Rolls-Royce is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity, but even the standard models are needed for some of its most discerning clients. That's why the British brand has revived the ancient art of coachbuilding, which allows customers to commission bespoke vehicles that are tailor-made to their personal preferences and tastes. The latest masterpiece of this craft is the 2024 Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail, a stunning two-seat roadster that is inspired by a rare and exquisite rose variety.
The 2024 Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail is the first of four Droptail commissions that Rolls-Royce will produce, each with its own unique theme and design. The name Droptail refers to the distinctive rear end of the car, which features a tapered tail that evokes the high-speed sailing yachts of the 1930s. The Droptail also has a retractable tonneau cover that can be deployed to protect the leather interior from the elements or removed to reveal the elegant cockpit.
The Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail was commissioned by a couple who share a passion for roses, especially the Black Baccara variety, which has a deep red color with black undertones. The Black Baccara rose was bred by French rose hybridizer Jacques Mouchotte before 2000 and introduced by Meilland International in France and Star Roses and Plants/Conard-Pyle in America. The luxury car's exterior reflects this inspiration with a two-tone paint scheme that combines Black Diamond metallic with a custom red hue called Baccara Red. The red color also accents the grille, wheels, and brake calipers, while the brightwork has a dark finish called Black Chrome.
The interior of the La Rose Noire Droptail is equally stunning, with a black and red theme that matches the exterior. The seats, dashboard, and door panels are upholstered in black leather, while the center console and steering wheel are wrapped in red leather. The most striking feature of the cabin is the wood trim, which consists of 1,603 pieces of black sycamore veneer that are arranged to create a pattern resembling rose petals scattered by the wind. The wood trim also incorporates intricate marquetry depicting a Black Baccara rose on the passenger side.
The La Rose Noire Droptail also boasts some bespoke features that reflect the personal tastes and interests of its owners. For instance, the luxury car has a custom-made Audemars Piguet timepiece that can be mounted on the dashboard or worn as a wristwatch. Audemars Piguet is a family-owned Swiss watch manufacturer that has been crafting refined timepieces with high levels of precision and complications since 1875. The watch has a black dial with red accents, a rose motif, and a tourbillon mechanism that rotates once every 60 seconds. The watch also has a power reserve indicator that shows how much energy is left in its hand-wound movement.
Another bespoke feature of the Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail is the champagne storage compartment that is hidden behind the seats. The compartment can hold two bottles of champagne from the owners' vineyard and two crystal flutes. The compartment also has a temperature control system that ensures the champagne is kept at the optimal serving temperature of 43 degrees Fahrenheit.
The La Rose Noire Droptail is based on the Rolls-Royce Phantom platform, but it has been extensively modified to create a unique coachbuilt vehicle. The car has a monocoque structure made of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber and is about 10 inches shorter than a Ghost. The car is powered by a 6.7-liter V12 engine that produces 593 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 30 horsepower and 37 pound-feet over the standard Phantom engine.
The La Rose Noire Droptail debuted at The Quail during Monterey Car Week in August 2023, attracting much attention and admiration from car enthusiasts and collectors. The car is estimated to cost over $25 million, making it one of the most expensive cars ever made. However, money is no object for those who seek to own a one-of-a-kind Rolls-Royce that reflects their personality and lifestyle.
The La Rose Noire Droptail is more than just a car; it is a work of art showcasing Rolls-Royce's craftsmanship and creativity and its coachbuilding division. It is also a testament to the enduring appeal of roses, which have been symbols of love, beauty, and elegance for centuries. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said: "The Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail is a magnificent expression of our patrons' passion for roses and their desire to create something extraordinary with us."