An unique hybrid Lexus LS 600h Landaulet with one-off polycarbonate roof will be used to drive the happy couple round the Principality when Prince Albert of Monaco marries Carlene Wittstock in Monte Carlo on 2 July.
The specially commissioned vehicle, which is based on the extended wheelbase LS 600h L luxury hybrid, has been built by Belgian coachmaker Carat Landaulet with the assistance of Lexus’ own engineers in Brussels.
The project took 2,000 man hours to complete and will enable His Serene Highness and his new wife, a commoner (as seems all the rage amongst Europe’s royal families at the moment!) who just happens to be a South African Olympic backstroke swimmer, to motor through the crowds of the Mediterranean tax haven with zero tail pipe emissions. Which Kate and Wills also managed through using horses and a carriage.
The outstanding feature of the Landaulet is not the stock Lexus which underpins it, but the fascinating polycarbonate roof, which will allow an uninterrupted view in and out. Made of just one piece, Carat Landaulet saught the assistance of a supplier of fighter jet canopies to the aerospace industry, and it weight just 26kg inspite of being 8mm thick. With so much of the original structure of the car cut away to enable the fitment of the new roof, the floorpan needed reinforcing with honeycomb structures of kevlar and carbon fibre composits to ensure structural and torsional rigidity was maintained.
Bad news if you are expecting to be able to hire it for your own wedding, as after its appearance in the streets of Monte Carlo the Landaulet will be shown in the Media Centre before moving to Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum.