- Rolls-Royce unveiled its latest coachbuilt automobile, the Droptail, during Monterey Car Week.
- A total of four Droptails will be built, each highly personalized.
- The first Droptail is named La Rose Noire and is said to be inspired by the Black Baccara rose varietal.
Rolls-Royce has long indulged requests from its clients seeking special design elements, be they an embroidered falcon in the headliner or a baby’s footprints in the dash trim. But recently, the company has taken this effort up a notch, from a “bespoke” level of specialness to a new level: “coachbuild.” The first product from Crewe to flex those muscles was the Sweptail, back in 2017, a two-door fastback that looked much like the Wraith but was based on the Phantom. Next came the Boat Tail, a nearly roofless tapered-bodied coupe with butterfly doors covered in Caleidolegno-wood veneer over the luggage compartment, from which a sun parasol could be deployed. The tale of custom ‘tails now continues with the Droptail, which is again an open coupe but this time with seating for just two.
This project was more extensive than the previous efforts. The Droptail’s architecture is described as a monocoque made from steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. The car is some 10 inches shorter than a Ghost, and the body is a combination of steel (doors, front fenders) and carbon fiber (rear quarter-panels, trunklid). The 6.7-liter V-12 here got a 30-hp bump over the standard Phantom spec to 593 horsepower, and torque is increased to 620 pound-feet.
The first of the four Droptail efforts makes its debut at The Quail during Car Week. Dubbed La Rose Noire, it takes inspiration from a type of rose that the commissioning owners have a particular penchant for. The Baccara Rose informs the exterior colors, which appear to be red and black, but the latter has dark red highlights. The brightwork also wears a unique dark finish. The upright elements in the Rolls grille are angled, for the first time, and the lower air intake features 202 individual rectangular projects, a three-dimensional twist on mesh.
Inside, 1603 pieces of black sycamore wood trim veneer are used to create a design that suggests rose petals scattered in the wind. An (also custom-designed) Audemars Piguet watch is mounted into the dash but also can be removed and worn. And there’s a special champagne storage compartment that stores (at the correct temperature) champagne from the clients’ own vineyard. Three other Droptail commissions are still to come, each with its own specific detailing.
Unsurprisingly, there was no Monroney price sticker stuck on the window of the Droptail, and it seemed gauche to ask the price. But if you’re considering having Rolls build one for you, know that the previous commission, the Boat Tail, is rumored to have cost around $28 million, so we’d guess the Droptail is in the same neighborhood.
Deputy Editor, Reviews and Features
Joe Lorio has been obsessed with cars since his Matchbox days, and he got his first subscription to Car and Driver at age 11. Joe started his career at Automobile Magazine under David E. Davis Jr., and his work has also appeared on websites including Amazon Autos, Autoblog, AutoTrader, Hagerty, Hemmings, KBB, and TrueCar.