Rolls-Royce has a long history of building ultra-luxury cars that have been called everything from opulent, to stunning, to the ultimate ride for the very wealthy.
Now, the brand known for catering to the discerning tastes of billionaires is adding a new adjective rarely associated with its cars: sexy.
In fact, the automaker is trumpeting its newest model, a convertible known as the Dawn, as "the sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built."
"We say that for very good reason," said Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO of Rolls-Royce. "Once you see the car. Once you sit in the car, and once you have the opportunity to drive it, it is the most luxurious place on Earth, I would say."
The Dawn features a soft-top roof that can be put up or down at speeds of 30 miles per hour. Rolls refers to the quiet process of dropping the top as a "silent ballet" that takes 21 seconds.
Although the automaker has yet to put an official price on the new convertible, it is expected to sell for between $350,000 and $400,000.
With that kind of price tag, most Rolls buyers are not struggling to pay for their new ultra-luxury ride. Still, given choppy stock market performance and the fact that the portfolios of the country's wealthiest people have likely taken a hit, Muller-Otvos admits it may be a little tougher to close a sale with the top end of America's 1 percent.
"It is not that we are completely immune to any ripples in the market, but rest assured we have showed this [the Dawn convertible] already to a mound of potential customers, particularly in the United States, and the pickup is tremendous," he said. "[Our] order bank looks good for next year, so I am not worried about that."
One market where Rolls—and all automakers—are feeling a slowdown is China. Muller-Otvos said he is keeping a close eye on the growing uncertainty in the country's economy, which represents Rolls-Royce's third-largest region. It sells about 4,000 vehicles there a year.
Earlier this summer, the company said its sales there could be down 15 percent this year.
"Yes it is true, the whole luxury segment [in China] is contracting, contracting also quite massively, I must say," Muller-Otvos said.
Rolls-Royce's sales in the U.S., which remains the company's top market, are up 2.4 percent this year, according to the research firm Autodata.
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