Iconic British luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce has revealed the third iteration of its latest Droptail commission series, signalling the completion of a five-year process.

    It’s called the Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail – not to be confused with the Holden Acadia SUV – with its name referencing the Greek mythological concept of ‘Heaven on Earth’.

    With the bar set high, Rolls-Royce set about producing a car which first came to them as a hand-drawn sketch by its wealthy owner back in 2019.

    While its exterior design is almost identical to the previous Droptail commissions – the La Rose Noire and Amethyst, respectively – the small details set apart the Arcadia from its siblings.

    Wood is a central theme throughout the interior, with Santos Straight Grain selected as the main source for its construction.

    As this particular wood has a very fine grain and can easily tear, Rolls-Royce claims more than 8000 working hours – yes, the equivalent of 333 full days – were spent creating the wood sections inside and out.

    One of the most impressive is the rear deck into which the roof can be retracted, incorporating 76 individual pieces laid at a 55-degree angle.

    The client plans to use the Arcadia Droptail internationally and in varying climates, meaning a bespoke protective finish for the wood surfaces was developed to ensure longevity – in total 1000 hours were claimed to be spent on 18 samples perfecting the product.

    Inside, there’s white leather – reflecting the exterior paint colour – complemented by tan contrast leather to continue the wood theme.

    Rolls-Royce claims the wood panel behind the seats is the widest ever fitted to any of its cars, consisting of the same Santos Straight Grain on the rear deck and compiled from 40 sections.

    To further reduce the chance of any defects appearing in the future, the Arcadia’s interior wood panelling is backed by carbon fibre which prevents warping.

    If the time taken to complete the wood sections seemed extravagant, the clock in the Arcadia’s dashboard took two years to develop and five months to assemble – with its 119 small metal pieces forming a geometric guilloché pattern.

    It’s understood a 6.75-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine powers the Rolls-Royce Arcadia Droptail, but don’t expect the company to make a song and dance about what’s under the bonnet.

    The BMW-built engine produces between 420kW/850Nm or 440kW/900Nm in other Rolls-Royce models, where it is often paired to an all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    While Rolls-Royce does not disclose prices for its commissioned vehicles, the previous Droptails have been estimated to be worth approximately US$30 million (A$46 million) by business publication Bloomberg.

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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