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by Tim Beissmann

Renowned Belgian coachbuilder Carat Duchatelet has created this unique Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet for Saturday’s royal wedding between Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock.

The Landaulet’s most striking feature is its one-piece transparent polycarbonate roof, which has been designed to allow well-wishers to see the newly married couple as their procession proceeds through the streets of Monaco.

The conversion from long wheelbase luxury sedan to Landaulet took more than 2000 hours (the equivalent of 83 days nonstop) to complete and involved extensive computer aided design engineering, simulations and models.

A honeycomb construction of Kevlar and carbon fibre was used to reinforce the body shell and maintain torsional rigidity and chassis stiffness following the removal of the C-pillars and rear section of the roof.

More than 20,000 mechanical components had to be removed from the vehicle before it was reassembled in its current form.

The roof itself weighs 26kg. It was created by a French supplier that produces canopies for helicopters and fighter jets. It is 8mm thick and fits perfectly, with a tolerance of less than one millimetre.

The one-off Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet – fitted with a 5.0-litre V8 engine and an electric motor for hybrid and electric-only propulsion – is expected to operate in EV mode for most of the procession.

It is another nod to environmental responsibility from the royals, after Prince William and Kate Middleton drove off from their wedding ceremony in an Aston Martin DB6 powered by bio-ethanol.




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