Rolls-Royce revealed its latest one-off masterpiece at a private event during Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, CA. Called the La Rose Noire Droptail, it’s the first of the four Droptail creations that will be built by Rolls-Royce’s Coachbuild division over the next few years. The British manufacturer launched the Coachbuild program back in 2017 by introducing a one-of-a-kind model called the Sweptail. It was followed by the 3-unit Boat Tail coach-built grand tourer, the first unit of which became the world’s most expensive new car and was allegedly commissioned by showbiz power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z. Rumors suggest the owners of the newly-revealed La Rose Noire Droptail paid a whopping £25 million (roughly $32 million) for the majestic creation, which should help it beat the Sweptail the world’s most expensive new car.
Rolls-Royce says the La Rose Noire Droptail is inspired by the Black Baccara rose, a rare hybrid rose bred in France which is known for its velvety texture of the petals and unique color. Apparently, the Black Baccara rose is adored by the matriarch of the family that commissioned the one-off. It took four years of hard work by a specialized team at Rolls-Royce to create the bespoke model. During this period, the marque closely worked with the owners to create a special automobile that symbolizes the love the owners have for each other, art, automobiles, and champagne.
Unlike the Rolls-Royce Sweptail and BoatTail, the Droptail is not based on the same Architecture of Luxury platform that also underpins the Cullinan, Ghost, and Phantom. Instead, the Droptail gets a new monocoque chassis made from steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. In addition to that, it’s also the first modern Rolls-Royce to feature a two-seater configuration. The Droptail is a uber-luxurious roadster that appears to be inspired by the hotrods of the 1920s. Under the hood is the marque’s 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 that produces 593 hp and 620 lb-ft (840 Nm) of torque. Rolls-Royce says the roadster can sprint from zero to 62mph in less than 5.0 seconds and hit a top speed of 155mph.
You won’t struggle to realize that the Droptail is nothing like any other models we’ve seen so far from Rolls-Royce. The exterior is finished in a bespoke paint called True Love, a beautifully lustrous and complex hue that can be described as a dark pomegranate color. The paint has a pearlescent shimmer and the color shifts to rich red under direct light. Rolls-Royce claims it took over 150 iterations to get the paint just right.
The front preserves the instantly recognizable Rolls-Royce design DNA, with the Pantheon Grille finished in a special Hydroshade dark shade. The 22-inch alloy wheels, on the other hand, are finished in a Mystery paint that appears black from a distance but reveals shimmering dark red undertones up close.
The Droptail includes a removable hardtop that can completely transform the personality of the bespoke model when used or stowed. It features an electrochromic glass section, which transitions from opaque to near-translucent at the touch of a button. The cabin with a two-seat layout is exquisitely crafted with leather, wood, and carbon fiber. The highlight is the wraparound parquetry that extends from the rear of the seats to the dashboard. It’s the most elaborate piece ever created by Rolls-Royce, which is made using 1,603 black wood veneer triangles that represent an abstract expression of falling rose petals. It required two years of development and nine full months of craftsmanship.
Another highlight of the cabin sits right in the center of the dashboard – a custom timepiece by Audemars Piguet. It’s a wearable AP Royal Oak Concept timepiece with a 43mm case that doubles up as a dash clock. The 43mm Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT Large Date is powered by a self-winding Calibre 4407 movement with a flyback chronograph and a split-seconds mechanism.
Made on a special request by the male owner, the custom timepiece is color-matched to the Droptail, with a red inner bezel and red counters, and a black dial. The owners also requested a matching Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest that is decorated with the same petal parquetry. Housed inside is an “intricate” champagne set, which includes a serving trailer, hand-blown crystal champagne flutes, two hammocks, and a pair of owners’ special edition of Champagne de Lossy.
It’s not surprising that Rolls-Royce has not revealed the identity of the owners except for saying that they are an “international” family with ties to the automobile and the fashion world. The bespoke creation was handed over to the owners at a private event during the Monterey Car Week. The British automaker has also chosen to not disclose the price, but there are some reports claiming that La Rose Noire costs about $31.8 million.