The tale of tails continues..
After the Sweptail and Boat Tail, Rolls-Royce has built the Droptail. Actually, we’ll be looking at two variants: La Rose Noire Droptail and Amethyst Droptail. The plan is to build four variants of the Droptail in total, as was the plan with the Boat Tail. But I’m not sure if the Droptail has anything to do with the Boat Tail; I mean, it doesn’t seem to be commissioned by the same client.
Rolls-Royce claims that the Droptail’s underpinnings are completely new as opposed to the Phantom VII-based Sweptail and Phantom VIII-based Boat Tail. It is built around a monocoque made from aluminium, steel and carbon fibre. Steel is used for the load-bearing front wing and door sections, but from the b-pillar rearwards, carbon fibre is used, comprising three bonded sections. Its removable hardtop is also made from carbon fibre.
The first variant of this Droptail is the La Rose Noire Droptail—which takes inspiration from the Black Baccara rose—an intense, velvet-like flower that originates in France, and apparently, the favourite flower of the mother of the commissioning family. The exterior paint is a combo of two red shades named ‘True Love’ and ‘Mystery’, with the latter inspired by the mysterious nature of the aforementioned rose—which appears to change colour when viewed from different angles.
Just like the Black Baccara rose, the car also appears to change colour depending on the angle it is viewed from. To achieve this, surface finish specialists developed a completely new paint process, which was perfected over 150 iterations. A base coat, the colour of which apparently is a closely guarded secret, was followed by 5 layers of clear lacquer, each blended with a slightly different tone of red.
Dark chrome-plated brightwork; a 3D-printed lower intake incorporating 202 hand-polished stainless-steel ingots hand-painted in True Love colour, and 22-inch alloy wheels in dark Mystery paint finish are some of the other key highlights of this La Rose Noire Droptail. The finish on the wheels appears to be black, but upon closer examination, the sunlight reveals shimmering dark red undertones. The artwork continues with an abstract expression of falling rose petals, formed using 1,603 pieces of black wood (Black Sycamore wood) veneer triangles.
This complex pattern is formed with 1,070 perfectly symmetrical elements forming the background, and 533 asymmetrically positioned red pieces representing the rose petals. The asymmetry was requested by the client to represent a natural, organic scattering of petals. The seat upholstery is also a combo of dark red Mystery leather and light red True Love leather, each finished with a subtle copper shimmer, evoking the pearlescent texture of the Black Baccara rose petals. A specially commissioned one-off Audemars Piguet timepiece decorates the dashboard.
The second variant is the Amethyst Droptail, commissioned by a client from Switzerland. Its exterior paint is inspired by the Globe Amaranth wildflower—which blooms in the desert near one of the client’s homes. The paint finish captures multiple stages of the flower’s bloom. The main colour is a soft purple hue with a delicate silver undertone, enhanced with fine flecks of powdered aluminium that reflect the light and create an iridescent finish.
A deep purple ‘Amethyst’ contrast paint is used on the car’s upper coachwork, which contains a blend of red, blue and violet mica flakes that together create a unique mauve colour with a subtle metallic sheen. In sunlight, the car also reveals a subtle hint of mauve paint on the inside of the 22-inch wheels, offering a subtle yet elegant contrast against the mirror-polished aluminium surface.
The usage of wood is just as generous here as it is in the La Rose Noire Droptail. Rolls-Royce says that a completely new veneering process was developed specifically for Amethyst Droptail, with each veneer sheet placed upside down to expose the raw wood texture. Two techniques are combined: ‘bookmatching’ at 55 degrees, in which the sheets of wood mirror each other, and ‘slip-matching’, in which the sheets of wood are aligned side by side in sequence, to create a repeating grain pattern for an organic, natural effect that gives the illusion of a single piece of wood.
Apparently, the wood used went through rigorous testing before the car’s construction. More than 150 samples underwent over 8,000 hours of testing. This included a full sunlight exposure simulation and rainfastness assessment, as well as testing for durability in temperatures ranging from +80°C to -30°C. Furthermore, the deck’s protective coatings, developed specifically for Amethyst Droptail, have been granted their own patent. RR says that the Calamander Light open-pore wood took more than 6 months to source and the specialists analysed more than 100 logs before the perfect piece was discovered.
But anyway, the leather used is also a dual-tone combo of ‘Amethyst’—complementing the exterior and ‘Sand Dunes’—complementing the wood. A bespoke Vacheron Constantin timepiece decorates the dashboard of the car. Last but not least, precious amethyst gems are incorporated both into the interior and exterior of the car.
Powering these two bespoke Rollers is a 6.6-litre (6,592 cc) twin-turbo V12 engine, tuned to deliver 471.5 kW (632 bhp/641 metric hp) and 840 Nm (619.5 lb-ft) of torque. This is the first time the engine output figures have been increased for a Rolls-Royce Coachbuild project. But anyway, let me know in the comments down below if you’d like to commission the remaining two units.