Phantom; Ghost; Wraith; Silver Seraph; Corniche. Historically, Rolls-Royce likes two things when the time comes to name its ultra-luxe vehicles: supernatural spirits of various types, and superlatives that lie along the frilly edge of the English language.
The next car to bear the Spirit of Ecstasy, it turns out, will be called "Dawn."
Most automakers don't get a news cycle for the announcement of the name of a new model, but then again, a new Rolls-Royce is kind of a big deal: in the past decade-plus, there have been only three badges on Rollers — Phantom, Ghost, and Wraith. And even if you go back through the last century, Rolls-Royce has only used about a dozen different names for its vehicles, give or take.
"Dawn" evokes the Silver Dawn name, used in the 1950s on a dramatic drophead (pictured above). The new car will be a drophead as well — a four-seat convertible — when it launches early next year.
Really, though, nothing I could possibly write is as unapologetically Rolls-Royce as the company's own press release:
‘Dawn' perfectly expresses the character of the new Rolls-Royce. In its tentative, inchoate, anticipatory state, dawn 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. Like Eleanor Thornton, thought by many to be the inspiration behind the Spirit of Ecstasy, the Rolls-Royce Dawn will also prove itself to be the muse that leads its owner to believe that at the start of the day, anything is possible.
The new Rolls-Royce Dawn is beguilingly visceral. It excites both men and women - they want it, they need it and they want to immerse themselves in it. It is languid and beautiful, fresh and fragrant and awakens the passion of your life.
New life, new possibilities, fresh horizons - a tingling, anticipatory ambience in the air - all signified by a new Dawn.
Nothing in my life will ever deserve this kind of description.