Rolls-Royce Arcadia: Coachbuilt Haven of Tranqulity

  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presents Arcadia, the third Coachbuild Droptail commission
  • Celebration of the form: uniquely pure reflection of Droptail’s principal design
  • Wood sections took 8,000 hours to create
  • Commission named after Arcadia; a place known in Ancient Greek mythology as “Heaven on Earth”
  • Droptail is the first roadster body style in Rolls-Royce’s modern history
  • Coachbuilt masterpiece presented to commissioning client at a private ceremony in Singapore

“Rolls-Royce Coachbuild is the pinnacle expression of this incredible brand and an unmatched concept in the luxury sector. 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. Clients curate every facet of these masterpieces, which are brought into being by what I believe is the most talented team of experts in the luxury industry. 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.” – Chris Brownridge, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has commissioned the Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail, a coachbuilt expression of tranquility. According to Rolls-Royce, Arcadia Droptail is the epitome of quiet irreverence, celebrating purity of form and natural materials while serving as a bold statement of the client’s personal taste. Commissioned by an individual who possesses a distinct affinity for architecture and design, Arcadia Droptail is a testimony to the patron’s sensibilities and personal codes of luxury, defined by purity and subtle restraint, reflecting their firm belief in distilling complexity to reveal the inherent, fundamental essence.

This coachbuilt commission takes its name from the mythical realm of Arcadia, a place depicted in Ancient Greek mythology as “Heaven on Earth” – a land renowned for its extraordinary natural beauty and perfect harmony. Like the haven that inspires its name, Arcadia Droptail was envisioned by the client as a serene space characterized by reduction, material depth, and tactility that would serve as a refuge from the complexities of their business life.

In capturing the theme of tranquility, Coachbuild designers embarked on an exploration of design, sculpture, and architecture from the client’s favorite regions around the world. This included the precision and richness of modernist tropical sky gardens seen in Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam as well as British “Biomimetic” architecture, where organic forms and material honesty are celebrated.

A Singapore Sky Garden

“The significance of Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail lies in its subtlety. It is a projection of an individual who values clarity and precision in all areas of their life – from their passion for fine cuisine, to their highly curated personal and professional spaces and affinity with contemporary design. 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.” – Alex Innes, Head of Coachbuild Design, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Exterior: A Tribute to Droptail

To fulfill the client’s ambition to honor Droptail’s form, Rolls-Royce Coachbuild designers developed a calm, natural duotone colorway for Arcadia’s coachwork. The client aspired to define a timeless white, appearing as a solid color at first glance, but creating a level of intrigue upon further study under natural light. To achieve this, the main body color is a solid white infused with aluminum and glass particles. This not only creates an effervescent shimmer when the light strikes the coachwork but, upon close inspection, creates the illusion of unending depth in the paint. Rolls-Royce specialists developed a more faceted, striking metallic using larger sizing of aluminum particles.

In a key departure from the two previous Droptail commissions in this series, the carbon fiber used to construct the lower sections of Droptail is painted in the solid Bespoke Silver color rather than left fully or partially exposed, visually “lifting” Arcadia in profile to intensify its lithe, dynamic intent.

Interior: The “Centrality” of Wood

As the exterior of Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail celebrates form, the interior is a deeply personal reflection of the client’s individual aesthetic – reflective of the style they have curated in their residences and business spaces around the world. Arcadia Droptail’s color palette and material treatment were envisioned to be a truly personal statement and instantly recognizable as a personal signature of the commissioning client.

A Study in White

Arcadia Droptail’s leather interior is finished in two entirely Bespoke hues, named after the client, and reserved exclusively for their use. The main leather color is a Bespoke White hue, continuing the exterior paint theme, while the contrast leather is Bespoke Tan, developed to complement the selected wood. The interior also includes a shawl panel that unites all Droptail motor cars and is the largest continuous wood section ever seen on a Rolls-Royce motor car.

Applying wood to the complex curvatures of Droptail’s interior required Rolls-Royce engineers to develop an entirely new substructure for several components. The dramatic geometry of the dashboard, door linings, and central cantilevered “plinth” armrest had to be incredibly rigid to ensure the stability of the wood pieces once laid into place.

Cantilevered “plinth” armrest 

Engineers deployed carbon fiber layering techniques used in Formula 1 racing to develop an incredibly stiff base onto which the wood could be applied, ensuring that it remained secure regardless of any dynamic extremes Arcadia may experience.

Bespoke Timepiece

The Santos Straight Grain veneer fascia incorporates a clock conceived and developed by Rolls-Royce Coachbuild designers and craftspeople. This expression of haute horlogerie is the most complex Rolls-Royce clock face ever created, with assembly alone taking five months, which was preceded by more than two years of development.

The clock incorporates a geometric guilloché pattern in raw metal with 119 facets. This is a symbolic nod to the marque’s heritage as the client first saw a preview of their Arcadia commission in late 2023 – the year Rolls-Royce celebrated its 119th anniversary. The specially designed clock face also includes partly polished, partly brushed hands and 12 “chaplets” – or hour markers. To ensure the readability of the timepiece, specialists gave each chaplet an infill bridge and painted them by hand using a camera capable of magnifying an image by up to 100 times the original size. Like every component within the timepiece, including the Bespoke “Double R” monogram, the chaplets were individually machined from solid stainless steel billet and polished by hand before assembly.

International Lifestyle

Reflecting the patron’s international lifestyle, their Arcadia commission was built with left-hand drive to facilitate its use around the world. This international dimension was so important to the commissioning client that the Coachbuild Collective wanted them to virtually experience the motor car in multiple locations around the world before it was built. Coachbuild designers used the marque’s “Holodeck” – a virtual 3D environment in which the client used an advanced virtual reality headset to view the car as it would appear in specific locations around the world.

The one-off Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail represents the best of what the storied marque from Goodwood, United Kingdom can commission at the behest of its valued clients.

See more Rolls-Royce Coachbuilt masterpieces here, and here.