This is a story about a car, but you may need a cold shower after reading it.
The Dawn "promises a striking, seductive encounter," CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes states. Indeed, Rolls-Royce says, in its "tentative, inchoate, anticipatory state, is the world coming to light from the ethereal dark of the night. The early-day chill of dawn provides an erotic tingle on the skin, awakening the senses and passions as the day begins."
While the breathless prose may suggest the otherwise staid British auto maker is entering into a coital alignment with Club Med in a Caribbean resort, rather, it is introducing a striking four-seat drophead – that's Rolls, for convertible – aimed at a more youthful demographic.
An embargo on reporting from a private showing of the car in May was lifted Friday. However, in keeping with its description of the car as "sensual" and "beguilingly visceral", Rolls-Royce is extending the long tease by not letting consumers see the body. The only authentic images on the Web show the car camouflaged, in a veritable overcoat.
A sexy Rolls? Metaphorically, consider spending hours at a prim social occasion on the lawn of an English countryside retreat -- the sun baking down with unanticipated intensity, the champagne kicking in, hints of perspiration glistening beneath the ladies' pearls, the men nudging their bowties. Oh, get on with it, shall we? Strip off the tweeds. Go skinny-dipping!
"It excites both men and women – they want it, they need it and they want to immerse themselves in it," the company states.
A concession to Millennial Money or perhaps California-esque desires (hello, Vancouver), the Dawn is designed as playful and social, for "beautiful people who wish to bathe in the sunlight of the world's social hotspots," says Mueller-Oetvoes.
The signature monolithic grille is softened, and the body moulding toward the rear "gently swells, akin to a lady's hip, dare I say," Alex Innes, Bespoke Designer, said during the occasion held at a Beverly Hills home. "The movement captures the seductive quality," product manager Jonathan Shears adds.
While observers predicted an open-air verson of the Wraith, instead, when the car is revealed at the Frankfurt auto show, they will see a luxury touring car that might have been conceived as a sporty two-seater. Traditionally subdued in colour on the exterior, in one trim the quiet-as-church top opens to reveal tangerine-hued seats and -- gasp! --rich veneer cladding. "This car has its own personality, its own presence," says Eric Shepherd, president of the company's North American operation.
Harumph, this is Rolls-Royce's other face -- girls just want to have fun, you know? "A sense of dolce vita," Richard Carter, the company's dapper head of global communications, says with the poised charm of Roger Moore. "This car speaks of the sun shining, beautiful people, good times ... it expresses the notion of opening up."
Having cloaked the car in black-veiled secrecy for years, Rolls rolled out the new Dawn at a tightly guarded hilltop home in Beverly Hills, Calif. – opposed to say, an exclusive booking of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club.
Chauffeur-driven Wraiths escorted loyal patrons, dealers from around the world, and later writers from the S&L Hotel's dark, mirrored rooms to the bottom of a steep driveway, its huff-and-puff climb rewarding visitors with bright panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Century City below. Security guards required mobile devices and backpacks to be checked at the gate -- thus, no pictures -- and ensured compliance by screening guests with a metal detector prior to entry.
In the white-walled, sun-drenched, open-concept, fishbowl of a house, Carter cradled a champagne flute while hinting subtly at the strategic debate that may have been waged inside the company about a new Dawn. Customers buy the exclusivity of Rolls-Royce.
"In most parts of the world, when a Rolls goes by, heads turn, time stands still, and you don't see another one for three or four months," he said. Indeed, one thinks of Rolls with the owner-passenger sheltered in the rear compartment, a CEO tending to global business, hidden away from the dusty streets. The Dawn, by contast, is meant to be driven to the beaches of the French Riverira. It is "guilt-free, playful," Shepherd said, "youthful" and "more daring," Shears said.
Those beautiful young women in sundresses on Spadina, Crescent St. and in Yaletown? Nothing is unattainable, Dawn owners. "Dawn will prove to be the muse that leads its owner to believe that at the start of the day, anything is possible," the company says.
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