What sort of car blends perfectly with next-level opulence? Champagne fountains, matching Gulfstreams, villas, superyachts, that sort of stuff. It almost has to be a Rolls-Royce, right? However, something common like a Ghost or Cullinan won’t do. After all, if you already have more than one Gulfstream, you probably also have more than one Cullinan. That’s where the Rolls-Royce Droptail comes in, a rakish two-seater that promises to be the most opulent thing the reborn Rolls-Royce has ever built. It has phenomenally intricate veneers, an Audemars Piguet in its dashboard, and it might be the most expensive new car ever seen on this planet. Let’s dig in, shall we?
The Rolls-Royce Droptail is a dashing two-seat cabriolet for the superyacht set, a more rakish, more daring form than we’re used to seeing from Rolls-Royce. From the uniquely rounded tail to the flared lower flanks, the Droptail carries just enough golden era coachbuilding DNA to suggest devilishly handsome ancestors without coming across all heavy-handed. It’s uncharacteristically svelte for a modern Rolls-Royce, and that’s a good thing. It’s also worth keeping in mind that this is one of four Droptails that will ever be made — all four have been spoken for, and this first one is called La Rose Noire, for obvious reasons.
The highly-dynamic red on this particular Droptail was formulated from scratch, and Rolls-Royce claimed it took 150 iterations to get the paint right. While many automotive paint colors go through heaps of iterations while fine-tuning the color and then testing for durability, this True Love red is more complex than most, consisting of five different tintcoats over a basecoat.
Each Rolls-Royce Droptail comes with a removable hardtop, a feature that was once a staple of high-end convertibles. It’s a convenient way to offload packaging concerns of retractable hardtops to owners’ garages while still offering tin-top security. Mind you, this detachable hardtop is fancier than the one you’d find in a mid-’70s Mercedes-Benz SL. For instance, it comes fitted with electrochromic variable-opacity glass to block out the sky or let it in at the push of a button.
While the dark red upholstery is stunning, the obvious highlight of the La Rose Noire Droptail’s interior is the fabulously intricate wood trim that consists of 1,603 individual pieces of Black Sycamore veneer, 553 of which are dyed red to represent rose petals. To say creating this wood trim was an endeavor is an understatement — Rolls-Royce claims one craftsman spent five hours a day on the project for more than nine months.
Now, let’s talk about the Droptail’s clock, which is actually a watch. Specifically, it’s a one-off 43 mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT Large Date, which is one expensive mouthful. The standard version of this watch stickers for around $193,000, which essentially means that the Droptail has an entire Mercedes-Maybach S-Class worth of timepiece in its dashboard. How’s that for perspective? Much like an ‘80s Blaupunkt, the Audemars Piguet in the Droptail is removable, with a special white gold coin taking its place should the car’s owner prefer to use it as a wristwatch on occasion.
This particular Droptail also comes with its own wine and matching carrying case, a specially-commissioned Champagne de Lossy vintage stowed in a unique powered Champagne chest. The chest itself is a fascinating piece as its removable lid doubles as an open-pore sycamore wood serving tray with a snazzy stainless inlay.
Rolls-Royce only plans of building four Droptail cabriolets, each of which is highly-customizable and each of which should prove extremely costly. Bloomberg reports that this particular example carries an estimated price tag north of $30 million, which would make the Droptail the most expensive new car ever. It’s not entirely uncharted territory, seeing as the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail cost more than $28 million, but it is extremely Rolls-Royce.
(Photo credits: Rolls-Royce)
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