Rolls Royce La Rose Noire is as an ultra rare coachbuilt Droptail

Kenneth John Published: August 22, 2023, 10:36 AM IST

The La Rose Noire Droptail, a two-seater roadster inspired by high-speed sailing yachts of the 1930s, was unveiled by Rolls-Royce. It features a retractable carbon fibre and electrochromic glass hardtop that allows the driver to control the amount of natural light entering the cabin with the push of a button. The result of a four-year partnership between Rolls-Royce and four clients, it is described as the "absolute pinnacle" of the company's in-house coachbuilding expertise.

Rolls-Royce's boat-themed bespoke car designs have progressed from the Sweptail in 2017 to the Boat Tail in 2021 and now the Droptail. This is the first of four coachbuilt Droptails, presented to the family that commissioned it during a private gathering near Pebble Beach. The name La Rose Noire pays homage to the Black Baccara, a hybrid tea rose developed in France roughly 25 years ago and a favourite of the matriarch of the Rolls-Royce-commissioned family.

Rolls Royce Droptail: Design

It is smaller than the electric Spectre, measuring 5.3m long and 2.0m wide, with a wholly unique profile defined by a low coupé-esque roofline inspired by 'chop-top' hot rods. The Droptail is an open-air roadster without the roof, but with it fitted, it changes into a coupe owing to its removable hard top. From a distance, the mystery paint gives the 22-inch alloy wheels a black look, but up close, they show glittering dark red undertones.

The paint job was sprayed to the body with a secret base coat, followed by five coats of clear lacquer, each layer mixed with a slightly different tone of red. According to Rolls-Royce, creating the final product required more than 150 tests.

Rolls Royce Droptail: Powertrain

The classic twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V12 provides power in a unique state of tune that increases power by 38PS over the Phantom but reduces torque by 60Nm, for total outputs of 601PS and 840Nm. Rolls have not published any performance data, but the Drop Tail will undoubtedly be a close match for the V12-powered Dawn, with a 0-100 kmph time of less than 5.0 seconds and a peak speed of 250kph.

Rolls Royce Droptail: Interior

Inside, 1,603 pieces of black sycamore wood trim veneer are utilized to form a motif that looks like rose petals in the breeze. An Audemars Piguet watch which is also custom-designed is fixed in the dash but may be removed and worn. There's also a champagne storage section that keeps champagne from the clients' own vineyard at the proper temperature. Three more Droptail commissions are on the way, each with its own unique details.

A large wooden panel cocoons the chairs, adding to the "romantic" ambience. It was made by a single artisan, a former Rolls-Royce apprentice, who worked on the panel for more than nine months. According to Coachbuild design chief Alex Innes, this was the "most complicated, involved, and prohibitive work of craft ever produced" at its Goodwood plant.

As for the price, this is one of the most expensive Rolls ever built and keeping in mind this is an extremely rare piece, it's fair to say whatever the number is, it's justified.

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