A see-through Lexus fit for a prince

Monaco has announced that Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock will make their post-ceremony procession in a Lexus hybrid with a specially designed see-through polycarbonate roof.

Environmental responsibility is all the rage with European royalty these days. Prince William and Kate Middleton drove away from their nuptials in a bio-ethanol-powered Aston Martin DB6, and now Monaco has announced that Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock will make their post-ceremony procession in a Lexus hybrid.

Lexus LS600hL
(Credit: Lexus)

The Monaco royal car won't be a humble CT200h or even an RX450h, but a flagship LS600hL, specially converted with a Landaulet roof. To install the new roof, Belgian coach-builders Carat Duchatelet had to remove the existing roof, and strengthen the car's body with Kevlar and honeycomb structures to restore lost rigidity.

The roof itself is a polycarbonate transparent shell covering the rear seat. It was designed by a French company that also builds canopies for helicopters and other aircraft. The 8mm thick shell weighs 26kg and can be removed for an open-air rear seat.

The Lexus LS600hL retains its original drivetrain, a 5-litre V8 augmented with an electric propulsion unit. The wedding procession, which occurs on 2 July, goes from the palace down to Monaco's harbour and then along Boulevard Albert I to Sainte-Devote Church. The procession's slow speeds will allow the LS600hL to operate under electric power for most of the route, according to Lexus.

After the wedding, the car will go on display at Monaco's Oceanographic Museum.

Lexus LS600hL
(Credit: Lexus)
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