Traditionalists argue a Rolls-Royce should have beige leather upholstery and real wood trim on the dashboard. Customer tastes are changing, though, and the BMW-owned British company is evolving with them. The new Dawn Black Badge is a more contemporary spin on the exquisite Rolls experience designed to dazzle younger one-percenters.
The Dawn is the third member of the Rolls-Royce family to get the Black Badge treatment, after the Wraith and the Ghost. As you’d expect, the model is only available in a deep shade of black that has been painstakingly hand-polished. The convertible top, too, is only available in black, and the rear deck is upholstered with black leather. Do you notice a pattern yet?
The iconic Spirit of Ecstasy emblem is finished in dark chrome, as is much of the trim that’s usually shiny on the regular, non-dark Dawn. Turn the headlights off, and you might not see this drop-top when it’s pitch black outside.
Rolls-Royce created a brand-new material for the dashboard. Its Bespoke division wove tiny threads of aircraft-grade aluminum and bonded them in carbon fiber. Six coats of lacquer are applied before each part is left to dry for three entire days. In the world of automotive trim, that’s about as meticulous as it gets.
The trim parts show just how much attention Rolls-Royce paid to every minute detail as it was designing the Black Badge. If you’re not convinced, look at the air vents on the dashboard. They’re darker than usual, and an advanced surfacing method ensures they’ll never discolor or tarnish, which is important in a convertible destined to spend quite a bit of time tanning topless.
It’s not all about looks: Rolls-Royce tweaked the engine, too. The stock Dawn’s twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 now belts out 593 horsepower and a mighty 619 pound-feet of torque. All that power is transferred to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The list of mechanical upgrades also includes bigger brakes and a quicker steering rack.
“[Black Badge] is an alter-ego for our marque that captivates the disrupters, the innovators, and those that accept no limitations,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Otvos said in a statement.
Buyers can already order (or commission, in Rolls-Royce-speak) the Dawn Black Badge. Gerry Spahn, the head of Rolls-Royce’s communications department, told Digital Trends the package adds $50,000 to the Dawn’s base price before other options are factored in. That means pricing starts at about $370,000.
Updated by Ronan Glon: Added pricing information.