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First Look

Rolls-Royce reveals third coachbuilt Droptail: the stunning new Arcadia

Named after a mythical Greek realm, it features the most complicated watch face in RR history

Published: 29 Feb 2024

Few do romance like Rolls-Royce. Take the stunning new Droptail ‘Arcadia’, which on the face of it is simply the third entry in RR’s Droptail series of fully bespoke, V12 roadsters. And yet, a Rolls-Royce is never a ‘simple’ story.

Not least because each and every Rolls-Royce celebrates an individual story, elevating what is essentially a heavy, expensive collection of moving parts that allow travel, into living, expensively damped narratives.

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The Arcadia, named after Ancient Greece’s mythical paradise, was commissioned not just to honour the Droptail’s very form, but also to act as a V12-powered sanctum from the pressures and complexities of the modern professional world. 600bhp+ usually helps with relieving said pressures.

So it’s designed to be tranquil. Peaceful. Hence the solid white body colour infused with aluminium and glass particles, creating the “illusions of unending depth in the paint”. The carbon fibre lower sections in this Arcadia are painted silver (as opposed to exposed like earlier Droptails), and the whole philosophy here is to use the paintwork and detailing to better highlight the Droptail’s silhouette.

Meanwhile the interior is designed to better highlight the client’s personal tastes, reflecting “the style they have curated in their residences and business spaces around the world”. There’s a two-tone white and tan leather interior, along with a high-density hardwood on display – a delicate ‘Santos Straight Grain’ that's apparently very tricky to manipulate – coated with a bespoke lacquer that’ll last for the life of the car. (Testing the reliability and durability of the wood and its coating took more than 8,000 hours of development.)

As with the other Droptail commissions, the interior’s “complex curvatures” required an entirely new substructure to be built, and RR’s engineers used carbon fibre layers familiar to Formula 1 for the base. Nestled in these curvatures sits the most complicated clock Rolls-Royce has ever built: it took two years to develop and five months alone to assemble.

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Indeed, the entire Arcadia story took over four years to fully realise. That’s some narrative. “The significance of Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail lies in its subtlety,” said Alex Innes, head of Rolls-Royce's coachbuilding division.

“This motor car is one of the most faithful expressions of an individual’s personal style and sensibilities we have ever created within the Coachbuild department. In capturing their spirit, we reveal a unique appreciation for simplicity, serenity and beautifully restrained elegance – one that was a privilege for me to have been a part of.” Like we said, few do romance like Rolls-Royce.

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