Rolls Royce La Rose Noire Droptail could be the most expensive new car in the world

Published Aug 21, 2023


Rolls Royce describes its latest coachbuilt creation, the La Rose Noire Droptail, as a dark, daring and dramatic coachbuilt masterpiece.

Unveiled at a private event close to Pebble Beach in California over the weekend, the one-off Rolls Royce was designed as a rolling celebration of some of the commissioning family’s favourite things.

It is the first of four Droptail roadsters that have been commissioned by separate clients and not only are they the marque’s first modern day two seaters but they’re also rumoured to be the most expensive new cars in the world.

Although Rolls Royce is not revealing a price for its new Droptail, Autocar understands the four cars will cost more than the 20 million pound pound price tag commanded by the Boat Tail, which itself set a record for new cars. That’s about R482 million at today’s exchange rate.

Power comes from a 442kW version of the firm’s 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 engine.

The La Rose Noire Droptail that was revealed in California this weekend, to a delighted client whose taste in car and home curation is reputed to be an art form in itself, was primarily inspired by the Black Baccara rose. Originating in France, this intense, velvet-like flower is beloved by the mother of the commissioning family.

Its dark pomegranate petals appear almost black when in shade, but reveal a red, pearlescent shimmer when exposed to sunlight. These two colours, which the carmaker has named as ‘True Love’ and ‘Mystery’, form the primary colour palette of La Rose Noire Droptail.

To that end, the exterior coachwork is finished in True Love red, and like the Black Baccara rose, the car appears to change colour depending on the point it is examined from. Specialists had to create a completely new paint process to achieve this rich colour variation, which was perfected over 150 careful iterations.

The car’s wheels feature the dark Mystery paint finish, which from afar appears to be black, but reveals shimmering dark red undertones upon closer examination.

The completely bespoke removable hardtop, which is uniquely low-slung, also features an electrochromic glass section, which instantly transitions to a near-translucent shade at the touch of a button.

No shortage of glamour inside

Rolls Royce describes this car’s interior as its most complex expression of parquetry ever created. Its 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.

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.

This intricately detailed and embracing piece stretches from the car’s rear shawl panel through the doors and onto the expansive fascia. Its assembly required such intense concentration that the single craftsperson tasked with creating it could only work in one-hour sessions for no more than five hours total per day, to ensure they maintained the focus required for perfect execution.

The Droptail’s two seats are decorated at the edges with both 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.

The cockpit also welcomes a bespoke timepiece by Audemars Piguet, which was expertly matched to the La Rose Noire’s colour scheme. The item is removable so that the client could attach it to a strap and wear it.

Not only does it come with a unique timepiece, but the owners also commissioned an exclusive champagne. This vintage of Champagne de Lossy, one of their favourite wineries, is one of only a precious handful of vintages produced by the Chateau in its 160-year history.

Housing it is a unique Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest, with matching rose petal parquetry. It opens at the press of a button, revealing an intricate champagne set replete with hand-blown crystal champagne flutes. Furthermore, the exterior lid converts to a serving tray made of bookmatched open pore Black Sycamore wood with a design of the Chateau central to the brushed and laser-cut stainless-steel inlay.

“This bold and historic motor car is a romantic celebration of the couple who created it, characterised by passion and a restless desire for meaningful experiences. In commissioning this extraordinary expression of Droptail, this remarkable family has not only shaped their own legacy but also participated in the legend of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars,” the carmaker said.

IOL Motoring