Rolls Royce rides the tide. After re-establishing its coachbuilding department, the British luxury automaker announced its first properly coach built car since the $12 million one-off special Sweptail in 2017. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is a completely bespoke and coach built model that has been commissioned by three of the marque’s clients. The first of the three Boat Tail’s has been revealed today, showcasing the client’s personal tastes as well as the extent to which the bodywork has been customized. All models will share the same body style, but will have their own unique appearances and features. Here, bask in its glorious lines!
The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is a near-six meters long grand tourer with a removable “canopy” roof and something called a “hosting suite” hidden underneath the rear deck. Based on the same basic platform as the Phantom, and likely fitted with its V12, Rolls has hand-built a grand total of three of these beauties for customers who “share a deep appreciation of contemporary nautical design.” The car’s aesthetic is inspired by J-Class yachts and the original 1932 Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, which were created when coachbuilders began grafting “the hull forms of sailing boats” onto rolling Rolls chassis in the Twenties and Thirties.
The first of the new Boat Tails has been built for a couple who own a restored version of the original Boat Tail in their private collection. Some real OGs then. They restored it just in time for the arrival of their new toy that costs more than an apartment building. Their brief to Rolls on the onset of this project – three years ago – was to create a “joyful” and “celebratory” car, they could enjoy with their family. You could tell they really wanted to celebrate if they have spent $28 million on this car. Oh! I forgot to tell you right? This might just be the most expensive new car to ever waft out of the showroom.
In terms of design, there is Rolls-Royce’s pantheon grille on the nose that is flanked by wide and deep-set daytime running lights with classical round headlamps positioned below. All this is extremely well incorporated making the new front-end design appear almost seamless.
Coming to the side, the nautical theme is vividly apparent. The windscreen wraparound to resemble the visor present on boats. There’s also the downward sloping waistline with the well incorporated wooden deck mimicking the decks seen on yachts at the rear and the unconventional and unique fixed-canopy roof.
The rear of the Boat Tail features a set of bold horizontally mounted taillights that have been positioned relatively low, in order to evoke the appearance of a dipped stern of a boat. Additionally, Rolls Royce has used carbon fiber throughout the lower sections of the car including the side sills and front and rear bumpers.
The rear deck opens in butterfly style with just the push of a button. One side is dedicated to drinks, with a double fridge designed specifically to hold (and rapidly chill to the correct temperature) the customer’s favorite kind of Champagne. The other is for nibbles. (Hmm.. Kitchen on wheels?)
There are also fans to keep your caviar from spoiling in the warm temperatures for which the Boat Tail was designed (Rolls has tested the system up to 80 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, a parasol springs up from the center line for shade, and there are a couple of little tables and storage compartments for two stools. Caught in the rain? Well, worry not! Like all other Rolls-Royces, the Boat Tail also has a pair of umbrellas hidden in the door cards. The Boat Tail is also supplied with a tonneau cover for “static transitory shelter”.
The Boat Tail is road-legal, and Rolls claims it’s undergone all the same dynamic testing as its core models. Though it’s based on the company’s existing aluminum architecture, which took eight months to adapt to the Boat Tail’s proportions, the new car features 1,813 new and totally bespoke parts. Even the stereo hasn’t escaped untouched, with Rolls adapting the 15-speaker system to use the whole floor structure as a resonance chamber. Then there’s the “hosting suite”, which has five ECUs all its own and a special wiring harness that took nine months to develop.
While the interior layout might not be very different to that seen on other Rolls Royce models, there are plenty of unique touches made to the Boat Tail. The most visible is the color scheme, as the front seats adopt the dark blue exterior color, while the rear seats sport the light blue shade.
This is accompanied by contrast piping on the seats and detailed stitching all around the cabin. Another interesting detail on the interior is that the instrument panel dials are adorned with a decorative technique named Guilloché (a technique more commonly used by jewelers and watchmakers). As the clients are avid pen collectors, the glove box also houses a special Montblanc pen that is placed in a hand-crafted aluminum and leather case. Even the timepieces in the dashboard are custom made for this Boat Tail by BOVET 1822, and they are designed to be removable – so as to wear them as wrist watches by the couple.
How much did all this cost? Something around which sounds like very much.