British automaker revealed its latest concoction during the Monterey Car Week. Coachbuilt roadster cost US$ 30 million because it is specifically tailored to the wishes of its owners
- La Rose Noire uses red and black paint and hand-assembled wooden pieces
- Amethyst invests in light tones and a rear end design inspired in luxury yachts
- Both models are unique and come from Rolls-Royce’s latest coachbuilt project
Rolls-Royce is a reference among luxury cars just like Ferrari in the performance realm. Car fans go further and know that the British maker has overhauled itself to take coachbuilding requests as it used to.
This week, that division presented its newest creation: the Droptail. In short, it is a custom-made roadster which will spawn only four units. The first one is making jaws drop because of its price: over $30 million.
People are talking about that everywhere. That money could buy a mansion, a yacht, trips to fascinating places, or improve the life standard of a whole neighborhood. What could it possible buy in a single car?
The short answer is that the Rolls-Royce Droptail aims to make your wishes come true in the truest sense of the expression. The long version is what motivated me to write the article you are just about to read.
Luxury cars are a whole other world
As in all other sectors, the enemy in car production is cost. Carmakers will always want to offer the best in design, comfort, performance and safety. But the need to keep realistic prices makes them cut corners.
The luxury market is devoid of that. Its audience wants the best and pays for it. That is why those makers are always searching for new and better solutions for everything. Each one wants that money for itself.
With that said, it is easy to understand that this market attracts so many automakers. The problem is that this situation has led to saturation: anyone who wants to prosper has to try and reinvent the luxury car.
The Rolls-Royce Droptail is a result of that. The British maker underwent a successful resurrection in 2003 thanks to BMW, but the competition has become tougher ever since. It was time to plan new strategies.
One of the most popular initiatives in that quest is differentiation. If a typical Rolls-Royce car is not special enough, you can request the Bespoke division’s talents. You will have a world of options to choose from.
You can choose the exact paint shade, specify its texture and finish, determine what type of leather to use in the cabin, even select the stitching pattern on the seats. And those are just the usual options available.
The general idea is that you can align the car to your personality, history, preferences and ambitions. Your car becomes an extension of everything you are. This is the new direction luxury cars have been heading.
Now, since all luxury carmakers are offering customization programs like that these days, they needed to think of the next step. The Rolls-Royce Droptail shows that this step actually means looking to the past.
What could be better than customizing parts of your car? Building the whole car as you want! This is the rationale behind coachbuilding. Rolls-Royce used to do that a lot and brought back this practice in 2017.
In this case, you can work on the entire design along with the company’s staff. You can set the body style, the list of items, and the design language to implement. Everything on top of those other modifications.
The goal is to make the creation process as personal as possible. Patrons have used wood from the trees of their estate, a flower with special meaning for their family, and gear items that represent their lifestyle.
The company only sets a few limits to its coachbuilding. It preserves some proportions within the shapes and specific items like the Pantheon grille. Otherwise, the car would not be recognizable as a Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce Droptail La Rose Noire
The first unit was inspired in the Black Baccara rose. You can see that on its two-tone paint, that combines crimson red with black, and on the wooden pattern, which represents rose petals scattered by the wind.
Now, things get impressive when you look at the details. That body color is made with five layers of paint and changes its shade with light. The leather has a thin layer of copper. The roof was inspired in yachts.
The wooden panel that surrounds the cabin uses 1,603 pieces assembled by hand over two years; the red ones are French. There is a champagne chest with hand-blown flutes, and a wristwatch on the dashboard.
Rolls-Royce enhanced its exclusivity by using a slightly slanted version of the Pantheon grille, tuning its 6.75 V12 engine to offer extra 30 hp, and producing the first two-seater roadster body of its modern era.
Rolls-Royce Droptail Amethyst
The British automaker showed the second unit just a few days later, probably impelled by the buzz of the first. Here, everything revolves around the amethyst gem and the commissioner’s passion for subtlety.
The gem appears on the carbon fiber treatment of the front grilles and around the Spirit of Ecstasy. In the latter, Rolls-Royce chose round amethyst cabochons instead of faceted to avoid a “conspicuous sparkle”.
That wooden deck is not ordinary either. It is not only made of fine wood and inspired in yachts. It has an aerodynamic function, so designers had to test multiple veneers and angles to get the right downforce.
The body paint is based on the Globe Amaranth wildflower that blossoms near the patron’s estate. It is a soft purple with a silver undertone and accents of dark purple and aluminum to get an iridescent finish.
Your money appears everywhere
Now, it is easy to understand why the Rolls-Royce Droptail is so expensive. It is more than a custom luxury car. It is made to precisely represent each specific owner along with their family, profession, and life style.
According to the maker, La Rose Noire’s owner has connections with France and the champagne industry. Amethyst, in turn, is the birthstone of the owner’s son and represents principles they personally embody.
Rolls-Royce’s perfectionism also comes at a cost, of course, but it plays a secondary role here. The goal is to apply it as a tool towards materializing the owner’s wishes with the highest precision they can obtain.
Sure, you could use thirty million dollars in many other ways. But the same applies to any other purchase. This is not a utility acquisition. The owner had specific wishes and wanted them executed to perfection.
The best way to understand the Rolls-Royce Droptail is by leaving judgement aside and facing the facts. It is made for people who are light-years above satisfying basic needs. It is more than a typical luxury car.
In my opinion, the healthiest way to analyze it is focusing on the standard Rolls-Royce has reached. It is a marvel of engineering applied to customer satisfaction. Which Droptail model of those is your favorite?
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Some months ago, we wrote an article about the future of luxury. Some other automakers are investing in bespoke cars as well, although none of them has gone as far as Rolls-Royce.
Danillo Almeida has explored his passion for cars in two distinct ways. The first one is his graduation course in Mechanical Engineering, which will hopefully lead to a job position in the field. The other one is expressing his knowledge and opinions on the matter through writing. Almeida has already contributed to blogs, stores, and websites in general writing automotive content in many formats.