Following the presentation of the La Rose Noire Droptail created for an American customer, the carmaker has now revealed the second of four roadster models which are referred to as ‘Droptail’ rather than ‘Drophead’. This latest one is the Amethyst Droptail which, like the La Rose Noire Droptail, is among the most expensive cars in the world.
It is the work of Rolls-Royce Coachbuild which can provide customers with a model that is ultra exclusive. While the Bespoke department will personalise each car in virtually any way the customer specifies, Coachbuild will design and engineer an entire car to meet a customer’s requirements.
In the case of the Amethyst Droptail, it is the customer’s cultural heritage, family legacy and personal passions that was the theme given to the designers. His family business has grown from a gemstone boutique to a multinational corporation with diversified interests. Exceptionally well-travelled, internationally educated and truly global in their inspirations, the customer is said to be an established patron of the arts, whose collection of precious jewels, significant cars and contemporary artworks are housed in a specially commissioned private museum.
The customer tasked Coachbuild designers to create an elegant expression for the Droptail inspired by the amethyst gem – the birthstone of their son and an enduring symbol of purity, clarity and resilience. It is such themes that are explored throughout the car in extraordinary depth.
As for the cultural heritage of their home region, the designers chose for the exterior the Globe Amaranth wildflower, which blooms in the desert near one of the homes of the customer. The duotone exterior paint finish captures multiple stages of the flower’s bloom. The main body colour is a soft purple hue with a delicate silver undertone, enhanced with fine flecks of powdered aluminium that reflect the light and create a captivating iridescent finish.
In sunlight, the car also reveals a gentle hint of mauve paint on the inside of the 22-inch wheels, providing a subtle but elegant contrast to the mirror-polished aluminium surface; a touch that the customer compared to the colourful lining of their favourite bespoke jacket.
The exterior is finished with a subtle but highly complex treatment to the carbonfibre used to construct the lower sections of the motor car. The result of two years of development, the marque’s craftspeople created a chevron pattern book-matched along two axes, which adds geometric decoration to the Amethyst Droptail’s technical exterior surfaces.
The carbonfibre itself is finished with a fine layer of lacquer tinted with Amethyst pigment which, in most lighting conditions, reads as body colour. This intricate and technically demanding detail is hidden until the car is viewed closely, referencing the customer’s passion for subtlety and restraint.
The Pantheon grille which is a signature feature of every Rolls-Royce has special surface treatment that had never been attempted on this scale before. Below it is an intricate lower front air intake, a highly detailed piece which was digitally designed and ‘printed’ in a lightweight composite.
It incorporates 202 hand-polished stainless-steel ingots, each of which has been painstakingly painted by hand in the Globe Amaranth hue.
The Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, always present, is surrounded by amethyst cabochons. The cabochon treatment, whereby a gemstone is shaped and polished into a rounded form rather than faceted, was requested by the customer in order to avoid a conspicuous sparkle. This subtle detail recalls the customer’s early enterprise in the precious gemstone business.
For the Amethyst Droptail, Rolls-Royce has created the most extensive wooden surface area in its history. The material extends from the car’s fascia and doors to the shawl panel, cantilevered ‘plinth’ centre armrest and onto the decklid behind.
The wood, as with all the materials and crafts, have been personally curated by the client and his family. The colours of the initial wood sample provided served as the inspiration for the car’s leather treatment. Following this, wood specialists were challenged to source material with bands in precisely the same colour as the leather, a task that took more than 6 months, requiring them to review more than 100 logs before the perfect piece was discovered.
To ensure that the Amethyst Droptail can be enjoyed in a variety of climates around the world, the interior wood parts were tested to meet the same rigorous endurance standards as the exterior parts.
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. The deck’s protective coatings, developed specifically for Amethyst Droptail, have been granted their own patent.
To complete the interior treatment, the customer requested an elegant addition: the adornment of the rotary dials with rare amethyst gems. As with the gems at the base of the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, they too are shaped in a convex cabochon style rather than faceted. The stunning depth and clarity of each stone is of a standard usually reserved for fine jewellery.
The removable hard top has been designed to give the Droptail two distinct characters: without its roof, the car is a lithe, open-top roadster; with the roof installed, it is a dramatic coupe.
The roof incorporates electrochromic glass that allows the surface to change colour and transparency instantly. Money obviously being no constraint, the customer challenged Coachbuild designers to develop a glass that would alter its hue in order to correspond with the colourway of Amethyst Droptail.
In response, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective developed a unique chameleon effect for its electrochromic glass: when deactivated, it is completely opaque and has a subtle purple tint, mirroring the motor car’s Amethyst exterior finish. Once the glass is activated at the touch of a button, it becomes translucent with a hue that matches the Sand Dunes leather colour used in the interior suite.