A special Lexus LS 600h Landaulet featuring a one-piece transparent polycarbonate roof will be the official royal wedding car for His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and Carlene Wittstock in Monte Carlo when they marry on 2nd July 2011.
Belgian coachbuilder Carat Duchatelet was responsible for the conversion, working closely with Lexus engineers based in Brussels. The special Lexus LS 600h took more than 2000 hours to complete, with the engineers focusing on ensuring levels of quality and technology whilst maintaining performance, safety and dynamic attributes of the original Lexus LS 600h L.
The bodyshell is reinforced with honeycomb structure kevlar and carbon fibre composite materials in order to achieve chassis stiffness and torsional rigidity due to the removal of the roof and pillars.
A specially prepared oven was used to 'cook' the parts onto the bare chassis as they require curing at very high temperatures. This procedure required dismantling of the vehicle, with 20,000 mechanical parts, electric components, interior features and upholstery being removed. The Lexus team ensures the re-assembly was consistent with the original vehicle specifications and performance.
To make the lightweight polycarbonate transparent roof, Lexus collaborated with a French company who specialise in supplying similar components to the aerospace industry, for example helicopter windscreens and fighter jet canopies.
To validate the roof's shape and structural integrity and ensure a perfect fit, a template was constructed in a a honeycomb structure and carbon fibre. Robotic tools were use to produce and fit the canopy.
The Lexus LS 600h Landaulet will be used by the royal coupe to tour the principality after the marriage ceremony. For the majority of the tour, the car will be used in full electric mode. The car will later be displayed at the Media Centre and then on to the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.
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