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.