Monaco’s imminent nuptials get Lexus LS 600h Laundaulet

When His Serene Highness Prince Albert II weds his fiancé, Ms. Charlene Wittstock, at the Palace on the Rocher July 2, they will then tour the principality in a custom hybrid Lexus with a space-age, see-through polycarbonate roof. The full hybrid vehicle will be able to drive nearly every inch of he tour in full electric mode, underscoring the Lexus commitment to environmental stewardship.

Prince Albert’s LS 600h L will offer the performance and comfort of a Lexus flagship, while generating significantly lower CO2, NOx and particulate emissions than any comparable car, if indeed there is one.

'Lexus is very proud to present this exceptional full hybrid vehicle to H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince of Monaco', said Andy Pfeiffenberger, Vice President of Lexus Europe. ‘Our commitment to innovation and sustainable mobility at Lexus matches well with His Serene Highness’ keen interest in promoting sustainable development and environmental protection.’

The cutting edge conversion was created by world renowned Belgian coachbuilders Carat Duchatelet in close collaboration with Lexus engineers in Brussels. Taking over 2000 hours to complete, the primary objective was to ensure the finished car maintained the technological sophistication inherent in the high-end Lexus, while preserving the performance, safety and dynamics of the original LS 600h L.

“We have 40 years experience in making armoured and extended vehicles for Heads of State, Royal Families and VVIPs around the world', explained Benoit Ceulemans, Executive Director Corporate Development, Carat Duchatelet. “However, this will be a milestone project for us. It is the first time we are publicly associated to such a prestigious project and memorable event.”

Like most design projects today, the process began with extensive computer-aided design calculations, simulations and 3-D modeling. Reinforceing the body required the very latest in honeycomb structures, Kevlar and carbon fiber technology, to maintain the vehicle's chassis rigidity and torsional integrity once the roof and pillars were removed.

Extreme temperatures are required to cure parts fabricated from composites and such components were literally ‘baked’ onto the bare chassis in a specially prepared oven. consequently, most of the vehicle had to be completely dismantled, which involved stripping some 20,000 mechanical parts, electronic components, interior features and upholstery. Re-assembly occurred under the watchful eyes of the Lexus engineering team, ensuring consistency with the original vehicle specs and capablities.

The vehicle had to be painted and polished before re-assembly. The Royal Wedding LS 600h L is finished in an elegant Midnight Blue livery, applied manually using several coats of an environmentally-friendly water-based paint.

The transparent roof was a challengingly large single piece with no reinforcements or pillars and for its fabrication Lexus located a supplier specializing in similar elements for the aerospace industry. The removable roof was built in France by one of the world’s leading transparent component companies who primarily supply components such as helicopter windshields and jet fighter canopies.

The roof is a single, lightweight polycarbonate shell, just 8 mm thick and weighing only 26 kg. Fixed to the body of the Lexus through two intermediary parts, it will allow perfect visibility from both inside and outside the vehicle.The precise production of the transparent roof was performed by robotic systems, after an exhausting process used to validate shape, structural integrity and a perfect fit to the vehicle within tolerances of less than 1 mm.

The final re-assembly and finishing of this unique LS 600h L involved a team of 10 along with Lexus engineers, working full time for over two weeks to make sure every aspect of the vehicle meets the highest levels of quality.

The post-nuptial tour of the Royals will bring them from the Palace on the Rocher down to the harbour, and then along Boulevard Albert I up to the Sainte-Devote Church where, traditionally, the princess will leave her bridal bouquet to the waiting Monegasques. After all the celebrations, the unique Lexus Landaulet will be displayed first at the Media Centre and subsequently at the Oceanographic Museum, where visitors will be able to view a remarkable reminder of an exceptional occasion.

We heartily wish H.S.H. Prince Albert II and his bride a long and loving union and an exceptionally delightful tour of the principality July 2.

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A gorgeous Lexus for sure; I've never seen a car with a glass roof like that. The wedding was controversial to say the least; I read that apparently she tried to leave the country..