This open-air design is the company’s third modern-era coachbuilt product.
- During Monterey Car Week, Rolls-Royce revealed the Droptail, its newest coachbuilt vehicle.
- There will be four unique Droptails constructed.
- La Rose Noire, the original Droptail, supposedly takes its name from the Black Baccara rose variety.
Customer requests for unique customizations, such as an embroidered falcon in the headliner or baby footprints in the dashboard trim, have traditionally been honored by Rolls-Royce. Recently, however, the company has pushed this initiative to a new level, moving beyond the “bespoke” degree of specialness and into the realm of the “coachbuild.” The Sweptail, a two-door fastback based on the Phantom but with styling cues borrowed from the Wraith, was Crewe’s first vehicle to showcase these capabilities when it debuted in 2017. To follow it came the Boat Tail, an almost roofless tapered-body coupe with butterfly doors covered in Caleidolegno-wood veneer over the luggage compartment, from which a sun parasol could be extended. The Droptail is the latest addition to the custom ‘tails saga; it’s another open coupe, but this one only has enough for two passengers.
The prior efforts paled in comparison to the scale of this project. A monocoque structure of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber is said to underpin the Droptail’s design. The car’s body is made of steel (the doors and front fenders) and carbon fiber (the rear quarter-panels and trunklid), and it’s about 10 inches shorter than a Ghost. The 6.7-liter V-12 here has 593 horsepower, which is 30 more than the base Phantom, and 620 pound-feet of torque.
At The Quail, during Car Week, the first of four Droptail attempts is unveiled. Its namesake, the black rose, or La Rose Noire, was chosen because it was a favorite of the people who commissioned it. The façade appears red and black, however the latter includes dark red highlights inspired by the Baccara Rose. Even the brightwork has been given a special black coating. Rolls Royce’s new grille comprises angled upright parts and a three-dimensional take on mesh in the form of 202 separate rectangular projects at the lower air intake.
The interior features a motif that looks like rose petals blowing in the wind, made from 1603 individual pieces of black sycamore wood trim veneer. An Audemars Piguet timepiece, likewise custom-made, is permanently installed in the dashboard and can be removed for wear. And there’s a dedicated space for keeping champagne from the clients’ own vineyard cool and dry. Three other Droptail commissions, each with its own unique specifications, are still to come.