Those craftsmen at Rolls Royce’s Goodwood factory sure have a solid work ethic. It was only earlier this week that Rolls announced it was getting back into the coachbuilding game full-time, and today it has presented the bespoke division’s first completed projected.
Called the ‘Boat Tail’ this striking convertible takes its name from a series of very rare Rollers from the late 1920s and early 1930s. But its closest modern relation is the one-off Sweptail coupe unveiled at Villa d’Este in 2017.
At the time, the Sweptail’s $12.8 m price made it the most expensive new car in the world. But it almost looks cheap next to the $28 m (£20 m) Boat Tail, which becomes the most expensive new car you can buy, far exceeding the $9.7 m Bugatti wants for a Centodieci.
In fact, three Boat Tails have been built, each customised in terms of trim and materials to suit the whims of their owners, who have been assured that Rolls won’t be making more. The car in the pictures is the first of those three, and was commissioned by an unfeasibly wealthy client who also had an original 1932 Rolls Royce Boat Tail restored in time for the new car’s delivery. The other two customers were apparently keener to preserve their anonymity. Or maybe they have terrible taste.
Phantom underpinnings but hand-shaped body
Underneath the hand-shaped aluminium panels lies a version of the Architecture of Luxury aluminium spaceframe platform found on the latest Phantom limousine, and measuring around 228.3 inches (5800mm) long. Every one of those body panels is new, as are the super-slim LED headlights and even slimmer taillights set into a pinched tail that – in our opinion – looks out of proportion with the rest of the car.
But forget the shape of that tail; it’s what’s underneath the open-pore Caleidolegno veneer that matters. The centre-hinged decklid opens up like a butterfly’s wings to reveal what Rolls calls a ‘hosting suite’. Inside are two fridges and a special cutlery and crockery set from Christofle, which we’re presuming must be what posh people have on their dinner tables. The setup is even more extravagant than the ‘Recreation Module‘ Rolls designed for the Cullinan SUV.
When the two parts of the decklid lift upwards the two components of the hosting suit are lifted upwards and tilted to 15 degrees for easy access. Completing the country-picnic toolkit are a pair of carbon-fiber stools and a parasol that extends from the rear of the car. Well, you wouldn’t want that caviar to get too warm.
But if the weather does take a turn for the worst, and you’ve left the fixed-canopy roof at home in your 24-car garage, it’s comforting to know there’s a temporary tonneau cover on-board for what Rolls Royce calls ‘static transitory shelter’. Which, we think means it stops the seats getting wet when it’s parked up while you wait for the rain to pass.
Under the long hood is the Phantom’s familiar 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12 developing 563 hp. Rolls Royce doesn’t mention a zero to 60mph figure because the only kind of time this buyer was interested in was the sort measured by the his-and-hers Swiss-made Bovey watches, one of which can be inserted into the minimalist dashboard to become the car’s clock. Because when you’re seriously rich, there’s almost nothing Rolls Royce can’t do.