Thu, Jun 29, 2017

Dawn to show its darker side

Rolls-Royce is to unveil a special Black Badge edition of its Dawn convertible at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.

The bespoke and more powerful edition for the car follows Black Badge versions of its Ghost and Wraith models, first launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016.

Black Badge editions are designed to appeal to younger patrons of luxury and feature edgier designs and a darker and more sensual look. They are described as the marque's "alter-ego", technically and aesthetically.

Dawn Black Badge stands as the most luxurious, social and sensual space from which to take in the night air, the luxury carmaker says.

The car’s glamorous expression of open-top luxury is given a new and darker sensual dimension through a suite of Black Badge engineering and design treatments. 

The Dawn Black Badge at the Festival of Speed is presented in a deeply intense shade of black, achieved thorough multiple layers of paint and lacquer that have been fastidiously applied and hand-polished. 

The roof is only available in black canvas, whilst the rear deck is finished in black leather.

The Spirit of Ecstasy mascot transforms into a high-gloss vamp, finished in a black chrome. This transformation to a darker aesthetic extends to certain chrome surfaces including the front grille surround, boot lid finisher, exhaust pipes and air inlet finisher. Finally, the ‘Double R’ signifiers on the Rolls-Royce badges are inverted in colour, confirming the creation of a true alter-ego of the marque. 

This bold, edgy design ethos extends into the interior where a highly innovative new treatment for the car’s surfaces has been conceived. 

Threads of aircraft grade aluminium, a delicate 0.014m in diameter, are woven together and then bonded in carbon fibre. Surfaces are then finished with six coats of lacquer before being left to cure for 72 hours and hand-polished to Rolls-Royce’s hallmark mirror finish. 

The result is a highly contemporary finish, perfectly attuned to the darker more menacing aesthetic today’s patrons of luxury demand, says Rolls-Royce. 

This exquisite expression of noir informs every conceivable detail. For example, innovative production techniques such as Physical Vapour Deposition, a highly technical surfacing method, perfectly darkens the air-vents throughout the interior in a manner that will never discolour or tarnish. 

Dawn Black Badge also plays host to a new interior palette break-up. Higher levels of exquisite Black leather are accented boldly with Mandarin highlights, including a strip of orange highlight which encircles the cabin at hip-height, evocative of the sunset before the passengers are immersed in darkness. 

A final touch, again, in a nod to one of Rolls-Royce’s great pioneer patrons, Sir Malcolm Campbell, finishes the rear interior space. His famous ‘Infinity’ rating logo beautifully embroidered into the car’s rear waterfall, gives a subtle nod to a man very much possessed of the restless spirit that so defines the Black Badge attitude. 

Dawn Black Badge has a new exhaust system that celebrates Rolls-Royce’s V12 engine with a “menacing bass baritone” while the car’s 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12 has been tweaked to generate an extra 30bhp, bringing the total to 593 bhp. Also, a further 20NM of torque available from 1,500rpm, brings the total to 840NM. 

The extra power sends the Dawn Black Badge from 0-62mph in 4.9sec, and onto an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

The car’s drive-train, ZF 8-speed gear box and steering-rack are so intuitive that they work together to create a more spirited drive depending on throttle and steering input. The result is a perfectly stately Rolls-Royce touring experience at low speeds and a highly engaging drive when the driver seeks to ‘push on’. 

Fundamental changes to suspension settings and components also ensure an appropriate balance between Rolls-Royce comfort and driver focus, felt in flatter cornering at high speeds. 

The increased urgency of Dawn Black Badge has led to the development of new brakes with an increase in diameter of one inch. During deceleration, a fundamental remapping of the transmission strategy leads to downshifts a few rpm sooner under braking, offering engine braking when driving in a more spirited manner. 

The steering-rack has also been quickened and engineered for more feedback. Speed-dependent adjustments also embolden Black Badge drivers as they enjoy an added sense of security and feel derived from increased steering weight at high speeds. 

Dawn Black Badge is now available to commission.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed opens today and runs until July 2.

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