- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presents Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail
- Extraordinary coachbuilt project is inspired by the birthstone of the patron’s son
- Incorporates exquisite celebration of painstaking craft and focussed minimalism
- Veneer aft deck is the largest wood surface ever produced by Rolls-Royce
- Rear section is the only aerodynamically functional wood surface on a new motor car
- Precious amethyst gems are incorporated into interior and exterior
- First time both brushed and polished finish have been applied to Pantheon grille
- Finish inspired by haute horlogerie, referencing client’s Vacheron Constantin timepiece
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is honoured to present Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail – a breath-taking coachbuilt masterpiece that celebrates its commissioning client’s cultural heritage, family legacy and personal passions.
One of four unique expressions of the Rolls-Royce Droptail, Amethyst Droptail is inspired by the amethyst gem – the birthstone of the patron’s son and an enduring symbol of purity, clarity, and resilience. A truly elevated expression of applied art, commissioned by a patron whose family business has grown from a gemstone boutique to a multinational corporation with diversified interests, this exceptional motor car is defined by the client’s passion for quiet artistry and subtle flourishes.
A FLOWER IN THE DESERT
The patron and co-creator of Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail expressed a profound desire to celebrate the cultural heritage of their home region. Rolls-Royce Coachbuild designers responded with an inspiration point that would define this Droptail’s exterior treatment: the Globe Amaranth wildflower, which blooms in the desert near one of the client’s homes.
The duotone exterior paint finish captures multiple stages of the flower’s bloom. The main body colour, named Globe Amaranth, is a soft purple hue with a delicate silver undertone and a captivating iridescent finish. This is beautifully contrasted by a deep purple Amethyst paint, which is used on the motor car’s upper coachwork.
Additionally, in sunlight, the motor 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 client compared to the colourful lining of their favourite bespoke jacket.
The exterior is finished with a subtle but highly complex treatment to the carbon fibre 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 Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail’s technical exterior surfaces. The carbon fibre itself is finished with a fine layer of lacquer tinted with Amethyst pigment, which in most lights reads as body colour. This intricate and technically demanding detail is hidden until the motor car is closely scrutinised, speaking of the client’s passion for subtlety and restraint.
DEPTH OF DETAIL
The client’s trust in Rolls-Royce’s artisans to execute the most challenging flourishes is expressed in the Pantheon grille treatment. The exterior grille surround and ‘kinked’ vane pieces are partially hand-brushed and partially hand-polished with a precise line demarking each finish – a surface treatment that had never been attempted on this scale before. The concept was suggested by the commissioning client’s son, a collector of haute horlogerie who was inspired by the brushed hands of an historically significant piece in his archive.
Beneath this extraordinary expression of contemporary craftsmanship is an intricate lower front air intake. This highly detailed piece was digitally designed and ‘printed’ in a lightweight composite and incorporates 202 hand-polished stainless-steel ingots, each of which has been painstakingly painted by hand in the Globe Amaranth hue.
The front end is resolved with a Spirit of Ecstasy figurine 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 client in order to avoid a conspicuous sparkle. This subtle detail recalls the client’s early enterprise in the precious gemstone business.
CELEBRATION OF MATERIALS
Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail celebrates the materials and crafts personally curated by the commissioning client and his family. The material selection began with a sample of Calamander Light open-pore wood offered by the client.
The colours of this initial wood sample served as the inspiration for the motor car’s leather treatment – the gently contrasting leather, in the aptly named Sand Dunes hue, was developed to perfectly match the caramel strands on the Calamander Light open-pore wood.
The primary leather hue, named Amethyst, complements the exterior surface and is finished with a subtle pearlescent lacquer, reminiscent of the brilliance of the precious gemstone after which the motor car is named.
For Amethyst Droptail, Rolls-Royce has created the most extensive wooden surface area in its history, with the material extending from the motor car’s fascia and doors to the shawl panel, cantilevered ‘plinth’ centre armrest and onto the aft deck. Additionally, a completely new veneering process was developed specifically for Amethyst Droptail, with each veneer sheet placed upside down to expose the raw wood texture.
To ensure Amethyst Droptail can be enjoyed by its commissioning client in a variety of climates around the word, the interior wood parts were tested to meet the same rigorous endurance standards as the exterior parts. Prior to its final construction, more than 150 samples underwent over 8,000 hours of testing. This included a full sunlight exposure simulation and lightfastness 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 client 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. Each stone was examined by experts within the client’s organisation before they were personally and individually approved by the client.
A removable hard top has been designed to give Rolls-Royce Droptail two distinct characters: without its roof, Droptail is a lithe, open-top roadster; with the roof installed, it is a formidable and dramatic coupé.
The roof incorporates electrochromic glass that allows the surface to change colour and transparency instantly. The client 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 Coachbuild 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.
A SINGULAR TIMEPIECE
Rolls-Royce Amethyst Droptail fascia is graced with a unique timepiece commissioned by the client from the renowned Swiss haute horlogerie maison, Vacheron Constantin. Handmade in Geneva, the piece, named ‘Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon,’ has an intricate hand-wound movement and is securely housed in a specially designed holder, enabling it to be removed and stored separately from the motor car if desired. The timepiece features a bi-retrograde display with instantaneous return of the hours and minutes as well as a bi-axial tourbillon.
Vacheron Constantin and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars worked closely together to ensure the forms, materials and colours of the timepiece were in perfect harmony within the motor car. The instrument dials combine amethyst-coloured inserts with the partially brushed and polished finish of the timepiece’s hands. The timepiece is affixed to a white-gold baseplate with a hand-crafted sunburst guilloché pattern.
AMETHYST DROPTAIL: A PERSONAL PLACE IN ROLLS-ROYCE HISTORY
This extraordinary expression of Rolls-Royce Droptail is a testament to the commissioning client’s passion for quiet detail, playfully but meticulously incorporated into one of the most historically significant Rolls-Royces ever built. It also represents the marque’s capabilities, not just in realising such a clear vision, but in artfully harmonising heritage, modernity and soul.