waft. And this is where the Dawn has that emotional edge over the Wraith by looking classier with that traditional soft-top. As well, the Dawn feels more serene to be in.

Rolls-Royce may have kept its missing link to the last minute, but it's worth the wait, especially for the Rolls-Royce fan finding the bigger Phantom Drophead too overstated.

Rear can comfortably seat tall people.

Drive roof up and you’ll still know the Dawn’s a rag-top, but external noise suppression is generally good.

Hunger for sunshine

Scan the 30 million baht sector of open-top four-seat luxury cars and nothing matches the Rolls-Royce Dawn.

Even if you move down to the 20 million baht level, you really can't consider the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante and Bentley Continental GTC as genuine alternatives due to their sportier road manners and tighter quarters for rear occupants.

Which leaves us to just one reasonably close option to the Dawn: the Mercedes-Benz S-class Cabriolet. Although we haven't driven it, first impressions reveal that the soft-top S-class has an equally roomy interior for four and should offer a driving experience leaning towards comfort rather than sportiness. The S-class Cabriolet comes with regular V8 and V12 petrol engines, plus AMG-fettled versions of them to snare buyers from the Aston and Bentley.

Now that Mercedes-Benz has already dusted off the Maybach nameplate for the S-class saloon, there might be an outside chance that such a badge could be used for both Coupe and Cabriolet bodies.

A potential Mercedes-Maybach S600 in coupe and cabrio forms could become "classy'' alternatives to both Wraith and Dawn from Rolls-Royce to particularly appeal to Middle Eastern oil sheiks, the Chinese nouveaux rich and LA boulevarders alike.

Merc’s S-class Cabriolet comes closest in matching the Dawn.

Location

999, Rama 3 Rd., Bang Khlo, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120 Thailand

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