Lexus Landaulet for Prince Albert II of Monaco
27th June, 2011
- One-off coachbuilt limousine to be used on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco
on 2nd July
- Full hybrid powertrain will allow the car to operate in zero-emissions mode for most of the newly
weds’ tour of the principality
- Landaulet styling uses a one-piece transparent roof manufactured using advanced technologies from
the aerospace industry
A unique, full hybrid Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet fitted with a one-piece transparent polycarbonate
roof will serve as the official royal wedding car when His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco
marries Carlene Wittstock in Monte Carlo on 2nd July, 2011.
The conversion was undertaken by Belgian coachbuilder Carat Duchatelet, working closely with Lexus
engineers based in Brussels (Belgian). The project took more than 2,000 hours to complete, with a
focus on maintaining the levels of quality and technological sophistication that are fundamental to
every Lexus, and preserving the performance, safety and dynamic attributes of the original LS 600h
The process began with computer-aided design calculation, simulations and 3D modelling. Reinforcing
the bodyshell required extensive use of honeycomb structures Kevlar and carbon fibre composite
materials to achieve suitable chassis stiffness and torsional rigidity following the removal of the
roof and pillars.
Composite parts have to be cured at very high temperatures and these were literally ‘cooked’ on to
the bare chassis in a specially prepared oven. This meant that first, much of the vehicle had to be
dismantled, with around 20,000 mechanical parts, electric component and interior features and
upholstery being stripped out. Re-assembly was carried out under close supervision of a Lexus
engineering team to ensure consistency with original vehicle specifications and performance. Prior to
re-assembly, the car was finished in an elegant Midnight Blue livery, applied by hand using several
coats of a bespoke, water-based paint, adding to the car’s environmental credentials.
Lexus LS 460
The transparent roof presented a challenge in both design, as a large, single piece with no
reinforcements or pillars, and in manufacturing. To make the roof, Lexus sought co-operation with a
French company that specialises in supplying similar components to the aerospace industry, such as
helicopter windscreens and fighter jet canopies.
The roof is a single, lightweight polycarbonate shell that is 8 mm thick and weighs just 26 kg.
Fixed to the body of the Lexus through two intermediary parts, it allows a perfect view in and out of
A template was made in a honeycomb structure and carbon fibre to validate the roof’s shape and
structural integrity and to ensure a perfect fit with tolerances of less than 1mm. Once the design was
complete, robotic tools were used to produce the canopy and fit it to the Landaulet in a completely
The final stage of the conversion, re-assembly and finishing took a team of 10 specialists working
with Lexus engineers more than two weeks to complete, to ensure the highest quality levels were
On the day of the wedding the LS 600h L Landaulet will be used by the royal couple to tour the
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 be displayed in
Monaco, firstly at the Media Centre and later at the Oceanographic Museum.
About the happy couple
Prince Albert II (Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi) was born in Monaco in 14th March 1958. His
fiance is Charlene Wittstock, a former South African swimmer. She was born 25th January, 1978, in