Rolls-Royce unveils La Rose Noire Droptail, a dark, daring and dramatic coachbuilt £25 million masterpiece and the first of four unique Rolls-Royce Droptail commissions ..
At a private event close to Pebble Beach in Californa, Rolls Royce Motors unveiled La Rose Noire Droptail. Privately commissioned Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail is inspired by the allure of the Black Baccara rose, an intense, velvet-like flower that originates in France and is beloved by the mother of the commissioning family. The dark pomegranate colour of its petals appears almost black in shade, but in direct light, a red, pearlescent shimmer is revealed on the dark surface. These two colours form the primary palette of La Rose Noire Droptail. The first red shade is named ‘True Love’ in recognition of the romance the client wished to capture in this commission. The darker tone is named ‘Mystery’, inspired by the mysterious nature of the rose, which appears to change colour when viewed from different angles. Indeed, it was the essence of true love and the mystery of exploration and travel that captivated the clients throughout the commissioning process.
The exterior coachwork is finished in the lustrous and complex True Love red. Like the Black Baccara rose, the motor car also appears to change colour depending on the point it is examined from. To achieve this rich variation, surface finish specialists developed a completely new paint process, which was perfected over 150 careful iterations.
The duotone theme extends into La Rose Noire Droptail’s brightwork. The dark finish, named Hydroshade due to its liquid quality, was developed specifically for this project. These pieces are not painted; rather, a specific chrome electrolyte is introduced in the chrome plating process and co-deposited on each stainless-steel substrate in a layer just one micron thick – roughly the same width as a strand of spider-web silk. This dark but reflective finish is continued on select metal details throughout the interior, each of which have been precision-polished by hand to achieve a high-gloss finish.
A removable hard top was then designed to give Droptail two distinct characters: without its roof Droptail is a lithe, open-top roadster; with the roof installed, it becomes a formidable and dramatic coupé. Exclusively for La Rose Noire, the roof is uniquely low-slung, which is further exaggerated with a faster and longer rake to underpin its assertive, glamourous character. Behind it, an ingot with the motor car’s name is included – a first for Rolls-Royce. The completely Bespoke roof also features an electrochromic glass section, which instantly transitions to a near-translucent shade at the touch of a button, inviting patrons to explore the world above.
The most remarkable element of this extraordinary motor car is its cocooning interior as this reveals the most complex expression of parquetry ever created at Rolls-Royce – the product of nearly two years of development, intense experimentation and hand craftsmanship.
The artwork represents an abstract expression of falling rose petals, formed using 1,603 pieces of black wood veneer triangles. The highly 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 clients to represent a natural, organic ‘scattering’ of petals. Made from Black Sycamore wood sourced in France as a subtle tribute to the French provenance of La Rose Noire, each triangle is cut, sanded and precisely positioned by hand.
The fascia of Rolls-Royce La Rose Noire Droptail is provisioned with an integrated one-off timepiece by Audemars Piguet, which was specially commissioned by the client. The 43mm Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT Large Date is powered by a unique self-winding Calibre 4407 movement, featuring a flyback chronograph and a split-seconds mechanism. Masterfully matched to La Rose Noire’s colourway, it incorporates red counters and a red inner bezel, providing a bright contrast to the black ‘openworked’ dial highlighted with rhodium-toned bevels.
To celebrate the creation of the La Rose Noire Droptail, the owners commissioned an exclusive vintage of Champagne de Lossy, a rarity from one of their favorite wine estates. This exquisite motor car was met with an equally exquisite creation: the Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest. Adorned with the same intricate parquetry work as La Rose Noire Droptail. Once deployed, they reveal two hammocks cradling the clients’ special edition Champagne de Lossy, designed to match the motor car’s colour scheme.