This new ultra-luxury 2021 Rolls-Royce Dawn sedan is a worthy rival to the Bentley Flying Spur and the Rolls-Royce Ghost, and it offers more high-end features than we can list. A pair of twin-turbo engines are on offer—a V-8 and a V-12—and all models come with all-wheel drive.
The stretched body makes it ideal for being chauffeured, especially with the optional reclining and massaging rear seats, which beckons riders to relax and live their best lives.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood sits a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12. It pumps out 563 horsepower, making the Dawn as fleet as it is sexy. At the test track, the Dawn rushed to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. It moves gracefully and deliberately, and it cossets passengers even when driving over the harshest potholes. The eight-speed automatic transmission is tuned for tranquility.
2021 Rolls-Royce Dawnuses GPS to determine when it should change gears, considering whether the car is going uphill, downhill, or around corners. That said, if you want a sharper, more athletic grand-touring convertible, perhaps look at the Bentley Continental GT, which is both faster than the Dawn and sportier to drive.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Like the rest of the Rolls-Royce lineup, the Dawn isn’t particularly fueled efficiently. Its EPA fuel economy ratings of 12 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 14 mpg combined match those of the Ghost sedan, and its highway rating is slightly lower than the flagship Phantom’s. We’d love to put the Dawn through our fuel-economy test—who wouldn’t want to spend 200 miles cruising on the highway in this luxury boat?—and if we ever get the chance, we’ll update this story with our results.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Rear-hinged doors provide easy access to Dawn’s cabin, which seats four adult passengers. Occupants will be dazzled by the gorgeous butter-soft leather and acres of real wood trim. Buyers can opt for a massaging function for the front seats and thick lambswool floor mats that pamper the tootsies of anyone lucky enough to come along for the ride.
As for storage space, the Dawn’s trunk is on the small side for a large car—blame the convertible top for that—but it should provide enough space for a pair of carry-on suitcases.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested a Dawn, and it’s unlikely that they will. But the Dawn isn’t just about old-school luxury, it’s also a technological powerhouse: A suite of driver-assistance features is offered and includes a novel night-vision system to help drivers see animals or pedestrians when driving after dark. Key safety features include: