Rolls-Royce on Sunday revealed the latest in its growing collection of modern coach-built cars.
The newcomer is a roadster that goes by the name Droptail, and just four will be built, each thought to be priced at over 20 million British pounds (approximately $25 million).
That’s more than what the previous Sweptail and Boat Tail coach-built specials cost, but the Droptail is a much more ambitious project whose gestation took four years to complete. While the earlier cars used existing platforms, the Droptail is based on a bespoke design making use of multi-material construction, including some carbon fiber.
The car spans 208 inches in length and almost 79 inches in width, making its footprint slightly smaller than the new Spectre electric coupe whose design elements it borrows, especially at the rear. One thing that isn’t borrowed is the Spectre’s electric powertrain.
Under the long hood of the Droptail is Rolls-Royce venerable twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12. The engine delivers a peak 593 hp, which is 30 hp more than what it delivers in Rolls-Royce’s regular fleet. It’s the first time that extra performance has been added to a modern coach-built Rolls-Royce.
With its sleek roadster body and two-seat layout, the Droptail is a celebration of romantic drives, according to the Rolls-Royce. The theme is also encapsulated by the intimate and cosseting interior, and emphasized by the curved panel made from wood that wraps around the driver and passenger. Rolls-Royce said the generous surfaces and expressive sculpture of the wood used in the cabin also celebrates the art of woddworking.
Enclosing the cabin is a removable hard-top roof. When removed, the body features an almost monolithic design, especially when viewed from the profile which is marked only by the cut lines of the doors. The grille also stands out as it features a swept back design for the vanes, complete with a kink. It’s the first time Rolls-Royce’s signature Pantheon grille features vanes that aren’t completely straight. Exposed carbon fiber is also found on the vehicle, in this case for its rear diffuser.
As mentioned above, Rolls-Royce will build only four examples. The first is known as La Rose Noire and features a shade of red paint that has been dubbed True Love, in recognition of the romance the buyer wanted to capture in this commission, Rolls-Royce said.