By on June 25, 2011

When you are the ruler of the Principality of Monaco, as tiny (and tony) as it may be, you don’t have to worry about any indigenous auto manufacture. And when you  marry your lovely bride, you can pick any car you damn choose. For his upcoming nuptials with former South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, Prince Albert of Monaco picked a Toyota.

Truth be told, it’s a car made by Toyota, but branded a Lexus. It is a full hybrid LS 600h L Landaulet with a one-piece, transparent polycarbonate roof.

The conversion was undertaken by Belgian coachbuilders Carat Duchatelet. It took over 2,000 hours to complete. Much of the vehicle had to be completely dismantled, involving the stripping out of some 20,000 mechanical parts, electronic components and interior features and upholstery. Re-assembly occurred under the close supervision of the Lexus engineering team, to ensure consistency with the original vehicle specifications and performance

The roof is a single, lightweight polycarbonate shell, just 8 mm thick and weighing only 26 kg. It was built in France by a company that usually makes helicopter windshields and jet fighter canopies.

On the day of the wedding, the Landaulet LS 600h L will be used by the royal couple to tour the Principality after the ceremony. For most of the tour, the vehicle will drive under electric-motor power alone.  Not that the principality usually does mind a little bit of exhaust.

 

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23 Comments on “Prince Of Monaco Gets Married In A Toyota...”


  • avatar
    Advo

    I suppose Ferraris are just Fiats, then.

    Or does a separate brand have to be assembled in separate factories even if it may be more efficient to build them alongside other, more plebeian vehicles?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Lexus ONLY existed in the US for the majority of the life of the brand. In the rest of the world, they were sold as Toyotas, which is what they are. They are designed and engineered by Toyota. Lexus is not really even a brand, it is a brilliant (if cynical) marketing exercise.

      The only thing FIAT about Ferrari is the ownership. Ferraris are not designed and engineered by FIAT engineers. They are not based on FIAT platforms. Parts sharing is minimal.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Given the history of Monaco, and how it is run like a commercial enterprise, I would be interested to know how much Toyota paid to hsh for the product placement.

    btw, Last time I was in Monaco, I saw the nice Tesla dealer there, and the reserved plug-in parking spots under the Grand Casino, (if there was a Lexus dealer, I missed it) … if Mr. Musk had really been on his game, he would have beat TMC to the punch by placing a Model-S.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    He certainly made a fine choice. And the car is nice, too.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Nice Toyota, dude! And nice bride, too. It’s good to be Prince, I take it…

  • avatar
    PintoFan

    How boring. Being the prince of arguably the glitziest place in the world should be indicative of a more adventurous taste in cars, but I guess not. Instead we get a beigemobile with a plastic roof. Why not a vintage Maserati or something similar? That would have been in better taste and more in keeping with the persona of the place.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I was thinking about this car, and wondering if the rear windows roll-down, or if that Wonder Woman-like door-roof joint is capabable of keeping-out rain…

    Wonder if that canopy has any IR and UV absorbers in it … else two things are needed, 1. a good a/c unit, 2. a center console stocked with a cap or a bottle of SPF-30(to shield Al’s bald pate)…

    Te car is nice, but if you have ever seen the princely Car Collection/Museum, you would know that there are a heck of a lot cooler and historically significant cars they could have used other than this one … this is why I am thinking produce placement …

    btw, last I was aware, the official motorcades were using IIRC big Audis (but may have been BMWs).

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    It truly is a butt-ugly car, from a company that almost made one good looking car (The IS 200/300) with absolutely no pedigree as a luxury car manufacturer (exect maybe for the american use of that word). But I agree it will probably last longer and offer more useless gizmos than a similarly priced BMW or Mercedes.

  • avatar
    marc

    Had it been a Bentley, would you have said they got married in a Volkswagen? C’mon TTAC. I expect more.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      I would :) Even more so than a Rolls Royce is a BMW, or a Cadillac is a GMC truck.
      Lexus was created from nothing, just like Mercury was from Ford. Even Lincoln was once a manufacturer of it’s own. And, unlike the Japanese (yes, I generalize) They have all made actual luxury cars in the past, and have had designers with their own ides.(far back in the past)
      The glass roof is cool though :)

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        BMW bought nothing more that the rights to a radiator shell. The new Rolls Royces are no better than Chinese knock-offs, unless you base your opinions on race. :)

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      No, because Bentleys are unique products distinguishable from everything else produced by VAG. Contrast this with Lexus, which is essentially a blinged-out overpriced Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        Marko

        “Blinged-out overpriced Toyota”

        Which Lexus exactly are you referring to? The LS mentioned in this article shares absolutely nothing with any Toyota-branded product.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The only reason Bentleys are ‘unique’ is because not enough people would pay $63K for them when they had VW emblems. VW has learned how to take money from people who can’t see past the badge though. Mining the depths of ignorance about product for the win!

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        Marko, an LS is an Avalon with a slightly bigger engine and rear-drive. It’s made out of the same materials as any other Toyota. You can’t tell me that all the small bits aren’t just pieces out of the Toyota parts bin.
        CJ, the only thing the new Continentals share with any other VAG product is the engine. Nobody bought a Phaeton because it was basically a slightly uglier Passat with a big motor and the same interior you could get in an Audi. The Continental is a hand-built car made out of super-premium naterials. It’s not comparable to a VAG assembly-line product. And I haven’t even mentioned the Brooklands, which is about as British as they come, especially since it has the traditional 6 3/4 L V8.

      • 0 avatar
        Twin Cam Turdo

        Pintofan,

        Given a handle of pintofan, it is clear that you are a true automotive enthusiast.
        It is thus understandable that you have confused the LS600h with an Avalon.

        After all, a Lincoln is nothing more than a blinged out Pinto, right?
        An A8 is nothing more than a Passat?

        No, of course they are not. I’ll not insult the my own intelligence and the intelligence of the readers by suggesting they are either.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Do they have security concerns in Monaco? Lexus trumps the Europeans if you can’t risk being stranded.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d have gone with the Century over the LS.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    With a bubble shell like this obviously they are not worried about security issues, why dont they just invested money in a super powerful A/C?
    Mind u with a bubble like that its going to be a gigantic heat trap, a very powerful A/C is also needed.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I’m pretty sure the bubble is a security measure. Otherwise they’d have made an open parade car. Ask JFK about the value of the bubble that the Secret Service wanted him to allow to be used.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Audi is more VW than Lexus is Toyota. Lexus rwd platforms are unique from Toyota. ALL Audis are based on the same fwd platforms than VW. Audi shares engines, gearboxes and suspensions virtually across the range with VW. Lexus does that only with certain models. Most dubious platfrom sharing project is Phaeton based Continental – a Bentley which shares the engine, gearbox and the suspension with VW. Platform sharing is the future of automotive industry anyway (ttac had a article about it too), so why bother with the Lexus=Toyota jokes. This was funny 10 years ago maybe, it’s getting really old. Anyone who is a serious car enthusiast at heart considers those references uninformed and dumb.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Lexuses are still Luxury appliances, they lack any hint of soul, that’s why it’s not hard to make the Toyota jokes, even if that really is a symbol of quality. And bentleys are quite obviously drawn by the same people drawing the Passat and A6. The Rolls Royce at least looks nothing like it’s BMW brethren.


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