A new Dawn for Rolls-Royce
PETALING JAYA: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has set a new course for the future in which the new generation of its luxury models will set itself apart from its recent past. A glimpse of its future which the company recently announced, is the all-new aluminium space-frame architecture for all its future models.
“We are testing the new aluminium space frame structure and it will be available in all Rolls-Royce cars by 2018. The new architecture is not just about reducing weight, it’s about being bespoke which is what Rolls-Royce is about.
“There is a glamour about Rolls-Royce and the new innovations and technology we are developing still has to reflect that,” said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Global director of sales and marketing Fintan Knight in a telephone interview.
Knight was in Singapore for the launch of the Dawn, the all new full four-seater, super-luxury drophead coupé. This is Rolls-Royce’s new offering for 2016 and Knight said that the new car will be launched in Malaysia sometime during the second quarter this year.
The last time Rolls-Royce introduced a drophead coupe was in 2007 with the Phantom Drophead Coupé. The Phantom is undergoing a change as production for the current seventh generation is coming to an end and the new eighth generation Phantom is expected to make its debut in 2018. Rolls-Royce will also stop production for the Phantom Drophead Coupé and Coupé.
“The Dawn represents the pinnacle of Rolls-Royce’s drophead coupé and it is a lifestyle car for cruising. It is very different from the Wraith coupé which has a performance streak to it,” said Knight.
There is another vehicle in the works for Rolls-Royce which is venturing into new territory altogether - 4x4 or commonly known as SUV (sports utility vehicle).
“We are working on it now and it’s called Project Cullinan. The words ‘sports’ and ‘utility’ are not part of the vocabulary of Rolls-Royce. We are often lumped into that category - SUV - mistakenly and I don’t know why exactly.”
“What we are building is a high bodied, all-terrain vehicle which is capable of going off-road but most importantly, it is still a Rolls-Royce.”
The name Cullinan is taken from the largest gem-quality diamond which was discovered in South Africa in 1905. The new all terrain vehicle is expected to have a different name when it goes into production slated for 2017.
As for worldwide sales performance of Rolls-Royce, Knight said that they enjoyed “a strong year in 2015” and have a “quietly confident” outlook for 2016.
“We sell around 4,000 units a year globally but we are not concerned about volume. What’s more important to us is sustainability.”
Sales in Malaysia through authorised dealer Quill Motorcars Sdn Bhd increased by nearly 20% in 2015 over 2014.
The dealership recently received Regional Aftersales Dealer of the Year award from Rolls-Royce for the second year running, recognising its excellence in aftersales operations.