The Sun Sets on the Rolls-Royce Dawn in the U.S.

Rolls-Royce recently announced the discontinuation of its two-door models. The Rolls-Royce Dawn and Wraith will no longer be sold on the U.S. market, and the European market will follow suit soon. The excitement for what could replace these models is electric.

The Rolls Royce Dawn 

The Rolls-Royce Dawn convertible under a sheet at its debut
Rolls-Royce Dawn | Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

Rolls-Royce is the ultimate symbol of luxury and quality. The bespoke automaker hand-crafts every vehicle it sells. It takes a team of more than 60 people 400 hours to build a Rolls-Royce, and the effort is worth it. 

This incredible attention to detail produces some of the most sought-after cars on earth. Rolls-Royce announced the Dawn in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The convertible is the latest in a more than 110-year history of Rolls-Royce convertibles.

The six-layer top provides a quiet ride that rivals hardtops. It’s tempting to think of the Dawn as a convertible version of its coupe sibling, the Wraith. While the two share a platform, 80% of the cars’ body panels are different.

Rolls-Royce built this 6.6-L 563-hp V-12 engine for cruising. Other luxury touring convertibles are faster. This shouldn’t suggest that the Dawn is sluggish. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.

The end of an era

A white Rolls-Royce Wraith coupe driving down a tree-lined road
The Rolls-Royce Wraith | Martyn Lucy via Getty Images

Rolls-Royce confirmed to Road and Track that it would no longer sell the two-door convertible Dawn on the U.S. market. European buyers have until 2023 to buy the luxury soft-top. The iconic Wraith coupe will also be discontinued for the same reason. 

Neither car is particularly unpopular. The decision to discontinue them wasn’t based on poor sales. Instead, Rolls-Royce will no longer produce the two vehicles because they are built on a shared F01 platformed owned by its parent company BMW.

The brand will focus its efforts on models built on its dedicated platform. Neither the Dawn nor Wraith were never meant to transition to the in-house Architecture of Luxury.

What will the next two-door Rolls-Royce offer?

The Rolls-Royce lineup will have a conspicuous two-door shaped hole after the last Dawn and Wraith are produced. The brand will likely announce a new coupe or convertible shortly. Speculation on what that could look like has already begun. 

In 2020, BMW filed a German patent for the name Silent Shadow. This is to be the brand’s first dedicated all-electric model. Electric Rolls-Royce concept art hinted at a two-door model. With Porsche testing a hybrid 911, luxury brands are finally embracing electric cars. 

The brand seems optimistic about the Silent Shadow. Its name is a reference to the Silver Shadow, the brand’s best-selling model of all time. In 2011 the brand built a one-off electric version of the Phantom called the 102EX.

The 102EX has a range of 124 miles per full battery charge. Its electric motors put out 389 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The Silent Shadow will likely take notes from this experimental prototype.

Brand enthusiasts may mourn the loss of the Rolls-Royce Dawn and Wraith, but the change makes room for exciting innovations. The first dedicated all-electric Rolls-Royce could be the next two-door model offered by the luxury brand. No matter how many doors it has, the upcoming Silent Shadow is an exciting move for the brand. 

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