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Rolls-Royce Unveils ‘Most Ambitious Car Ever Created’

‘Boat Tail’ marks the launch of a new Coachbuild Division that will create one-off cars — designed in collaboration with elite customers. 

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has used the launch of what it calls ‘the most ambitious motor car ever created’ to announce the creation of Coachbuild – a new division within the business.

For many years, Rolls-Royce has offered its high-net worth clients the opportunity to heavily bespoke their Dawn, Cullinan, Ghost, Phantom and Wraith models, allowing them to choose a range of options from the colour of paint to the interior design and furnishings and installations of works of art or high- tech gadgets.

However, Rolls-Royce Coachbuild will now offer an entirely new service, allowing a small number of its most elite customers the opportunity to collaborate with the brand and build a unique car from the ground up. The marque is the only luxury automotive brand that can offer this unique service.

After a four-year collaboration with three of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars most special clients today it reveals Rolls-Royce ‘Boat Tail’. Only 3 will be made and the price for each is not being revealed. It’s a four-seat permanent drophead inspired by the Boat Tail typology popularised in the 1920s and 30s, where the hull of a yacht was grafted onto a Rolls-Royce chassis.

The three clients, who all share a love of J Class yachts, the world’s most elegant racing boats, told the designers, “Show me something I have never seen before.”

In consultation with these clients, an agreement was reached whereby three cars would share a common body, but each would then be individually, highly personalised. The first of these three cars features a back deck that opens in a sweeping butterfly gesture, to reveal cocktail tables and a parasol.

The owner asked Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to work with the Swiss House of BOVET 1822 to create two unique reversible timepieces – one for the lady and one for the gentleman – that can either be worn on the wrist or placed within Boat Tail’s fascia as the motor car’s clock.

Boat Tail’s glove box is a hand-crafted case of aluminium and leather, designed to safely house another of the clients’ great passions, an antique Montblanc pen.

And a double refrigerator has been developed to house the client’s favourite vintages of Armand de Brignac champagne allowing it to be rapid-cooled to precisely six degrees – the optimum serving temperature of the preferred vintage.

The concept of Coachbuilding was first explored in 2017 with the creation of a ‘Sweptail’ model. This led to the three clients approaching Rolls-Royce about the creation of the ‘Boat Tail’.

Each has taken four intensive years of collaboration with Rolls-Royce’s designers and engineers to create. Pre-production engineering alone took 20-person years with a full-size clay sculpture being built first, from which the buck, or frame, is created and onto which body panels were hand-beaten from extensive, single, flat sheets of aluminium. 1,813 completely new parts were developed for the ‘Boat Tail’.

The next Rolls-Royce Coachbuild project is already underway, but no details are being released at this stage. Entry to the programme is by invitation only with preference given to the luxury brand’s most significant clients.

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