NEW DAWN FOR ROLLS-ROYCE: The Rolls-Royce Dawn could qualify as the eighth wonder of the world, writes Egmont Sippel. Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids
Wheels24 correspondent Egmont Sippel names his top 10 cars of 2016. Below is his review of the Rolls-Royce Dawn.
Cape Town - Half a century ago, Erich von Däniken took the world by storm with intriguing theories about extra-terrestrial life in his book titled Chariots of the Gods?
They landed in Egypt and built pyramids, stuff like that.
The eighth Wonder of the World
Now, the Seven Wonders of the World - of which the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only surviving one - the Seven Wonders is a narrative that clearly begs a question: what would the Eighth Wonder of the World be?
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, perhaps. Or Raquel Welch?
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I’ll second both. Though, in keeping with the solidly structured nature of the first seven wonders, the eighth one might just as well be a chunk of metal in the shape of a car.
Metal is King, Rolls chief designer Giles Taylor once told me.
But metal with a rag top is even better (although Raquel’s top might be best, especially without a rag).
Enter the Rolls-Royce Dawn.
You can question the price; the Dawn costs what a small castle won’t.
Floating on a dream
But there is a reason for that, and it’s not only the beauty, the design, the materials, the cowhide sourced from secret places on this planet, the swaths of open-pore Canadel wood all over the dash, the doors and the rear tonneau, the super-refined 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 delivering 420kW/780Nm in near silence, the seamlessly smooth eight-speed ZF auto box plotting ratios in accordance with the car’s speed as matched to the road yet to arrive, the route read in advance by sat nav...
It is not only this. It is not only about style and luxury and opulence and status.
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It is also very much about something else, called time and tranquillity, possibly the two ultimates in luxury.
The Dawn kills time. It doesn’t exist anymore. There might be a start and an end to your journey, but in between you’re floating on a dream.
It’s an expensive dream, of course; the Dawn will empty your bank balance to the tune of R11-million. It’s a big dream, naturally; the Dawn stretches 5.3m into the future and tips the scales at 2.6 tons. It’s also a timeless dream; in cancelling out the clock, the Dawn will transport you to the heart of tranquillity.
That’s how you arrive. That’s the essence of being there.
And nothing does it better than the Dawn, no matter what Erich von Däniken has to say.