Remember the overly ostentatious Maybach 62 Landaulet
? Well, Lexus has gone out and built a Landaulet of its own based on its LS 600h flagship sedan and designed specifically to chauffeur around Prince Albert II of Monaco on his wedding day.
In case you were wondering, a Landaulet is a design that was made popular in the early part of the last century and is basically a regular sedan with a fabric roof-center that can be folded away. In the case of the one-off Lexus LS 600h Landaulet, the luxury limo is fitted with a one-piece transparent polycarbonate roof.
As mentioned, it will serve as the official royal wedding car when the Prince marries Carlene Wittstock in Monte Carlo on July 2. You may recall that Lexus has signed on as the official car brand
of the green-loving Prince.
As for this LS 600h Landaulet, the conversion was undertaken by Belgian coachbuilder Carat Duchatelet, working closely with Lexus engineers based in Brussels. The project took more than 2,000 hours to complete, with a focus on maintaining the levels of quality and technological sophistication of the regular LS 600h sedan on which it’s based.
The process began with computer-aided design calculation, simulations and 3D modeling. Reinforcing the body shell required extensive use of honeycomb structures, as well as Kevlar and carbon fiber composite materials to achieve suitable chassis stiffness and torsional rigidity following the removal of the roof and pillars.
The transparent roof also presented a challenge, with it being a single piece with no reinforcements or pillars. It's a lightweight polycarbonate shell that's 0.3-inches thick and weighs around 57-pounds.
To make it, Lexus sought co-operation with a French company that specializes in supplying similar components to the aerospace industry, such as helicopter windscreens and fighter jet canopies.
On the day of the wedding the Lexus LS 600h Landaulet will be used by the royal couple to tour the Monte Carlo principality after the marriage ceremony. For most of this distance the car will operate in its fully electric mode, with zero tailpipe emissions. After the celebrations the car will remain in the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.