After several days with the new Rolls-Royce Dawn, the British luxury marque’s posh new $340,000, four-seat convertible, I realized the most striking feature isn’t the smooth engine, intoxicating leather, or retractable hood ornament. It’s the roof.
This came to me while watching the three-ton machine’s enormous fabric top-the largest of its kind in creation-retract into its cavernous bay behind the rear seats in nearly perfect silence.
The noises that usually accompany an automatic roof are absent. No straining of taxed electric motors, no shrill changes in pitch and volume as it cycles through every phase of retraction, folding, and stowage. No metal-on-metal grinding, no audible protest of stiff fabric roof being forcibly compacted. Just a few muted clicks to mark the start and end of the process, and a polite whirr from somewhere deep within the rear of the car.
It’s so whisper-quiet that a Dubai detective could spend an overnight stakeout opening and closing the thing, with no one the wiser.
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