Currently reading: Rolls-Royce Droptail: third version of £20m roadster revealed
Unique new Arcadia coupé takes inspiration from Asian architecture, hot rods and interiors of classic cars

Rolls-Royce has revealed the third example of its £20 million coachbuilt roadster, the Droptail, hailing it as an example of “daring in minimalism and subtlety”.

Called the Arcadia Droptail, it follows the Amethyst and La Rose Noire cars shown last year as part of a production run of four.

The Arcadia is said to be inspired by the architecture and design from its commissioner’s favourite regions, including Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.

The car’s white paint features aluminium and glass particles to create “a level of intrigue upon further study”, according to Rolls-Royce.

The firm added that the Arcadia’s commissioner was “very particular and involved” in determining the intensity of the contrasting silver finish.

Unlike on the three other Droptails, the lower section of the Arcadia’s carbonfibre tub is painted, receiving the same silver finish.

Rolls-Royce Droptail Arcadia side

Inside, the Arcadia’s wood panelling was developed with reference to the commissioner’s favourite houses and classic cars.

Santos Straight Grain rosewood was selected for its “rich texture” but, having one of the tightest grains of any timber thus far used in a Rolls-Royce, presented a significant engineering challenge. Apparently it easily tears when machined and is prone to cracking while it dries.

A bespoke lacquer also had to be developed to protect the wood for the lifetime of the car in tropical climates. Superyacht coatings were initially considered but would have required regular reapplications, according to Rolls-Royce.

In all, developing the coating and working the 233 pieces of wood took more than 8000 hours of development, the firm said.

The dashboard also features a clock of Rolls-Royce’s own design, said to be the most complex such part it has ever developed, requiring two years of research and five months of assembly.

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Rolls-Royce Droptail Arcadia rear

Design director Anders Warming said: “With [the] Arcadia Droptail, we witness daring in minimalism and subtlety, informed by the lifestyle of an individual who has a unique appreciation for British luxury.

"In creating this historic motor car, we once again prove our peerless abilities in synthesising and executing Bespoke design at its highest level.”

The two-seat roadster is powered by Goodwood's familiar twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V12, fettled to produce an additional 30bhp – giving total outputs of 593bhp and 620lb ft.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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Scribbler 1 March 2024

Even allowing for the need (or the desire, at least) for luxury car makers to charge big markups where they can get them, this model looks like extreme hubris from Rolls Royce.

Judging from the likes of AutoTrader, 'bog standard' Rolls Royce cars from the last 20 years are now becoming very cheap to buy - but running costs and future depreciation don't make them good buys.

I can't see these 'special' cars from Bentley and Rolls Royce holding their value over the long term. Just becasue they are being made in small numbers and ICE car production is on a clock does not make them special.  

Anton motorhead 1 March 2024
What a decadent waste of money. I do admire the craftsmanship, though.
kraftwerk 29 February 2024

Roof and C-pillar from MINI Coupe