Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail Is Art On Wheels

The latest Rolls-Royce Droptail commission has been revealed. Called the Arcadia, it takes its name from Greek mythology, with the name meaning heaven on Earth. It must be quite the car, then…

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In fact, we know the Droptail is quite the car, as we’ve seen a couple of these commissions already. So what makes it stand out, what earns it that loaded Arcadia title? Let’s break down the delicious details.

The brief for the car was for it to reflect such a place of natural beauty, harmony and tranquility. It was to be a serene space to serve the buyer as a place of escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern world and of business life. Strangely for a £20million car, I think that’s something we can all relate to. Cars as places to which we can escape, as well as devices that facilitate literal escape from one place to another.

The car’s references include the tropical Sky Gardens of Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as British ‘Biomimetic’ architecture.

All these ideas manifested in the Arcadia, which presents in a stunning white hue that Rolls-Royce says has been infused with aluminium and glass particles. That’s contrasted with a silver that’s infused with larger aluminium particles in comparison to the white. T

hat colour paints over what on the other Droptail commissions is exposed carbon-fibre. There’s a reference to traditional Rolls-Royces in the mirror-finish on the wheels, the exterior grille surround and the kinked vane pieces within.

Of course, being a Rolls-Royce, you’ll be spending more time inside than outside, so the cabin is, if anything, even more important. Wood plays a huge role, but in a twist on tradition. From the texture, to the grain, to the richness and the colour, the buyer has been very specific about what they want and how they want it.

The Santos Straight Grain that was landed on presented huge challenges for Rolls-Royce’s craftspeople, who had to contend with its delicacy. The veneer features everywhere, from the car’s rear deck section, to the interlocking grain pattern arrangement behind the seats in the cabin. In all, some 233 wood pieces were used in the Droptail, 76 of which feature on the rear deck alone. The whole presentation took 8,000 hours to create – mind-boggling.

As the car is to be used worldwide, potentially seeing humid tropical clients, the wood had to be treated and protected with coatings used on superyachts. Appropriate, given the nautical inspiration behind the Droptrail series. The lacquer they landed on should last the life of the car. Cartier Style et Luxe 2084, here we come..?

The cabin’s crown jewel, though? The clock, set within the Santos veneer fascia, which features 119 facets and 12 0.1mm thick hour-mark chaplets. The intricate craftsmanship involved resulted in the most complex clock face in Rolls-Royce history and took five months to assemble. The client is a patient one, then.

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“Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is the pinnacle expression of this incredible brand, and an unmatched concept in the luxury sector,” said Rolls-Royce Chief Executive, Chris Brownridge.

“In this department, the world’s most influential individuals collaborate with our designers, engineers and craftspeople to bring completely new ideas to life. Together, they create exquisite motor cars that not only become a cherished part of the commissioning client’s personal story but also add to the proud history of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

“Arcadia Droptail exemplifies this approach. This motor car is deeply connected to the client’s personality and preferences, and in capturing their character we have been empowered to make inspiring design, craft and engineering statements that show the world our ambition, and our unparalleled abilities.”

Report by Ethan Jupp

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