A $20 million Black Baccara rose-inspired roadster is the first in Rolls-Royce’s new lineup of handcrafted, one-off Droptail coupes. ‘La Rose Noire’ is the first Droptail the company has publicly revealed.
The new Rolls-Royce Droptail follows in the footsteps of two other major modern coachbuilding initiatives by the automaker, Sweptail and Boat Tail. Sweptail, a coupé with a tapered outline and full-length glass roof, was born from a client’s desire for Rolls-Royce to restart its custom vehicle business.
The company revealed its first of three Boat Tail bespoke projects in 2021. That model was an open-top take on land cruising.
Droptail leans on lessons learned from those projects, utilizing custom design and rare materials to create a super luxury car unlike any other.
“Within Rolls-Royce design, the Coachbuild department is a place without limitation, where the most ambitious ideas can be expressed and a forward-looking vision of what is possible can be realised. The nature of Coachbuild gives us the latitude to go beyond our existing design strategy and explore bold, new and highly focused creative avenues,” Anders Warming, design director at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said in a press release.
“These motor cars represent the dreams of our clients and capture a specific moment in time, while also projecting a bold and timeless interpretation of the Rolls-Royce brand. Yet Droptail, the most involved, progressive and refined Coachbuild to date, is not a concept car or a design study – it is a motor car that has been built to be driven.”
Droptail’s proportions make it about the size of a Ford F-150. Those are inspired by the 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost ‘Sluggard’, the 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom Brewster New York Roadster and the 1925 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly.
The car gets unique touches that other Rolls-Royce’s don’t have. The traditional Pantheon grille is kinked toward the top of the radiator to create a ‘temple brow’ overhang. Its carbon fiber roof, which incorporates electrochromic glass, is removable.
Droptail’s designers have created a vehicle with a far simpler interior than the traditional Rolls-Royce, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less elegant. The focus here is on materials and patterns rather than electronics. Only three buttons are visible yet all the functionality of a traditional Roller remains.
‘La Rose Noire’ captures the essence of romantic car travel. “Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail is glamour distilled,” Alex Innes, head of Coachbuild design at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said.
“The guiding inspiration for this dark, bold and powerful commission was the Black Baccara rose … Its rich and complex character informed our creative exploration, influencing the palette, composition, and intricate detailing of the motor car. It led us to blend radically modern design concepts with age-old exquisite craft techniques, while using materials that subtly reinforce the clients’ deep connection to France.”
That attention to detail extends from the electronics and paint job to the interior where 1,603 hand-finished pieces of Black Sycamore wood, sourced from France. It took the company’s craftspeople two years to complete the wood finishing alone.
The initial Droptail’s exterior color is formed by the blending of True Love red paint with a darker Mystery tone. Like the rose it takes inspiration from, the color of the car appears to change depending on the viewing angle.
Rolls-Royce has given the model’s brightwork a darkened Hydroshade hue that is achieved by using a special electrolyte chrome plating process rather than by painting. The same hued metals continue to be featured on the interior.
The Mystery and True Love colorways continue into the cabin, with the upholstery taking the hues.
A one-off Audemars Piguet timepiece was specially commissioned by the buyer. The 43mm Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT Large Date is matched to the car’s colorway and can be removed and worn on the wrist.
La Rose Noire Droptail’s owners commissioned an exclusive vintage of Champagne de Lossy to celebrate the creation of their vehicle. The champagne will be housed in the car’s bespoke Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest, which has been adorned with rose petal parquetry and coordinated to match the color palette and materials of the motor car.
The price paid for the model has not been revealed by the company but experts believe that it cost around $20 million.